Your body shape is determined by a number of different things.  Genetics, sex, age, diet, and activity level all go into what body type you are.  Normally you have a defined body type after you have gone through puberty. 

Your body type can change with age, changes in activity level, dietary habit changes, or hormonal changes

Knowing your body type isn’t all about figuring out how you look.  It is more than just how you look.  Knowing your body type can help you with your overall health.  Body types can help you know what diets and exercises are best for you, what health risks you may be more prone to.  


What is a body type?

Your body type is defined by muscle mass and fat distribution

Women’s bodies are primarily described based on shapes, such as rectangle, pear, inverted triangle, apple, or hourglass.  Women’s body types are described in shapes, because it is easier to visualize. 

Men’s bodies are based on how lean they are and how easily their body stores fat, like ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph.  


Body Types Women


Apple body types, the body looks round, fat builds up around the abdomen and weight is usually carried in the chest and stomach.  Apple body types tend to have slender legs.  Apple body shapes tend to have stomachs that are chubbier. 

Holding fat in your abdomen puts you at a higher risk for heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.  Abdominal fat can be stubborn and cause your blood sugar to spike when you eat foods that are heavy in carbohydrates.  Eating less of refined carbohydrates and eating more fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight with your diet.  Eating less fatty proteins, like salmon, can also be beneficial. 

Daily exercising for at least 30 minutes is essential, and adding in abdominal strengthening exercises. 


Pear body shapes have narrower shoulders than their hips.  They tend to have weight in their buttocks, lower hips and thighs.  Pear bodies tend to have slimmer arms, and a slim waist that slopes out to the hips.  Lower body weight has a tendency to be stubborn to lose. 

There are no exact health risks with being pear shaped.  Being overweight comes with chronic health concerns, so making sure you are maintaining a healthy BMI, and body weight is important.  Having a steady diet and exercise plan can help keep weight in check. 


Hourglass shape is the most desired of shapes.  Even though no shape is perfect, and having a certain shape doesn’t make you more desirable than another.  Hourglass bodies are where the hips and bust are equal in size and the waist is narrower.  So the top and bottom halves are equally as broad, while the waist is smaller. 

Weight gain for hourglass figures may be hard to notice, because it can be evenly distributed.  They may not hold weight just in their stomach, like apple shapes, or in their hips like pear shapes.  It can be easy to become overweight with an hourglass figure.  Being overweight raises your risk of chronic diseases.  Low fat and high fiber foods will be your best friend. 

Doing full body workouts is also best since weight gain can be evenly distributed.

Inverted Triangle  

Inverted triangle bodies have wide shoulders and narrow hips.  This shape tends to sometimes have a larger bust.  Inverted triangles gain weight in their upper body and stomach.  It is important with this body type to be aware of your BMI, body mass index. 

To balance out your inverted triangle you can work on lower body exercises to build up your muscles in your buttocks, and thighs.  


Rectangle bodies have shoulders and hips, as well as hips and bust measurements that are almost if not equal.  When you think of a small slender, skinny person this is usually the body type they have.  Though rectangle bodies do not immediately mean skinny. 

You can be overweight with a rectangle  body, just as easily as you can be underweight with a rectangle body.  Being underweight brings health risks as well.  



Determining Your Body Type

There is a certain way to measure your body to see what type you have. 

  • For your shoulder measurement, have a friend or family member measure from one edge of your shoulder to the other across your back. 
  • Bust measurement should be done at the fullest part of your bust, under your armpits all the way around your body. 
  • Waist measurement is done above your belly button, but below your ribcage, all the way around your body like a belt. 
  • Hips are done from one hip wrapping around your measuring tape around the fullest part of your buttocks all the way around your body.  



Body Types Men

Men can be described by their body types as well.  More often than not they are described by how lean they are and how easily they gain muscle and fat. 


Ectomorph bodies tend to be skinny with lean muscles, small shoulders, fast metabolisms, and it is hard for them to gain weight. 


Mesomorph bodies have larger bone structure, large muscles, usually athletic builds.  Mesomorphs have well defined muscles, they gain muscle easily, but they gain weight more easily than ectomorphs so they have to watch their calorie intake. 


Endomorphs are the soft and round bodies.  They are normally shorter with thick arms, and legs.  They have difficulty losing fat, slow metabolism, and gain weight easily.  Endomorphs need a high protein diet, cardio and strength exercises.  



Your body type can change with age, activity levels, dietary habits, and hormonal changes.  Your body type does not define you.  Putting too much emphasis on your body type can cause body dysmorphia

Knowing your body type to be aware of health risks you may be more prone to or what diet and exercises best benefits you can help your overall health. 

There is no such thing as the perfect body, but being healthy in the body you have is what is important.  



Need to know an ideal weight range for your specific body?  Try HealthSurgeon’s Ideal Weight Calculator!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *