Body shapes are usually categorized into either an apple or pear shape. Females typically have a pear shaped body with a smaller upper body and waist and larger lower body in the hips and thighs. Males tend to usually have an apple fat distribution with more fat accumulating around the midsection. After menopause, apple shape can be more common in women.
Having a pear shaped body is thought to have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes compared to an apple shape. However, carrying extra fat around your lower body may still be a concern according to research from UC Davis.
Researchers found that gluteal fat cells can also increase inflammation and may increase risk for insulin resistance. This was surprising find because fat cells in the lower body were thought to not really cause any harm.
Where our bodies store fat is mostly dependent on genetics and sex hormones. Weight loss in general can help you get slimmer no matter where you store body fat.
However, you can’t spot reduce fat through exercise and diet. People will lose weight in different places on their body, and unfortunately you can’t direct the weight to come off a certain body area.
If you are looking to trim down and have a pear shaped figure, there really isn’t anything special you need to do for weight loss. See also: What is the best exercise for your body type?
Following a healthy diet, exercise, get enough sleep, water and lower stress level can be helpful for anyone, no matter their body shape, to lose weight.
Cardio exercise is a beneficial part of any weight loss or maintenance plan. Cardio exercise is a high calorie burner, and specifically moderate exercise can help the body shift into using fat as a fuel source.
Doing a combination of moderate and higher intensities can offer the benefits of each type of exercise. Higher intensity cardio is a higher calorie burner but relies more on carbohydrates as a fuel source.
Interval type workouts that have high intensity exercise followed by rest periods can rev up metabolic rates hours after exercise.
How much cardio you need for weight loss will be individual.
Basic guidelines recommend 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week, but weight loss will probably require more than this amount.
Both types of cardio exercise can help you shed fat; just remember you can’t guarantee it will come from where you want it to.
Resistance exercise can help your muscles stay strong and help you keep your lean mass during weight loss.
With a pear shaped body, sometimes people are concerned about resistance exercises with the legs or glutes because they don’t want to bulk up those areas.
However, people with a pear shape shouldn’t shy away from strengthening their lower body.
Strengthening your lower body can help increase muscle tone, and cardio exercise can increase your mitochondria in your muscles. These mitochondria are what your muscles use to break down fat as a fuel.
Resistance exercise doesn’t mean you have lift a lot of heavy weights. Body weight exercises and using moderate weights can still help you get toned. If hitting the weight room isn’t getting you motivated to workout, try doing some body weight exercises like ballet inspired exercises.
Remember, the overall goal shouldn’t just be reaching a number on the scale; it should also include strength and fitness levels.
While there are some websites that have a diet designed for weight loss with a pear shape body, there is not currently research supporting a specific diet that is better for weight loss for people with pear shaped bodies.
In other words, follow best practices for weight loss regardless if you have a pear or apple shape.
Be wary of diet claims that promise fast and easy weight loss results especially for problem areas like the hips or thighs. Remember, everyone loses weight differently.
Focus on getting a balanced diet with high amounts of high fiber complex carbohydrates, proteins and heart healthy fats.
Unfortunately you can’t spot reduce body fat through weight loss. Just because you may want the weight to come off your thighs doesn’t mean that’s how it will work exactly.
Fat loss is mostly genetically determined, and there’s a big variety of where people lose extra fat off their body.
Don’t let that discourage you if you are trying to lose weight or want to change your body shape.
Incorporating cardio and resistance exercise can help your body utilize fat as a fuel and strengthen muscle tone.
Don’t shy away from doing strengthening exercises in your low body because you don’t want to bulk up even more.
Stay away from gimmick diets that promise weight loss in certain parts of the body, and follow a healthy balanced diet for health.
References used in this article