Fat is distributed beneath the skin all over the body and sometimes we can see which part of the body has the most fat. Generally, most body fat exists in the stomach and thigh areas, thus both can determine the shape of one’s body.
Understanding your body shape could help you in improving your health. There are so many factors that can determine our body shape: genetics, lifestyle, gender and age. Some people can eat fried foods and junk every day but never gain weight. Some people tend to accumulate weight around the hip, others on the belly.
Based on the overall fat distribution in your body, most people can fall into these body shape categories:
• Apple or Android Shape
• Pear or Gynoid Shape
Apple or Android Shape
If you have an “apple-shaped” body, your weight accumulates around your hips and abdomen. You are wide on the top but small on the bottom. Sometimes you may feel like your limbs look like they belong to a more slender person. For both genders, this body shape indicates lifestyle imbalances such as high level of stress, poor diet and very little physical activity. In men particularly, excessive consumption of alcohol has been linked to the development of the apple-shaped figure.
Weight accumulates around hips and abdomen, increased risk of:
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Elevated Blood Pressure
An active lifestyle is especially important if you are apple-shaped. Cardio workouts and weight training exercises are highly recommended. Swimming, cycling, jogging or weight training will help to keep your body fat percentage in a healthy range. If you have a desk job and can’t find the time for exercise, make sure to get up often to stretch and go for a brisk walk at lunch. Always use the stairs!
Apple-shaped people will benefit from a diet rich in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrates. This will help to control the amount of fat stored in the body as well as the flush fat out of the bloodstream. Choose fruits and veggies and avoid processed foods such as white bread and pastries. Add more spices to your meals such as garlic or chili as these stimulate metabolism and improve liver function. Apple-shaped people are especially prone to mid-afternoon snacking so have a healthy snack ready to avoid temptations.
Pear or Gynoid Shape
If you are a pear type, you have a figure that is opposite from apple-shaped people. Instead of being top heavy, if you’re pear-shaped, your hip section is likely to be wider than your upper body, with most of the fat deposited around your thighs, hips and buttocks region. Shoulders are narrower than the hips. Hip, thigh and buttock areas carry more weight than the rest of the body. Weight carried around your bottom and thighs is due to subcutaneous fat rather than the more dangerous visceral variety. Carrying extra weight on the hips can lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis and fat is more likely to appear as cellulite. Scientific research has also shown that pear body shapes may find it more difficult to lose weight than those with an apple shape. This is because the fat in the upper body, chest and abdomen is mobilized by the body to burn more readily than fat stored in the bottom, hips and thighs. This means that you may have to work harder to lose weight than those with an apple-shaped body.
Fat cells from upper part of the body seem to be functionally different from fat cells in the lower part. Abdominal or android fatness carries a greater risk for hypertension, heart disease, hyperinsulinemia, diabetes mellitus, gall bladder disease and stroke. It is primarily due to hypertrophy (increase in the size of fat cell) of the existing cells, whereas lower body fat deposition is by hyperplasia (increase in the number of fat cells). Reducing the enlarged fat cell to normal size is easier rather than reducing the increased number of cell to normal.
Perform exercises that target the leg muscles such as running or power walking and strength training. By converting fat into muscle, pear-shaped people can significantly reduce their risks of illness. The formula for successful weight-loss is simple: diet and exercise. Starts with eating smaller portions and including more vegetables, fruits. Choose higher-protein foods. Make sure you never skip meals. Eating regularly will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and mood.