Finding the right ectomorph diet is very important since trying to gain weight and muscle mass is the biggest hurdle an ectomorph faces. Known in the bodybuilding world as "hardgainers", these are folks who are not genetically gifted with big muscle-bound bodies, and really have to work hard to see results. However, when those results come they often result in the most sought after, and aesthetically pleasing physiques since the ectomorph has a naturally low body fat percentage.
The trouble is in getting those results. Frustration usually sets in beforehand. Time and again the main reason ectomorphs are not as big as they want to be is simply that they don't eat enough, or they eat the wrong things at the wrong times. What we'll look at here is how we can construct the right ectomorph diet.
The ectomorph diet can be summed up in this maxim:
Eat Big To Get Big
Eating well and consuming the right amount of calories is the most important part of the ectomorph diet and the biggest stumbling block an ectomorph faces in their workouts and ability to gain mass. The recommended daily calorie intake for an average person is between 2000 – 2500. However, many ectomorphs see this and think that this applies to them too. BIG mistake! Weight gain and weight loss is all about caloric deficits – simply put, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume, and to gain weight you need to consume more calories than you burn. An ectomorph diet of 2500 calories per day is simply not enough to feed your muscles and bulk up quickly. What's worse is that the ectomorph metabolism is usually so fast it works like a furnace constantly burning up calories – if they are not enough calories in your system, your body will start to break down your muscle tissue instead – basically undoing all your hard work. This is the main reason ectomorphs struggle to gain muscle mass even when they train hard.
It obviously depends on factors such as your height, current weight, training regime, and body fat percentage, but the ectomorph diet should consist of anywhere from 3000 calories per day upwards.
People tend to get scared of such high calorie intakes, but they shouldn't be. You see, you need to realize that building muscle is about gaining mass. You can't gain mass if you're on a strict low-calorie diet. What you need is to feed your muscles to gain muscle mass, and then once you reach your desired size you can change your ectomorph diet to gradually reduce the calorie intake in order to slowly shed the excess body fat – a process known as cutting. This is where the hard work from your workouts really comes to fruition as you become even more defined. The great thing about being an ectomorph is you naturally have a low body fat percentage and find it relatively easy to lose fat.
What's In An Ideal Ectomorph Diet?
While most people (non-ectomorphs) will do best on a diet of 40% carbohydrates, 40% proteins and 20%, an ectomorph diet will be more like 50% carbs, 25% proteins and 25% good fats.
This should be spread out over 6 meals a day – ideally at 7am, 10am, 12noon, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8.30pm, or something similar.
As an estimate on calorie intake for muscle mass, take your current weight in pounds and multiply it by 22. For example if you weight 150lbs then your rough calorie intake should be around 3300. Please note this is a ballpark figure and depends on many other factors like quantity of activity, types of foods, your resting metabolic rate etc. Also, please realize that quality of calories is what we want. 3000 calories of Doritos is not sufficient for the ectomorph diet.