This is the second part of the “New Year’s Resolution” series. Have you always struggled with weightloss? Have you watched your friends lose weight with the Atkins, or Southbeach diet, while you only gained or did not change at all? Are you vowing that in ’09 you will finally fit into those “jeans” you have hanging in your closet? Then, it’s time you take a closer look at your mid-region to figure out if your “shape” is hindering you from achieve your weight-loss goals.
The way your body is shaped determines how and where it stores fat. When it comes to body shapes, we all fall under two basic categories (not counting the “ruler” and “hourglass” we utilize in fashion), we are either Apple-shaped, or Pear-shaped.
If you are Apple-shaped, you are most likely characterized as having larger breasts, smaller hips, larger waist and a protruding belly. For apple-shaped individuals, excess fat tends to store around your breast, waist, stomach, and internal organs (heart,liver, kidneys intestines). It is the fat surrounding the internal organs that put apple-shaped individuals at a greater health risk than those that are Pear-shaped.
Pear-Shaped individuals are characterized as having a lower metabolism, a smaller upper body with a heavier lower body (hips, buttocks, legs); and are more likely to store fat under the skin, buttocks, thighs and hips.
According to medical experts, individuals that are apple shaped tend to be at risk for greater health problems, because abdominal fat is more harmful than the fat that is stored under the skin. Abdominal fat puts one at a greater risk of developing metabolism problems, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease; and increases one’s risk of developing breast and endometrial cancer. Due to the fact that abdominal fat also surrounds the internal organs, this fat tends to affect the respiratory function of the body. For Pear-shaped individuals, the health risks tends to be less, and often includes osteoporosis.
So now you know your shape, what can you do to achieve an effective weightloss? Below are Diet and Exercise tips courtesy of Apples & Pears by Dr. Marie Savard.
DIETS TIPS for the APPLE-SHAPED.
If you are an “APPLE”, be sure to ALWAYS avoid foods that are fried and fatty, contain cream and all white-flour. Also be sure to stay away from empty sugar from carbonated drinks and candy; instead, include ‘good’ proteins like eggs, soy, salmon, halibut, trout, and beans to your daily menu. Apple-shaped individuals should favor whole-wheat and rye products; as well as complex carbs like fruits and vegetables. To be eaten moderately are animal protein like chicken, beef, tuna, dairy products and “healthy” fats (olive oil, yoghurt dressing, nuts).
Exercise tips:Since apple-shaped individuals tend to store fat around their mid-region, they should perform medium to high cardiovascular exercises like aerobics, and strength-training for at least 2-3 times a week.
Diet tips for the PEAR-SHAPED
If you are Pear-shaped, you should favor more complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, brown rice and whole grains; while moderately eating healthy proteins like tuna, salmon, turkey and lean beef. Foods that should be avoided include meat with fatty parts, whole salad dressings, regular milk, cheese, butter and sour creams.
Exercise tips:To help boost your metabolism, it is advisable that one works out early in the morning, and must include exercises that help strengthen your bones like walking, rope jumping and aerobics (low/medium intensity). To help tone the body, it advisable to do strength training exercise at a moderate pace for at least 4 to 5 times a week.
Finally, discovering your body type is definitely a first step in paying attention to your diet and figuring out what works for you. But most importantly, true weight-loss is only achieved through proper nutrition and exercise, so don’t forget to consult your physician before you begin a new diet, and be sure to supplement your meals with the right vitamins (Pear-shapes should include calcium supplements for bone strengthening).
For more information, be sure to check out the book Apples & Pears.