If you're looking for foods that go straight to your hips and bum, you may be disappointed. Body fat mass depends largely on your diet and eating habits. However, body fat distribution is determined by sex hormones, genetics and epigenetics.
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Unfortunately, there are no foods that increase hips size. Your body fat is distributed based on your production of certain hormones as well as on your genetics and epigenetics.
Foods for Hips Enlargement
Given the popularity of hourglass-type figures, many people may want to consume foods that can increase hips size. Essentially, these are foods that would go straight to your hips rather than to your stomach and other areas.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, body fat distribution that's centered around the hips and thighs is known as a pear-shaped body. This pattern is more common in women compared to men.
Unfortunately, Harvard Health states that there are no foods that go straight to your hips and bum. According to a May 2012 study in the Biology of Sex Differences, the way your body stores fat is based on other factors, such as sex hormones, genetics and epigenetics. Substantial amounts of exercise, excessive food consumption, diabetes and estrogen production can all play a role in the size of your hips, thighs and buttocks.
Female vs. Male Hips Size
Larger amounts of gluteofemoral fat are stored in women than men. One of the main reasons for this is the production of the sex hormone estrogen.
It's well known that women's bodies produce estrogen. However, both men and women's bodies produce estrogen. The male body simply produces far less of this hormone and significantly more testosterone. That's why men tend to be leaner and have more lean mass and greater physical strength than women.
Age-related changes in the production of estrogen can also affect how fat is stored in your body. Essentially, women are less likely to store fat in the lower half of their bodies as they undergo menopause and their estrogen levels drop.
At this point in life, most women would be more likely to store fat around their stomachs in the form of visceral fat, like men. However, the study in the Biology of Sex Differences reported that this change may be alterable through external factors, like hormone replacement therapy.
You should also be aware that while estrogen is important in body fat distribution between men and women, it's not the only hormonal factor. According to a June 2015 study in the Aging Cell Journal, other hormones, such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), can also substantially affect body fat accumulation and fat distribution in both genders.
Similarly, a May 2012 study published in the Obesity Journal reported that estrogen levels along with testosterone, androstenedione and a protein carrier that's known as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) all have the potential to affect body fat accumulation and distribution. However, this study specifically focused on women. The same hormones may not have the same impact on men.
Read more: The 7 Principles of Fat Loss
Epigenetics, Lifestyle and Hips Size
According to the National Institute of Health, epigenetic changes refer to influencing factors that can turn certain genes in your body on or off. The study in the Biology of Sex Differences states that these epigenetic influences can actually play a major role in determining body fat distribution.
Factors like your activity levels, quality of your diet, how many calories you're consuming and other lifestyle factors can all be considered epigenetic influences. This means that although there's no specific food for hips enlargement, your dietary choices and caloric intake can both play a role in your hips size.
As you would expect, processed foods, junk foods and other fat-rich products can contribute to weight gain. However, there's no guarantee that these foods will go straight to your hips and bum.
In fact, unless you're underweight, increasing your body fat is generally considered to be bad for your health. Consuming larger amounts of such products is can be detrimental due to the unhealthy trans fats and saturated fats you'd likely be ingesting.
You should be aware of the fact that epigenetic changes aren't limited to you, personally. These gene modifications may have affected one of your parents or grandparents. Basically, this means that epigenetic changes can potentially be inherited.
However, by the same token, keep in mind that regular exercise and sports can also act as epigenetic influences. If you're unhappy with your body fat distribution, you may be best off incorporating specific exercises into your day-to-day routine rather than trying to consume specific foods for hips enlargement.
Health Benefits of Larger Hips
Hourglass and pear-shaped body types are certainly popular for aesthetic reasons, but they also have health benefits. This is specifically due to the type of fat cells in the gluteofemoral part of your body.
Harvard Health Publishing states that gluteofemoral fat cells tend to produce beneficial chemicals in your body — specifically leptin and adiponectin. These fat cells are important as they can help remove harmful fatty acids from your bloodstream. Fatty acids come from certain foods you consume.
Other fat cells in your upper body also absorb these unhealthy fatty acids. However, they tend to re-release them back into your bloodstream when you undergo an adrenaline response or experience other types of stress.
Unlike the fat cells in your thighs, hips and buttocks, the fat cells in your upper body are also more likely to produce harmful chemicals. These can produce increased inflammation and other negative responses within your body. Visceral fat, for example, has been linked to a higher risk of obesity, metabolic disorders, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.
All of this may not sound particularly important for your health. However, body fat in your thighs, hips and buttocks is thought to help reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. Larger amounts of gluteofemoral fat are also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and less chance of early death.
- Obesity Journal: "Postmenopausal Sex Hormones in Relation to Body Fat Distribution"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Big Thighs May Be Wise"
- Biology of Sex Differences: "Sex Differences in Human Adipose Tissues – the Biology of Pear Shape"
- National Institutes of Health: "What Is Epigenetics?"
- Aging Cell: "FSH Regulates Fat Accumulation and Redistribution in Aging Through the GαI/ca2+/Creb Pathway"
- Obesity: "Associations of Visceral and Abdominal Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue With Markers of Cardiac and Metabolic Risk in Obese Adults"