How Does An Apple or Pear Shape Affect Your Health?
Everyone has a different shape, metabolism and energy level. It’s one reason that I believe that mainstream, regimented diets don’t work. These variables can affect your success with weight loss. So are your trouble-zones your thighs or your belly & back? The shape you resemble will help you understand where your body stores fat and can help you strategize your plan to reduce it.
If you aren’t sure if you are a pear or an apple, measure your waist-to-hip ratio with a fabric measuring tape. Measure your natural waist (Most are one inch above your belly button.) Then measure the widest part of your bottom or thighs, whichever is bigger.
For women, a waist-to-hip ratio less than .8 suggests you are a pear. The higher the number, the higher your health risks may be.
If you are an apple shape, your focus needs to shift from weight loss to inches/fat loss. The American Heart Association recommends a waist circumference of less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men. The concern is that your organs get ‘padded down’ which requires them to work harder just to function efficiently. Reducing these inches can be tackled by eating vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats and increased fiber. Legumes, oats, vegetables and fruits are high in fiber. Cardio and high intensity training (HIT) can help you reach those goals.
If you are a pear, this is the less health-risked shape of the two. Unfortunately, spot-weight loss can be a challenge. Fat stored in the thighs and bottom is stubborn. Portion control and eating whole foods that are described above will help reduce overall daily calorie intake. Body-weight training in addition to cardio will help burn calories faster and for longer.
Consider the lifestyle changes in your fitness program and food choices, not just a vanity issue, but a health concern. Reducing the excesses of these pear and apple shapes is critical to your long-term healthy and energy level.