While every body shape is different, key elements make it easy to separate certain characteristics into body types. Knowing your body type gives you greater insight into how your body works as you digest food and exercise for weight loss. If you carry your weight in your middle, you're an apple type. Apple shapes have stubborn and even dangerous belly fat that makes it difficult to lose weight when consuming certain types of foods. Lose weight according to your apple type for greater success.
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Reduce the amount of sugar you consume and avoid sugary treats, such as soda, candy and refined carbohydrates. Carrying your weight in your middle often means that your body doesn't regulate body sugar well, Marie Savard notes in her book "Apples & Pears: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness." The result is an excess of insulin working to stabilize blood sugar. High insulin is often an earmark for weight gain, since the body doesn't metabolize sugar properly. By reducing the amount of sugar you eat, your insulin levels lower and your body stops storing fat and sugar, instead metabolizing it efficiently.
Eat food high in fiber. Fiber takes longer to digest, which helps to stabilize both blood sugar and insulin levels for proper metabolizing. High-fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils. Fill your plate with fiber before indulging in foods which might be higher in sugar, such as white bread or pasta.
Participate in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on a daily basis. Excess fat around your belly needs to be burned away. Dance, step aerobics, running, swimming and any other activity that raises your heart rate helps to burn your body's stores of excess fat for a svelter figure.
Target your midsection when doing resistance training. Strength training and aerobic exercise go hand-in-hand to help you tone and whittle your middle. While aerobic exercise helps to burn away excess fat, strength training gives you a stronger core, resulting in a more toned look, better posture and continued calorie-burning. Proper crunches, Pilates and yoga all help to improve your core muscles.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor for a physical. Dr. Savard tells CBS News that apple-shaped individuals are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. All three disorders list overweight or obesity as a risk factor, so it's important that you're tested and work with your doctor to define a diet and exercise program that works efficiently and safely for you and your individual shape.
- CBS News; Are You A Pear Or An Apple?;Tatiana Morales; February 2009
- "Time"; The Science of Appetite; Carolyn Sayre; May 2007
- "USA Today"; Apple-shaped? Dieters' Destiny May be in Their Physiology; Nanci Hellmich; May 2007
- "Apples & Pears: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness"; Marie Savard; 2007