If you’re a lucky pear-shape you might not have to move your curves at all. The rest of us apple-shapes need to become more aware of our lifestyles, say researchers, because the fat around our waists can put us at higher risk for heart and metabolic diseases, and even breast cancer.
Researchers now regard fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs as a healthier fat than tummy fat, the kind that maintains lower levels of inflammation and blood sugar. Beer guts and spare tires, however, are curves that can lead us to health problems later in life. Also known as visceral fat, this dangerous fat lies closer to vital organs, whereas subcutaneous fat is situated closer to the skin and is more visually accessible.
But how can we change from visceral fat to subcutaneous fat? How can an apple shape become more pear-like? For now, the answer lies in diet and exercise.
Citing studies conducted on the effects of training on waist size, medical researches advocate incorporating at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week, and two days of strength training; and cutting calories by 500 to 1,000 daily. Also important is to eat 25 grams of fiber and 60 to 70 grams of protein daily. Added protein and strength means more muscle and less fat.
In the article “Are You a Pear or an Apple?” Tatiana Morales informs readers that pear-shaped women, too, have potential health problems to address. Outlining Dr. Marie Savard’s book Apples & Pears: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness, Morales writes that extra fat around the hips can lead to varicose veins. These pear-shaped women tend to have less estrogen and are more prone to bone loss after menopause. They are also more likely to have lower self-esteem, and are therefore more prone to eating disorders. For these women, it is important to eat low-fat foods and incorporate strength training into exercise routines.