Which body type do you have?

I’m no stranger to the sight of various body types on women. I only have to go as far as my clan to spot the differences. On my father’s side, we’ve got tall and skinny women (some have even been known to model every now and then), while the curvier females originate from my mother’s side of the family. Taking after the latter, family reunions have always made me somewhat self-conscious to be 5’3” and plump, especially when I'm standing next to a waif-like 5’9”.

Luckily, I’ve come to realize that it’s something of an unrealistic expectation to expect myself to transform into a Kendall Jenner when I’m likely to be more of a Kim or a Khloe (to put it in Kardashian terms). My cousins and I have physiques on opposite ends of the spectrum, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Image via bonytobombshell.com

Image via bonytobombshell.com

There are three body types you might fall under, based on how muscles and fat are distributed throughout your body. Understanding the key traits of each can help you figure out how to maximize your health and fitness strategy, and hopefully help you love the body you're in!

Taylor Swift (via imgur.com)

Taylor Swift (via imgur.com)

Alexa Chung (via popsugar.com)

Alexa Chung (via popsugar.com)

If you can eat all you want without worrying about about putting on pounds, you're probably an Ectomorph.

Skinny is a built-in feature. These are your supermodel types, like Alexa Chung or Taylor Swift. For the ectomorph who metabolizes at top speeds, there are hardly any restrictions when it comes to eating, but trying to gain weight or muscle presents more of a challenge. Their narrow bone structure results in a lanky appearance, so working for a toned figure is key to preventing that lampayatot look.

Try: Ballet or ballet-inspired workouts. A dancer’s body is known for being lithe and limber, and the barre workouts are all about toning the muscles minus the bulk. 

Michelle Obama (via harpersbazaar.com)

Michelle Obama (via harpersbazaar.com)

Michelle Rodriguez (via celebuzz.com)

Michelle Rodriguez (via celebuzz.com)

If you've been called a "tomboy" and need to emphasize your curves, you're probably a Mesomorph.

These gals are lean, mean ass-kicking machines who pack on the muscles in a snap. Yes, this refers to those with athletic builds and moderate-sized bone structure, like the two famously fit Michelles: Mrs. Obama aka FLOTUS (those arms, though!) and Hollywood's favorite badass gal Rodriguez (of Fast & Furious fame). Though the mesomorph body responds well to training, it’s not all that hard to either put on weight or melt it off. That said, a balanced diet of equal parts protein, carbs, and veggies along with a healthy mix of cardio and muscle-building exercises are needed to maintain that brawny build.

Try: Kettlebell. It’s a twofer! There’s a rhythmic factor to it (that can count as cardio) and packs a decent amount of weight to make lifting a challenge.

Kate Upton (via celebuzz.com)

Kate Upton (via celebuzz.com)

Sofia Vergara (via ouchpress.com)

Sofia Vergara (via ouchpress.com)

If you've never managed to shed your baby fat and they've turned into womanly curves, you're probably an Endomorph.

Curvy is what best describes the endomorph. These are the full-figured women with the boobs and the booty to match. We’re talking about the likes of Kate Upton and Sofia Vergara. Though the shapely body is often what comes to mind with the word "sexy", the main challenge of this body type is in losing weight and keeping it off. Endomorphs particularly need to watch their diets and workout routines, like going easy on the carbs and upping the exercise to stave off that slow metabolism.

Try: Pilates. It will strengthen the core to help bring out that hourglass shape that endomorphs are known for.

There may be three main body types, but people aren’t usually stuck to one. We’re typically a combination of two body types, so you can try both recommended fitness and diet routines and find out which suits you better. Just make sure to check with a health professional first before embarking on a new diet or intensifying your exercise routine. More than helping you look your best, the main objective is for you to be healthy and fit. The right diet shouldn't leave you feeling like you're being starved, and a well-planned workout will increase your energy without over-exhausting the body.

Sources: Bony To Bombshell, Super Skinny Me, Breaking Muscle, Ace Fitness