Someone with a “pear shape” carries extra weight around the hips. A study at the Children’s Hospital in Boston found that pear-shaped individuals have lower levels of insulin than individuals who carry extra weight around their abdomens (“apple shape”). What this means is good news for the pear-shaped: they can lose weight both through restricted fats and restricted carbohydrates. However, while losing weight around the hips is easier, making a plan and sticking to it is key.
- Eat fewer fats and simple carbohydrates. Instead, eat lean foods, including chicken, turkey and fish, as well as slow-burning carbohydrates like black beans and kidney beans. Include vegetables at every meal and eat only fresh fruit (no juice or dried fruit). Banish foods that serve no healthy purpose, such as chips, candy, soda, white bread and fast-food meals.
- Set a calorie goal. Use a weight calculator to determine your calorie needs and to calculate the calories you’re consuming. Make it a daily goal to meet but not exceed your daily calories.
- Exercise frequently: aim for five or more exercise sessions per week. Your exercise should be at least 30 minutes with little or no weight and high intensity. If you aren’t used to exercise, start with a half-hour of walking, then work up to intervals of walking and jogging. If you have difficulty motivating yourself, sign up for an aerobics class or other guided fitness program. If you enjoy sports like tennis, basketball or soccer, they are all excellent for burning fat.
- Perform resistance training to tone your upper body and even out the appearance of your pear shape. Toned shoulders and a V-shaped torso will make your hips look smaller. Add resistance training to your workout two or three times per week. Some fitness classes include a resistance training component.
Tips & Warnings
Planning ahead makes healthy eating easier. Determine which combination of foods best meets your caloric needs and schedule your meals. Make a shopping list with healthy foods and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to eat the same thing every day, if you enjoy it and it’s healthy, until you reach your goal. Find a friend to exercise and compare meal ideas with. You’ll keep each other honest and motivated.