Eat Right For Your Body Shape

All body types are unique and we know for sure that one size does not fit all when it comes to healthy weight loss. But have you ever wondered why people store fat in different parts of their body? It may surprise you to know that there is a relationship between different body types, hormones and ultimately weight.

Hormonal imbalances will cause distortion of accumulated fat in different locations around the body. An imbalance on the inside will show up on the outside.

Knowing your shape and how it functions in relation to your hormones is an important first step in understanding your weight loss challenges.

The Pear

Pears have larger lower bodies and smaller upper bodies – storing fat on the hips, thighs, and bottom. They have a higher level of the female hormone oestrogen which makes the weight in those areas harder to budge. They generally lose weight around the middle first which is a good thing because many diseases are linked to belly fat.

Excess estrogen causes more fat production or storage which gives women a ready supply of fuel during childbirth and breastfeeding which is why the fat here is more stubborn. There is a tendency towards more cellulite in this area too which makes it difficult for the blood supply to reach fat stores and thus the fat can’t be broken down and eliminated.

  • Water retention can be common in this type so avoiding high salt foods is important.
  • Consume high-quality meat that is pasture-fed and not pumped with growth hormones.
  • Beef and dairy naturally have high hormone levels so they should be kept to a minimum.
  • Fruits help to remove toxins from your body that slow down metabolism.
  • Green tea is very helpful for this type.
  • Chillies can light a metabolic fire.
  • Soy products should be avoided.
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale remove excess oestrogen from the body. The focus for the pear has to be high fibre foods which are also vital in removing excess oestrogen. Pesticides are oestrogenic so fruits and vegetables should be organic where possible or washed with vinegar or in an ozone machine to remove them.
The Apple

Apples carry fat around their middle but generally have a slim lower body. If you’re an apple, you’ll find it easier to drop pounds than a pear does because abdominal fat breaks down more quickly than fat stored in the butt and thigh area – perhaps because abdominal fat is mobile and enters the bloodstream. Unfortunately, though, it circulates around your organs, affecting their ability to function properly and increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. That’s because visceral fat surrounds your kidneys, pancreas, and liver causing blood sugar to spike while at the same time creating insulin resistance and inflammation. In other words, your body has an excess amount of sugar floating around, and it’s no longer able to process it all.

The fat around the middle may be totally related to the hormone cortisol which is our stress hormone. Trying to lose weight with drastic calorie-cutting diets may actually cause you to add kilos since this is a stress to the body. Apples tend to crave fatty and salty foods because they provide the most stimulation to the adrenal glands, which further increase cortisol, which ultimately slows down metabolism and leads to belly fat and increased weight size.

  • To combat this, apples should consume foods that are low in salt and only have healthy fats (nuts, avos, olive oil and coconut oil) which also decrease inflammation.
  • Cortisol also floods the body with sugar. When your body does not use it for energy, it gets stored as fat. It is vital that the focus is on Low Glycaemic load foods.
  • Only eat whole Carbs in combination with proteins to avoid sugar spikes.
  • Cruciferous foods and legumes may cause bloating and digestive discomfort so it is quite valuable to avoid.
  • It may also suit the Apple body type to have a few smaller meals throughout the day instead of big meals and they should be fibre rich.
The Banana

Also known as the ruler, this body shape is characterised by having narrow hips and an undefined waist with an overall rectangular shape. Foods which are high in protein will help to add muscle mass and shape. The thyroid hormone is involved here because generally, bananas have a high metabolism which is controlled by the thyroid.

Since the ruler is less likely to gain weight, attention is not always paid to eating healthy foods. There may be a tendency to eat too many sweet treats and fast foods. But no matter how thin you are, it’s still important to follow a healthy diet.

  • Focus on a nutrient-rich diet of unrefined whole foods, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
  • You should incorporate foods with healthy fats (avocado, almonds, salmon, etc.)
  • Make sure to introduce some plant-based proteins in addition to animal protein into your diet.
  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big meals can also be helpful since a higher metabolism may lead to hunger pangs all day and ultimately excessive calorie consumption.
The Hourglass

If you are an Hourglass your body will have a figure 8 shape. Your bust and hips are about the same circumference, and your waist is narrow. While this is perceived as the most desirable body shape, hourglass-figured women tend to gain weight evenly throughout their body. Their problem areas are the backs of the upper arms, inner and outer thighs, the saddlebag area which is below the hips, outside of the upper thigh, and the lower abdomen.

With this shape, you need to have a good balance of all the hormones. Women with elevated androgen levels (male hormones) will have a tendency to put on upper body weight. To maintain the natural curve enhancement, you need male and female hormones in good balance, and for the smaller body waist, to keep blood sugar in check and low insulin levels.

  • This is done by avoiding refined foods (white bread, pasta, white rice, and all-white flour cakes, pies, pastries, and biscuits).
  • Restrict junk foods, sugar-filled foods, sweets, unhealthy fats and fried foods, high sodium and high-calorie foods.
  • Typically, fat from Omega 6 fats, like the kind found in vegetable oils and processed grains and foods, is stored more in the waist or belly. Fat from Omega 3 fats like, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, and dairy, and free-range eggs are very helpful in hormone balance.
  • Go for fresh foods, lots of greens, fruits, lean meats and whole grains.

Promote hormonal balance. The hormone system is very sensitive to environmental chemicals, especially growth hormones and pesticides in the foods we eat. These have the ability to mimic hormones and as they accumulate in our body and overburden our system, the ability to burn fat diminishes.

More than the other types, you need to lose inches rather than kilos to maintain curves, which makes exercise important here.

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What’s your shape- Desi Horsman

Your body type may be a useful key to help figure out what’s best to eat, but these are general rules and you will need to figure out what works best for your individual body chemistry.