Monday, November 24, 2008

The Apple and The Pear

The Apple versus The Pear
Which is the Better Body Type?

It is common knowledge that every person is unique and everyone has a slightly different body shape that is determined by ones genetics. However, there are two main body types that are very common, the apple and the pear, and these shapes also give insight into how a person should eat, exercise and what health problems they are at risk of developing. This is because it is not only important to pay attention to how much excess fat a person has, but to also pay attention to where the fat is distributed on the body because that is more indicative of the person’s health (Apple and Pear Body Shapes).

The Apple:

A person with an apple body shape gains and stores body fat around their middle section, primarily above the belt in the belly area. When fat builds up in the abdomen and waist area, this is called visceral fat because the fat is surrounding the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and intestines. This type of fat is very dangerous because it causes inflammation, and produces hormones that make a person more vulnerable to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Apple shaped people are also more likely to have anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure problems. In general, people with apple shapes are at a higher risk for more serious weight related problems because the visceral fat they store in the abdomen is worse than the fat people with pear body shapes store.
However, it is possible for an overweight apple person to become a healthy apple by reducing the fat around the stomach. A person can reduce their chances of getting the weight related diseases 50% just by losing two inches off their abdomen region. The best way for apple people to loose weight is to eat fiber filled foods, do aerobic exercise and to make sure blood sugar and fat levels are normal. Fiber foods will help to slow down the digestion of sugars and they will lower insulin and cholesterol levels. The ideal diet for an apple person would include 50% complex carbohydrates (veggies, brown rice), 35% “good” proteins (fish, beans) and up to 15% “good” fats (nuts, yogurt). An apple person can never change their body shape, but they can control how much fat is around their stomach and they can work hard, through dieting and exercise, to stay a healthy apple (CBS NEWS).

The Pear:
(Picture below:
A person with a pear shaped body gains and stores body fat below the waist in the hips and thighs area. Pear shaped people store subcutaneous fat, meaning the fat is stored right under the layer of skin and does not surround any organs. Subcutaneous fat is stored for energy use when the body needs it. Pear shaped people are more likely to get osteoporosis, varicose veins, and have cellulite and eating disorders. The varicose veins are caused by the compression of the veins by the added weight in the hips and thigh area. Pear shaped people also have less androgen, which is a bone strengthening hormone, than apple people, and this is why they are more susceptible to osteoporosis. In general, the weight related
issues associated with the pear shape are less dangerous than those of the apple shape, but pears are more prone to self-esteem issues due to a poor body image (CBS NEWS).
There are ways; however, that a pear person can control the amount of fat they store and help decrease their chances of getting varicose veins or cellulite. Someone with a pear body shape should eat low fat foods, do resistance training, and continually check to make sure their bone density levels are ok. The pear body shape will to store excess fat in the hips and thigh region, so the less fat the person consumes, the less fat there is available to be stored. Resistance training is also important to strengthen the bones and create more muscle. The ideal diet for a pear person is 55% complex carbohydrates, 30% “good” proteins, and up to 15% “good” fats. It is important to constantly watch ones fat consumption, because a pear person could become an apple person over time if he or she gains weight.

How to Determine Body Shape

The easiest way to determine body shape is to calculate ones waist to
hip (WHR) ratio. The waist to hip ratio is a measurement of the fat
distribution in the body. First, using a cloth tape measure, measure
the circumference of the waist at its smallest part, usually around the
navel. Then measure the circumference of the hips at their widest part.
Then divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement to get the
waist to hip ratio. For a woman, if their ratio is less than or equal to
0.8 this means they have a pear shape. If their ratio is greater than 0.8
this means they are apple shaped. For men, if their ratio is less than or
equal to 1.0 they are pear shaped, but the ratio is greater than 1.0 they
are an apple shape. By knowing what body type one is and learning
the best way to eat and exercise for that type, everyone can be a
healthy fruit (Your Body Shape Reveals Your Metabolism).
(Picture above to the right: )

“Are You A Pear or an Apple?” CBS NEWS. 28, Feb. 2005. Online.
“Your Body Shape Reveals Your Metabolism”. Online.
“Apple and Pears: Body-Shape Weight Loss Made Easy” Online.
“Apple & Pear” Body Shapes”. Online.
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