Your Body Shape Reveals Your Metabolism and Your Health

Is your body shape more like an APPLE with excess weight primarily ABOVE your belt, OR more like a PEAR with excess weight primarily BELOW your waist?   

Your answer gives you a lot of important health information!

What’s the significance of being shaped more like an apple, with excess weight concentrated primarily above the belt in the belly area, or more like a pear, with excess weight concentrated primarily below the belt in the hips, thighs and buttocks?

  • The location of excess body fat tells you a lot about what’s going on inside your body.

  • When fat accumulates in the abdomen and waist area it doesn’t just build up under the skin, it builds up inside the entire upper torso and accumulates around the heart, liver, kidneys, and intestine and can even begin to grow inside these organs restricting blood flow and interfering with function.

Are you apple shaped or pear shaped?  

If your waist is bigger around than your hips then you have an apple shape, if your hips are bigger around than your waist, then you have a pear shape.  If it is not instantly obvious by looking in the mirror, here is how to find out for sure. 

  1. Using a cloth tape measure, measure your waist at the level of your navel and your hips at their widest point.  Make sure you place the tape measure directly on your skin, do not measure over your clothes.  Make the tape snug on your skin, but don’t pinch the skin together.

  1. To insure accuracy, measure your waist and your hips 3 times each and get the average of the 3 measurements for both your waist and your hips.

  1. To determine your waist-to-hip ratio, divide the average waist measurement by the average hip measurement. (average waist measurement ÷ average hip measurement = (?)

FOR MEN: If the ratio is less than 1, a hip and leg fat storage pattern (pear shape) is indicated.  If the ratio is 1 or greater, an abdominal storage pattern (apple shape) is indicated. 

FOR WOMEN: If the ratio is 0.8 or less, a hip and leg pattern (pear shape) is indicated.  If the ratio is greater than 0.8, an abdominal storage pattern (apple shape) is indicated. 

  • Research has shown that the hormone insulin has a much greater influence on fat cells in the abdomen area.  For this reason people who metabolize insulin poorly and who develop insulin resistance are more likely to store abdominal fat and take on the shape of an apple.

Because excess insulin strongly drives abdominal fat accumulation, anyone with an apple shaped, big-belly profile is likely experiencing insulin related metabolic problems and is at greater immediate risk for high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.

  • If you have an apple shape or abdominal fat storage pattern there is no doubt that if you want to protect, preserve, and improve your health, NOW is the time to take specific action to bring your waist-to-hip ratio into the healthy range. 

  • The further your measurement is from 1 if you are male and from 0.8 if you are female, the higher your risk of developing a number of very nasty insulin related health problems.

While still insulin related, fat that accumulates in the lower body is not as directly driven by an underlying insulin imbalance, plus fat distributed below the belt does not encroach on vital organs.

Below-the-belt fat accumulation, resulting in the pear shape, is not as immediately health threatening as above-the-belt fat accumulation.

Below-the-belt fat accumulation is still a problem, it’s just a problem with a longer fuse.

  • Since fat cells throughout the entire body respond to insulin, if fat is accumulating anywhere, metabolically, excess insulin is causing it.

  • With time, as insulin resistance worsens, people who store fat below the belt will start accumulating it above the belt too and they will start experiencing all of the more immediate health threatening problems their apple shaped friends likely experience right now.