Why Being Pear-Shaped Is Good For You (and the Body Shape That’s Unhealthiest)

Despite what the media tells us, there are few people in the world who have the “perfect” body shape — and you’ve probably wondered what you can do to alter yours. From pears to apples to hourglasses, we all carry weight a little bit differently. And there are certain body shapes that are actually healthier than others.

The healthiest body shape: The pear

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet | Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

If you find you hold most of your body fat in your lower half, you probably see yourself as having a pear-shaped body type. ScienceDaily notes it’s more common for women to have this body shape, as fat often accumulates around the hips and thighs rather than through the midsection. And while many ladies try to slim down their lower body, it’s actually healthier to carry weight here rather than higher up on the body.

When fat is carried lower on the body, it’s less likely to travel through the body to other areas, Daily Mail Online notes. This means that while you may be more likely to notice cellulite on the thighs with a pear shape, the fat is less likely to surround vital organs and threaten your health. Additionally, ScienceDaily notes females are more likely to build fat right below the skin, while males (who are more likely to have an apple body shape) are more likely to gain fat deeper in the body. The fat that’s accumulated deeper is typically more harmful.

The unhealthiest body shape: The apple

Adele

Adele singing | Joern Pollex/Getty Images for September Management

As stated before, men are more likely to accumulate fat in their midsection, and this results in an apple-shaped body. Daily Mail Online notes apple shapes are much more likely to develop heart disease and other issues with their internal organs because of the visceral fat that is stored deep in the center of their body. Additionally, fat that’s stored in the midsection is constantly breaking down and circulating back through the blood, which doesn’t typically occur in those who store fat in their lower half. This fat circulation in apple shapes can increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you’re this body type, you may also notice that you experience digestive problems. IBS, constipation, and water retention are common issues for those with an apple shape. It’s wise to maintain a diet high in protein and fiber to keep blood sugar levels at bay and to lessen any digestive distress you may have. Additionally, a high fiber/high protein lifestyle will help you cut down on life-threatening belly fat and water weight you may be holding on to.

What body type are you? Here’s how to tell

Checking waist measurements

Checking waist measurements | iStock.com/champja

Not sure if you’re an apple, a pear, or another fruit altogether? Here’s how you can tell, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center:

Small-waisted body types include:

Neat hourglass: A defined bust and smaller waist are common with neat hourglasses. With this shape, you’ll notice a traditional hourglass shape with smaller hips and a smaller bottom than more curvy folks with this body type.

Full hourglass: A full hourglass typically has wider shoulders, a full bust, a small waist, and a larger behind as well as large rounded thighs.

Pear: Pears primarily carry most of their weight below their waistline. Their shoulders are narrower than their hips, they have a small bust, their waist is defined, and their hips and thighs are full.

Lean column: Lean column types are small and don’t have too much definition through their body. They have narrow shoulders, a small bust, a small waist that’s not too defined, and narrow hips.

Large-waisted body types include:

Apple: As stated previously, apple types carry their weight through their midsection. They have round shoulders, a larger bust, fullness around the middle with an undefined waist, thin legs, and a flatter backside.

Rectangle: Rectangle shapes are similar to lean column shapes, but they’re typically a bit larger overall. They have a straight shoulder line, a ribcage that goes straight down, very little definition in the waist, and a stomach and hips of average size.

Inverted triangle: Inverted triangle shapes also typically have larger waistlines and little definition between the hips and waist. Their bottom half is also smaller than the top with square shoulders.

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