Achieving your ideal body weight and body image is not at all easy. In my daily practice, I often hear from my clients that I have tried endless plans to lose weight and I have failed.
Ever wonder why – no matter how much you exercise – it rarely has the desired effect?
Before you start a plan to achieve your ideal body image, it’s imperative to understand your own body. Body fat accumulation can be of two types. One, when the number of fat cells increase in your body and second, when the existing fat cells don’t increase in number but increase only in size. The later is easier to handle as you can burn down the amount of fat in each cell but you cannot burn the new cells completely.
Fat loss results will also depend on your body shape – if you have apple or pear-shaped obesity.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that with knowledge about Apple and Pear body shapes you can finally understand what you have to do to lose weight more easily from the bothersome areas.
“What do you mean by Apple vs. Pear shape body”, you ask?
Well, it refers to where you store fat – above the waist, on your upper body (Apple shaped body) or below the waist, on your lower body (Pear shaped body). Whether you are Apple-shaped or Pear-shaped makes a lot of a difference – both in your physiology and psychology.
Based on this, it’s easy to understand how your metabolism is dramatically different, you assimilate nutrients differently, store the extra calories as fat differently (either subcutaneously or deep in the body, viscerally) – and even respond differently to supplements and medications – based on whether you have a Pear-shaped body or an Apple shaped body.
In the case of an apple shaped body the normal physiology is greatly affected by a large amount of abdominal fat surrounding the internal organs; this leads to a host of hormonal changes resulting in metabolic issues causing weight gain and difficulty in losing it.
In contrast, in the case of a pear-shaped body the extra fat is deposited directly under the skin, mostly in and around the hips and thighs. As a result, women with a pear-shaped body often struggle with low self-esteem or eating disorders (stemming from conflicts with the “ideal” body image imposed by media/society standards). These issues just make weight loss that much more difficult.
For a better understanding of this try and figure out your waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR): take a measuring tape and measure:
- your waist circumference, about one inch (2 fingers) above your navel
- your hip circumference, around the widest area of your lower body
(Hold the tape loosely, without applying pressure on your skin and stand up straight, relaxed and without sucking in your tummy.)
Next, divide your waist number by your hip number.
–> If the result is higher than 0.8, you have an Apple shaped body.
–> If the result is 0.8 or lower, you have a Pear shape body.
So, forget about that weighing scale when you are beginning a weight loss program.
Instead, sit with your health care team and nutritionist to discover how to lower your waist circumference to reduce the volume of that dangerous visceral fat pressing on your internal organs and creating havoc with your metabolism.
No matter how many weight loss plans have failed you in the past, no matter how many extra pounds/ kilos you have or how long you’ve gone without taking care of yourself, understand your body shape and fat type and set realistic short term goals. Take action to make you as healthy as possible through the right diet and exercise routine for your specific body shape and type. The physical implications of achieving ideal body shape are evident in having more energy, having a healthier heart, lowering the risk of Type II diabetes, and helping to avoid both osteoarthritis and many forms of cancer and not just the numbers on your weighing scale.
From the Expert Desk
Ms. Pariksha Rao
She is an accomplished clinical nutritionist, diabetes and behavioural expert, nutrition and wellness consultant, eminent speaker and a passionate writer. She has over 13 years of professional experience and trained over 2000 paramedics and patient counsellors. She specializes in therapeutic nutrition, diabetes, mindfulness, health and wellness.