Whilst we may not all be ‘in-shape’ we are all a certain shape, but which one? Female body shapes can be classified in many ways including banana, apple, pear and hourglass.
When it comes to weight gain and shape change, it’s likely that your breasts and belly will be accentuated or your buttocks, hips and thighs and so we talk mostly about apples or pears to describe body shape.
Body shape and weight issues
Being overweight is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. These days people focus very much on their BMI (Body Mass Index) score as an indicator of their health risk. However, scientists claim that where the weight is deposited might be as important a consideration as overall weight gain. That’s where body shape comes in.
The phenomenon of fat deposition is categorized by those who gain weight around their middle (central adiposity or apple-shaped) and those who carry fat around the hips, thighs and buttocks (pear-shaped). Studies show that the risks associated with the two different shapes vary considerably, with those who are pear-shaped at a lower risk of the diseases mentioned above.
The apple-shaped body
The apple-shaped woman carries most of her body fat in the abdominal region. These women generally have narrow hips, larger breasts and a relatively large waist. The trouble with this shape is that the woman has a greater amount of fat surrounding her internal organs (visceral fat). A person with this type of central obesity is more likely to have high levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). In addition, being overweight in this category predisposes you to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The higher the waist-to-hip ratio, the greater the risk! The same risks associated with central bulkiness also similarly affect men’s health. If fat is carried around the middle in a typically ‘pot-belly’ or ‘beer-belly’ style then it’s time to act! It has been proven time and again that the combination of healthy dieting and exercise is the most effective and sustainable way of losing weight.
The pear-shaped body
The pear-shaped woman carries most of her weight around her thighs, hips and buttocks. Generally pear-shaped women are curvy and have a smaller waist and a larger lower body. The risks for the overweight pear-shaped woman are quite different to the apple-shape. A pear-shaped woman will typically be more susceptible to cellulite and varicose veins – and studies indicate that eating disorders are also more common.
The effect of age on a woman’s shape
Unfortunately for women, after menopause, estrogen supplies begin to dwindle and we start storing fat around the abdomen, becoming more apple-shaped in the process. And to continue with this streak of bad luck, there’s no quick fix or wonder potion to help keep our bodies looking youthful.
You will probably not be able to get away with eating as much as you used to or the same foods as before without it showing around the middle. At this stage in life when it becomes more difficult to shed unwanted pounds it’s important to remember to keep as active and nimble as possible and to be more conscious of the food you consume.
Lose Weight the Healthy Way
Download the FREE Manna Weight Loss e-book and follow the program to lose weight the natural way. The Manna Blood Sugar Support tablets and the Manna Low GI Shake are ideal companions for the healthy weight loss program. Women in their menopause can also benefit by boosting their estrogen levels with the Manna Menopause Support, to stop menopausal symptoms and menopausal weight gain.