Can Endomorphs Get Abs and Be Skinny?

Out of the three somatotype groups, endomorphs seem to have the hardest time to lose body fat and maintain their results. I am a natural endomorph, so I know a thing or two about the struggles to lose weight. In this article, I will share with you everything you need to know about being an endomoprh.

Can endomorphs get abs?

Endomorphs can get abs because getting abs is strictly related to changing the body composition and reducing body fat. Getting abs as an endomorph requires a calorie deficit where you reduce the number of calories to the point where energy expenditure exceeds energy consumption.

So getting lean as an endomorph requires the same path as for everyone else.

The only difference is that endomorphs may need different tactics to maintain calories deficit, comparing to their fellow’s ectomorphs and mesomorphs.

Can Endomorphs Get Lean?

Getting lean requires calorie restriction for everyone. However, the bad news for endomorphs is that our bodies have different hormonal makeup and different autonomous nervous system activity. But this doesn’t mean endomorphs cannot get lean (source).

Can endomorphs get lean?

Endomorphs can get lean because getting lean is a matter of energy balance and maintaining a calorie deficit for a long period of time. Endomorphs have a slow metabolic rate, a low sympathetic nervous system, and have lower carbohydrate tolerance, which means their need a custom approach.

  • The parasympathetic nervous system is a branch of the autonomous nervous system. It’s popularly called rest and digest. The purpose of the parasympathetic nervous system is to conserve and gather the energy that can be used later, and to regulate body functions and processes like digestion.

Parasympathetic response dominates in quiet situations, it promotes growth, lowers the heart rate, and promotes storage.

  • The sympathetic response dominates in stressful moments. This is popularly called fight or flight response and it kicks in during emergencies. During this time, adrenal glands secrete epinephrine and norepinephrine, your heart rate ramp up, and blood flows to the largest muscle in the body.

If you would run for your life from the tiger on the savannah, that’s the sympathetic nervous system.

Do Endomorphs Gain Muscle Easily?

You can identify endomorphs from their wide hips, wide shoulders, and strong skeleton. They look bulky and strong. That is because of the hormonal balance that distinguishes endomorphs from the rest. The good news for endomorphs is that thanks to those differences, we can relatively easily build on muscle.

Do endomorphs gain muscle easily?

Endomorphs do gain muscle easily because they are insulin dominant. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, and a combination of a high-protein diet with progressive overload training will lead to greater muscle protein synthesis, comparing to other somatotypes.

Parasympathetic nervous system activity means that we store things easily. It’s bad news if you’re eating a lot of carbs and you’re not moving around because high insulin will push glucose to be stored as fat.


When you practice resistance training things change.

Resistance training is like a GPS. Or, like an air traffic control, so to speak.

It signals to your insulin where to send the glucose. If you are not moving, glucose goes to the adipose tissue. If you’re lifting weights, glucose goes to the muscle.

That’s why endomorphs just need a little bit of resistance training to build muscle. No weight gainers. No extra calories. Just lift weights.

Should Endomorphs Lift Weights?

Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your body, regardless if you’re endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph. It’s been proven for several decades now that resistance training is the fountain of youth, helps with glucose levels and reduces the stress.

So should endomorphs lift weights?

Endomorphs should lift weights because lifting weights creates cellular signaling where glucose is being transported immediately into the muscle to replace glycogen stores. The more endomorphs lift weights, the easier it gets to lose or maintain weight.

Regular resistance training improves lean body mass.

And with lean body mass, your basal metabolic rate goes up because more muscle requires more demand for oxygen. And with more oxygen consumed at rest, more energy we burn.

This doesn’t mean you should only be doing weights. Doing cardio is also an important part of the weight loss process, especially for the endomorphs.

Do Endomorphs Need Cardio?

Cardio is an excellent supplement for any weight loss program. It can add up to 300 – 500 calories per session. And if you’re doing it regularly, this means within the 6 months it will make a huge difference.

Do endomorphs need cardio?

Endomorphs do need extra cardio to speed up the process because extra cardio at low intensity improves lipid oxidation, lowers the appetite, and increases overall energy expenditure. Therefore, doing more low-intensity cardio training helps to improve body composition.

Low intensity means:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • elliptical
  • rowing
  • swimming
  • hiking

Or doing any physical activity at the pace that you can talk with your buddy without getting out of breath.

I know that you’ve heard that before. But this is the easiest way to burn a heck of lot of calories, especially from fat.

I’m not suggesting that high-intensity is wrong. It’s effective and it’s got a laundry list of benefits.


When you’re on the calorie deficit as an endomorph, you will have a much better chance to succeed. Because high-intensity burns more sugar than fat during the workout.

And the more you do it, the more hungry you will get.

On the flip side, doing low-intensity cardio (walking) uses mostly fat as energy. Yes, it takes more time. But remember. Slow and steady wins the race.

Plus, low-intensity cardio acts like an appetite suppressant, not a stimulant.

What Should An Endomorph Eat to Lose Weight?

We all know that abs are made in the kitchen. And even the well-executed workout routine won’t out-perform calorie deficit. The difference between endomorphs, ectomorphs, and mesomorphs is that endo has a lower tolerance for glucose therefore we need to prioritize proteins.

For endomorphs to lose weight they should eat a hypocaloric diet that is rich in proteins, low or carbohydrates, and moderate on fat. A high-protein diet ensures greater energy expenditure, suppresses the appetite, and improves satiety, despite being in the calorie deficit.

A rich-protein diet is not only useful to reduce the number of calories by keeping your satiety and fullness high. But it also preserves lean body mass which is critical in any weight loss program (source).

High lean body mass keep the energy expenditure going. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

So ensuring that you have a portion of proteins with every meal can significantly improve your results.

Some people may struggle to stay in a calorie deficit or be confused about when exactly their body is losing weight. Because the process doesn’t work immediately.

This means you cannot know if you’re doing a good job until several months pass by.

So how you can ensure that you’re in a calorie deficit? You can measure your food intake, count calories, or doing intermittent fasting.

Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Endomorphs?

One of the best methods to get to the calorie deficit, without counting calories is by doing intermittent fasting. This way you know for sure you’re eating below your daily calorie requirements.

Is intermittent fasting good for endomorphs?

Intermittent fasting is good for endomorphs because it reduces your food intake, without unnecessary calculations, measurements, counting calories, or counting points. Doing intermittent fasting will also help endomorphs with insulin sensitivity and lipid oxidation.

There is nothing wrong with doing calorie counting for a short period of time. In the short-term, it can make wonders. Because you can exactly calculate how much food you eat.

But just because something works for 3 to 6 months, it doesn’t mean it will work for 3 to 6 years or longer.

Counting calories in the long term changes your perception of food, it disconnects us from the pleasure of eating and adds more anxiety around food choices (source).

We start to look at food as either good or bad, not as do I want it or not. Which almost always leads to impulsive eating and jo-jo dieting.


Endomorphs can get abs and stay lean but they need to use different tactics, comparing to other somatotypes. However, don’t get too bogged down. It doesn’t matter all that much.

The most important way to get lean and get abs is calorie deficit. And if you can find the ways that suit to your lifestyle this will bring you home sooner than you think.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is a personal trainer and writer at Millennial Hawk. He holds a MSc in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Central Lancashire. He is an exercise physiologist who enjoys learning about the latest trends in exercise and sports nutrition. Besides his passion for health and fitness, he loves cycling, exploring new hiking trails, and coaching youth soccer teams on weekends.

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