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 Weight Loss And Body Fat: Are You An Apple or Pear?

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PostSubject: Weight Loss And Body Fat: Are You An Apple or Pear?   Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:13 pm



Although of us hear about the different body shapes most commonly described in terms of either "apple" or "pear, many don't understand the implications and, often times, the inherent dangers of possessing a certain shape.

Am I An Apple?

Let's start with the "apple" shape, or, as it is sometimes referred to, the android shape. These terms connote a more abdominally concentrated depositing of fat. Between the two fruit types, this is the more dangerous of the two. Several conditions have been linked to these high levels of abdominal obesity, such as: stroke, hypertension, type II diabetes, coronary artery disease, hyperuricemia, and in the case of women, polycystic ovary syndrome.

How Can I Decrease My Weight-Related Risks?

The best way to keep your abdominal obesity at safe levels would be to use the Waist-to-Hip Ratio. All you need is a tape measure to measure your waist at its narrowest point and your hips at it widest while standing. For example, if one were to have a 32" waist and 40" hips then your Waist-to-Hip Ratio would be 4/5 or 0.8. Generally speaking, any number higher than 0.8 for women translates as greater health risks; while for men, anything over 0.95 is when things start to become risky. So, keep a tape measure handy.

Am I A Pear?

The other body shape is commonly called a "pear" shape, or one may hear the term "gynoid". This essentially refers to a larger depositing of fat in the lower body, which is typically more common with women. However, men have steadily developed this fat distribution pattern in the past 30 years due to their unnatural exposure to estrogen-like compounds found in plastics, pesticides, and hormone-injected foods. This pattern increases the likelihood of prostate enlargement and cancer. While typically lacking the more life-threatening dangers found with abdominal obesity, the pear shaped are still likely to develop mechanical problems due to the excess mass on the lower half of the frame. So, don't let the insidiously rosy picture of the "pear" shape fool you, it is still ideal for one to minimize fat regardless of its location.

Why Does Fat Form On Certain Areas Of My Body?

At this point, you may be asking why does fat "fall where it falls." The reason why is largely dependent on genes and hormones, unfortunately. Some scientists even say that genes are no less than 20% responsible for one's fat distribution while some have even conjectured that as much as 50% of our fat distribution is determined by our genes. They are still uncertain as to exactly how much of a role one's genetic makeup plays in determining fat distribution, but it does play a considerable role, no doubt. One thing that is for certain is that the more "feminine" hormones, like estrogen and prolactin, often direct fat to the lower extremities, while a body with abnormally high corticosteroid production leads to abdominal obesity. As is the case with all types of obesity, an appropriate diet and exercise prescription will help you tremendously. So, grab a tape measure and figure out if you are at risk and make the necessary life adjustments. Your body will thank you later. I promise!

Ian Robertson has interests that range anywhere between playing drums to kayaking and kickboxing. Ian is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Advanced Weight Training Specialist, as well as a Certified Nutritionist. He emphasizes functional and innovative training techniques to add variety and interest to his shockingly effective workouts.
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