There are some universal rules that apply, no matter your shape (don’t skimp on sleep!). But your body type can also hold surprising clues as to the right exercise and diet habits for you.
Your body type in a nutshell: You’re naturally lean and have trouble putting weight on. You may also be thin but carry a lot of fat (aka “skinny fat”).
Your ideal routine: One that embraces the unexpected. You may find you naturally gravitate toward endurancea activities (like running), says Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD, CSCS, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition. However, that may mean you’re missing out on essential strength-building workouts. For a well-rounded routine, add in plyometrics (jumping lunges, squat jumps, box jumps) or weight-based exercises, recommends Stacy Sims, PhD, exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist, author of ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life.
Since you have a fast metabolism, your body can handle a greater amount of carbs—lucky you—but you’ll want to focus on wholesome, fiber-rich carbs, which give you lasting energy. Try a sweet potato (rich in complex carbohydrates) topped with a bit of almond butter for satiating fat (seriously, try it), a hardboiled egg (for some protein) and fruit (more carbs!).
Your body type in a nutshell: You can put body fat on easily, and it can be tough to lose weight. Your upper and lower body can fall into different body types, so you may notice you store fat up top or in your rear or thighs, says Sims.
Your ideal routine: Calm and restorative. Lowering your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that prompts your body to store fat, is key. First up: Practice mindfulness meditation. The technique, where you sit quietly and focus on your breath, has been shown to help reduce morning cortisol levels, therefore reducing stress.