Apple or Pear? What Your Body Shape Says About Your Health
You might be wondering why your body continues to store fat in certain areas, despite targeted exercises and healthy eating. Whilst this can be frustrating and lead to self-consciousness, there is very little that can be achieved through spot reduction exercises and experts suggest focusing on toning your body all over to reduce the visibility of fat in certain areas.
We have broken down the science behind fat distribution, what it can mean for your health and the most effective methods to achieve a slimmer and more contoured physique.
Apple or Pear?
The most common body shapes are often compared to fruits or everyday shapes, due to their similar form and appearance. For instance, the ‘pear’ shape is characterised by a narrow bust and shoulders, with the tendency to be bottom heavy with weight mainly present in buttocks, hips and thighs. In comparison; the characteristics of having an ‘apple’ shape are identified by larger shoulders, with the majority of weight carried in the chest and stomach area with slimmer legs and bottom half.
Whilst these areas of fat might be a cause for concern when it comes to body image and self-confidence, these fat deposits can also be a sign of more serious issues, from a hormone imbalance to a sign of stress or a lack of vital nutrients.
Types of fat
White fat cells typically accumulate in areas like the buttocks, thighs, abdomen, arms, and breasts and the fat distributed in these areas can also differ in composition therefore, making it harder to target and remove.
It is important to define the difference between visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat stored just under the surface of the skin and can often be felt on our arms and legs.
Fat around the abdominal area is known as visceral fat. The problem with fat stored in this area, is that it packs around the vital organs inside the body. This alone is a risk factor for conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and high triglycerides.
What influences fat distribution?
The reason why your body stores fat in certain places depends mainly on genetics. According to your DNA, you might have sensitivity to different hormones responsible for metabolism and fat distribution. Therefore, if you are apple shaped your body is susceptible to insulin, produced in response to refined sugars, and cortisol, which generates higher levels of fat and sugar in your bloodstream in correspondence to stressful situations. In comparison, if your areas of concerns are in the lower body, you are more likely to have a high concentration of estrogen. This hormone is responsible for fertility and is easily influenced by birth control pills and age. As a matter of fact, during the menopause your levels of estrogen diminish causing a shift in fat distribution, this is why you are likely to develop more fat around the stomach area as you age.
What to do?
Whilst you can’t ‘change’ your body shape through a healthy diet and workouts due to genetics, there are a number of ways that you can improve the appearance of those irritating pockets of fat by targeting the specific problem area with a combination of techniques.
If your fat tends to be more condensed in the abdominal section, you can try adding fibre to your diet and reducing refined sugars. If you are not very active but still consume refined sugars, high levels of insulin will be present in your blood due to cortisol production and fat will be stored in your problem areas. If you are pear shaped, your fat deposits are hard to undermine because of their resistance to shift but muscle exercises and strength training may help to improve the appearance of fat in these areas.
In addition to changes to your diet and workout program, WarmSculpting treatments can target critical areas using a precise laser, which eliminates fat cells naturally and permanently. WarmSculpting is the ideal treatment to target those hard to shift pockets of fat with no downtime.
To discover if WarmSculpting is right for you, visit our website to find your local provider.