When I asked a girlfriend if she thought she was more ‘pear-shaped’ or ‘apple-shaped,’ she replied, “Honey, I have some serious back and rack.” Naturally, I busted out laughing and nearly lost my morning cup of tea…but I knew what she meant. Women are more concerned with the numbers on the scale than the actual size of their waist and hips. This number is important to know because it can change your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hormone imbalance, and even cancer.
Not familiar with the fruit comparison? An ‘apple-shaped’ person has more fat in their middle section. It’s the proverbial extra tire(s) rolled around their belly. A ‘pear-shaped’ woman has larger hips and buttocks compared to her waist. When it comes to your health, you’re better with a pear by having a smaller waist and bigger hips. Keep in mind not all women actually resemble the fruit-shape however it’s the ratio between the two that is important.
First, take a measuring tape and measure around the widest part of your hips (including your rear), then measure around your waist where it nips in the most. Then divide your waist by your hips (ie. waist in inches / hips in inches) and see if you are less than 0.8. If you are, then you’re a pear. If you’re over 0.8, then you are an apple and have serious potential for health problems.
Women with thick middles have more fat stored in and around their organs. That fat is more likely to contribute to elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, elevated inflammation, and atherosclerosis. It’s more difficult to lose and contributes to a host of glandular problems as this layer can produce its own hormones.
How do you lose the apple fat? By focusing on blood sugar and insulin balancing acts of health. Eliminate or greatly reduce carbohydrates, fruit, sugar, sugary drinks, soda, fancy coffee drinks, and alcohol. All of those things break down into glucose and create weight gain around the middle.
Stick to high protein, healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds), and vegetables – specifically speaking, 50% of your dinner or lunch plate should be vegetables. Eat protein at every meal including breakfast.