Our bodies come in various shapes and types. You could have the perfect hourglass shape, or have a cone body shape with large busts and thin legs. Or you could have an ectomorph body type and therefore be extremely skinny, or be an endomorph who tends to put on weight easily. But no matter what your body shape or type is, we have got you an extensive diet and workout routine that will help you stay in shape. So just identify what your structure is like and get working on it.
1. Types of female body shape
2. Hourglass body shape
3. Rectangle body shape
4. Cone body shape
5. Spoon body shape
6. body types
7. Ectomorph body type
8. Mesomorph body type
9. Endomorph body type
Types of female body shape
Hourglass body shape
In a classic Figure eight body shape, the body resembles, well, the figure 8. Like Malaika Arora Khan, for instance. Malaika’s got the quintessential hourglass figure with a small waist cinching her body in the middle. If you have an hour glass body shape, your bust and hips are roughly the same width, while you have a tiny waist. So skater dresses are your best friend, and the good news is, a small midsection is half your battle won. The bad news is, you tend to pile on the kilos on your thighs, hips and upper arms—which are the most difficult areas to lose weight from.
Workout guide for hourglass body shape
1. Indulge in lots of outdoorsy sports.
2. Swimming for an hour every day is perfect for this body type, as are other high-cardio sports like cycling and jogging.
3. Don’t forget to add some weights to your workout.
4. Bicep and tricep curls are a must, so are basic body weights like squats and pull-ups. The good news is, you can go easy on the abs workout!
Diet guide for hourglass body shape
While you may be able to tuck in the calories without your waistline giving you away, it goes straight to the other parts of your body!
1. Avoid starchy root veggies like beets, carrots and potatoes.
2. Opt instead, for green veggies like broccoli and zucchini.
3. If you must go for a non-green veggie, try brinjal or sweet potatoes instead.
3. Plenty of omega 3-rich foods like salmon must also find their way onto your plate.
4. If you’re vegetarian, seeds like flax are also abundant in omega-3 fatty acids.
Rectangle body shape
The Rectangle or ruler body type, like Anushka Sharma’s, gives the appearance of a straight shape. The actor doesn’t have too many curves, and her body fat is evenly distributed, and the waist is not much smaller than the hips and bust. This may sound unattractive, but with the right advice, those with a rectangle body shape can play on their strengths and get in shape, quite literally.
Workout guide for rectangle body shape
1. Firstly, try to focus on getting your waist to go in a little. Go heavy on all abs exercises.
2. Full sit-ups will help you, as will kickboxing and even a fun activity like rollerblading! Hatha Yoga has numerous benefits as well.
3. Practice asanas like the boat (navasan) and the plough (haalasan) at least twice a day, to see visible benefits.
4. Pranayama is another tool to fitness. Kapalabathi Pranayama helps tone the tummy, while also bringing numerous benefits to the mind and soul.
5. And while you’re focusing on those abs, don’t forget to keep the rest of your body in shape with some brisk walking for 15-20 minutes every day.
Diet guide for rectangle body shape
1. Avoid carbonated drinks and white carbs. Replace white rice for brown, or red rice.
2. White bread can be replaced with multi-grain, or even a gluten-free option.
3. Get complex carbs into your diet like sweet potatoes, along with other nourishing foods like avocados, sardines, mixed nuts and seeds.
4. Try to cook foods in olive oil, or in cold-pressed sesame or coconut oils for more health benefits.
5. Say no to sweets.
Cone body shape
More conventionally known as the apple body type, the cone comes with a large bust and broad shoulders, a thick waist, but thin hips and narrow legs, just like Sonakshi Sinha. In short, imagine this body shape like an inverted cone. While this body type may not really be large, they tend to look heavier than they are because of the way their body is structured, and fat is distributed. Since most people tend to perceive a person’s weight by looking at their upper body, this is a particularly difficult body type to dress up and deal with.
Workout guide for cone body shape
1. Instead of going for regular exercises, try interval training, with sudden bursts of high-intensity exercise alternated with a low-intensity workout.
2. Surprise your body every now and then—don’t let it fall into a routine.
3. Use body weights effectively for exercises like burpees and squats, but avoid too many push-ups and pull-ups as they tend to bulk up your upper body.
Diet guide for the cone body shape
This body type is prone to thyroid and blood sugar problems, if their diet is left unchecked.
1. Try and go gluten-free.
2. Stick to grains like millet, oatmeal and quinoa, along with low-fat dairy products and beans and peas.
3. Eggs and sprouts are other good options to include in your diet.
4. Avoid food which could potentially spike blood sugar—refined carbs, sugar, and even an excess of starchy vegetables.
Spoon body shape
Ileana D’Cruz is an example of the spoon body shape. Think of this body as an upright, vertical spoon with the broader part downwards. In the case of D’Cruz, her bust and waist are smaller, while the hips are larger than the rest of the body. This kind of body type is very common with Indian bodies—one tends to be petite and small-made on top, but acquires love handles, weight—and girth—on the hips, thighs and belly, making one’s legs unseemly.
Workout guide for spoon body shape
1. Spoons should go easy on the weights, as these tend to add girth to the lower body.
2. Instead, go for whole body exercises like skipping and brisk walking.
3. To build muscle on your upper body, try the bench press or push-ups.
4. Leg lifts are a good idea to tone your legs—one leg and side leg lifts both.
5. Ashtanga yoga is your friend.
6. Practice it for at least an hour every alternate day.
Diet guide for the spoon body shape
1. Eliminate saturated fats from your diet, and other stuff that goes straight to the tummy.
2. Instead, opt for natural sources of fat like dairy, dry fruits and baked snacks instead of fried ones.
3. Lean proteins—white meat, leafy green veggies and lentils—are a must-have.
4 .Eat plenty of salads, but avoid too many sweet fruits; just one portion a day will do.
3 body types
Ectomorph body type
An ectomorph will be lithe, long limbed and slim boned, with very little body fat and muscle, like Sonam Kapoor, for instance. A body shape like hers is fragile and delicately built, and they find it difficult to gain weight or add muscle. Their physique will be linear, with small shoulders, chest and buttocks. Ectomorphs have a fast and efficient metabolism and are usually hyperactive.
Workout guide for ectomorph body type
Ectomorphs need to train harder because their muscular growth is slow. Start with weight training and follow it up with indoor cardio workout. You should ideally work out for an hour every day. Workouts should be short and intense focusing on big muscle groups. Cardio can be cut back as gaining weight is difficult enough. Focus on the arms, chest, back, legs and shoulders. Do exercises that work all parts of the body. Different exercises that work for different muscle parts will give you good results. Some of the best workouts for ectomorphs are basic squats, rows, step-ups and push-ups. You can also try the treadmill and do kickboxing.
Diet guide for ectomorph body type
The main task that an ectomorph—or, Ecto—needs to look after is to promote muscle gain. An Ecto is that typical skinny girl who can eat all day and her super fast metabolism burns through it all like wildfire. Generally, ectos have a smaller build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually she is long limbed and narrow shouldered. Think Deepika Padukone or Kalki Kochlin; Abhishek Bachchan or Farhan Akhtar. Ectomorphs find it very hard to gain weight.
An ectomorph needs to increase an intake of calories in her diet with a balanced body building diet plan to gain muscle. As a true-blue ectomorph, she needs to include 1,000 calories or as a moderate, 750 calories wouldn’t be too shabby over your maintenance levels. You need not worry whether intake of such huge amount of calories increases the amount of fat levels in your body. In fact, these calories help ectos in the fast growth of muscles and repair them as they have high metabolic rates.
Dietician Shweta Prasad recommends supplements. Generally, ectomorphs can lose fat very easily which makes cutting back to lean muscle easier for them. “So don’t skip meals for any reason and you will need to eat a lot more than normal,” cautions Prasad. “If and whenever necessary, avoid junk and fried food. Eat meals for every one hour, 30 minutes (at least six meals a day) as the key is to have more calories than you burn. Protein, carbs and fat ratio in terms of percentage of calories can be 40 per cent protein, 40 per cent carbs and 20 per cent fats. Intake of complex carbohydrates like pasta, rice, grain bread, and dried fruits can help you gain maximum results. Drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated and get enough rest—which is necessary—to gain the perfect weight and muscle strength,” she concludes.
Mesomorph body type
For starters, a mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a natural athletic physique. Like Bipasha Basu. They make for great sportspersons, their natural shape and ability to put on muscle is a boon. Most of them find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They tend to be naturally strong, which is the perfect base for building muscle.
Workout guide for mesomorph body type
Mesomorphs should go for regular cardio to prevent the body from putting on weight. Do light-to-moderate weight training maximum thrice a week to shape and sculpt the muscles. Circuit training will also help increase strength and stamina. Your body adapts quickly to exercise routines, so keep changing your workout regimen.
Diet guide for mesomorph body type
If you are devotedly hitting the gym on a daily basis, working out on a cookie cutter program from a magazine or your trainer, eating well, you might be overlooking a small feature that could have a huge outcome with your success at the gym—your body type. Your body’s basic shape and traits will have pros and cons when it comes to gaining or losing weight. For the uninitiated, there are three basic body types: Endomorph —the full-bodied diva— a.k.a. YOU; Ectomorph—the rail-thin woman who launches a thousand brands and lastly, the Mesomorph or Meso—the sportsperson who brings home gold from the Olympics.
Typically, mesos do best with a diet that consists of a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The amount of food they consume also depends on their level of physical activity. In fact, mesos need to keep their carbohydrate intake between 40 percent and 60 percent. Dietician Shweta Prasad advises “A meso’s typical diet portion should consist of portioned meals the size of a balled fist—that’s one portion size, literally. Case in point, a meso woman must include at each meal one palm of protein dense foods; one fist of vegetables; one cupped handful of carb dense foods; one thumb of fat dense foods.” Prasad further counsels that a mesomorph needs to break her meals into five or six smaller ones throughout the day. Lastly, she also cautions that “mesos should remember to eat enough calories to maintain their muscle mass. So make your calories count by choosing whole foods over processed foods, which tend to be more nutrient-dense and lower in unhealthy fat, salt and sugar. Focus on non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy products as well as nuts and seeds.”
Endomorph body type
Endomorphs tend to have curvy and fuller figures and the body stores fat easily. Think Vidya Balan. Their metabolism is sluggish. The muscle and fat is concentrated in the lower body. This is also the hardest body type to have if you are looking to manage your weight and overall fitness.
Workout guide for endomorph body type
Endomorphs need to listen to their body more. Make exercise a part of your routine. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and CrossFit are ideal for those with an endomorph body type. You also need to do weight training and moderate endurance training. Eat good quality fats and protein and limit your carbohydrate intake to maximise body composition.
Diet guide for endomorph body type
One’s body type doesn’t just help determine how easily one loses or gains weight, but it can also pretty much affect how and what type of foods fuels one’s body best and help shed weight. Case in point, an ectomorph can eat just about anything without gaining a kilo, while an endomorph is carb-sensitive. Regrettably, unlike other body types, the latter also finds it difficult to make up for poor dietary habits with exercise. She needs to get her diet right to lose weight, feel energetic, and for good health.
A study by the American Medical Association indicates that compared to other body types, one of the reasons an endomorph struggles with her weight more is because she is very sensitive to even the slightest over-consumption of food. Translated, it means that those extra calories are more likely to be stored as fat compared to an ectomorph, ensuing in a greater tendency for fat storage. The macronutrient ratio (the ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat) is elemental in losing weight and getting fit.
Endomorphs work best on a Paleo-like diet; an average macronutrient ratio that works for endomorphs is to include 40 per cent carbs, 35 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat in their diet. Cut out all unhealthy sources of carbs, such as sugars, white pasta and white rice. Instead, choose leafy greens over potatoes and corn. Also, include high-fibre whole grains such as brown and wild rice; prefer lean protein like fish, chicken and tofu and favour healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and walnuts.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Yogen Shah and Shutterstock
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