Do you know the best way to get the body you want and deserve? Embrace the body you already have. The key to getting the ideal body shape is by doing the right exercises and proper diet plan for you.
Your body type is the key to figuring out the best diet and exercise program.
says Marie Savard, MD, an ABC News medical contributor.
No matter your body shape, you can lose inches especially from your problem areas and transform your body. Here, we can show you what diet and exercise can make the most of your shape.
What is Body Type?
The shape of your body is based on the size of your physical features and the balance of proportions of your body. These four shapes are Ruler, hourglass, Apple, and Pear which describes the skeletal structure. In terms of vital statistics, there is no universal definition for each body shape but it can give you an understanding of the overall balance of your body and help you determine which areas of your body you need to target with resistance training. For example, Apple shapes have amazing legs but are top-heavy and struggle with their upper bodies, most particularly the belly fat.
Once apple shapes has lost weight, resistance training targeting the lower body will help balance the body shape. Pear shapes are bottom heavy, having a smaller upper body compared to their lower body. Pear shapes can often flaunt amazing abs but might tend to struggle with larger thighs.
Most of us do not fit perfectly within just one of these body type groups but instead have qualities of at least two body types. While we may not fit into one specific body type exactly, we will fit into one body type better than the rest and have a predominant body shape. Men and women tend to have different body shapes. Men are often described as having a rectangular or cone shape body, while women are typically described as having an hourglass, pear, apple, or ruler shape body. The goal is to move away from the stereotypical definition of your body type and find a more desirable combination of two body types. Remember that although genetics do play a huge part, you must learn to work with them and not against them. Through hard work and dedication, a proper Diet and Weightloss program, it is your healthy choices that help you become the best version of you.
Can You Change Your Body Type?
This is a difficult question as most body types are genetic traits, the forms in which we are were born and genes do not change. However, many things in our body do change as we age, such as your hormonal activity and metabolism. As we age, it gets harder to lose fat, particularly in the stomach or waist region. As a general rule, metabolism slows down as we get older, causing most of us to slow down our physical activity levels down as well. This can be improved by continuing to maintain cardio and weight training as we age.
Determine Your Body Shape
Before you can perform the right exercises and diet for your body, you need to determine which type of body shape you have. Here’s how to figure out your body type and adjust your diet and exercises accordingly.
- Pay attention to where you gain weight. Each body type is prone to gain weight in specific areas. Knowing where you gain weight the most, can often clue you in yourself about your shape.
- Stand in front of a mirror while wearing little as possible, as it can make your shape and will not give you an accurate vision of your body’s natural curves.
- Focus on the shape of your torso, and pay attention to the silhouette that extends from the smallest part of your waist to your rib cage and hips.
- Determine which parts of your body are the largest and which are the narrowest. List down and measure your shoulders, bust, waist, hips, and thighs in inches.
- Note your “problem” areas to determine which parts of the body you have the hardest time complementing.
- Note your best features to determine what your best assets are.
4 Common Female Body Types
Ruler Body Shape
Women with a ruler shape tend to be on the slim side with no large differences between the size of their hips, waists, and shoulders. The torso and upper body are the same width as your hips, with little waist definition. Rulers tend to put on weight in their stomach and backside, while able to maintain more slender arms and legs.
Hourglass Body Shape
Women with an hourglass shape are often envied amongst the body shapes for its desirable shape. This is because hourglasses have well-proportioned upper and lower bodies, with a distinctively narrow waist. The torso and hips are approximately the same width, with waist definition. However, if you are an hourglass, you may find that you tend to gain weight all over your body, particularly in your hips and chest area.
Apple Body Shape
Women with an apple shape are generally bigger on the top half of their bodies than on their bottom. The torso and upper body is wider than your hips, with little or no waist definition. Most commonly they have slim hips, large chest, and stomach. You have the appearance of being round, slightly wide around the waist line. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the backside.
Pear Body Shape
Women with a pear shape generally have larger lower bodies and smaller upper bodies. The torso and upper bodies are smaller than your hips and waist definition. Pears usually have small chests and flat stomachs. If you are a pear, you will notice that your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and tend to gain weight on your lower body below the waist.
Make the Most of Your Body Shape
Though you may not be 100% satisfied with your shape like many others, there are ways you can improve your body’s characteristics. Forget about squeezing yourself into one main body type and look at the bigger picture. If your overall figure is an hourglass but you carry some extra weight around your waist, find ways to slim that area down as well as follow the guidelines for your main body type. Using the guide below may help you improve your diet, aid in toning your body, and build more self-confidence.
If you are a Ruler
A woman who is has a ruler shaped body will be able to perform any activity they want to. Cardio will help you lose weight in problem areas, such as the buttocks and Stomach. If you want to build muscle, resistance exercise is the way to go. To ensure that you build a symmetrical body shape, all muscle groups should be routinely given a workout. Strength training can help create curves and add definition by building muscle.
Mix up your lifting routines with a few days of moderate-intensity cardio to keep your heart healthy and boost your endurance.
Rulers can benefit from these exercises:
- step classes
- walking or jogging on an incline
- bench presses and shoulder presses
Focus on low-intensity cardio and spot training with weights.
A Ruler’s Diet
Start with the foundation of healthy fats such as avocado, fish, olive oil, nuts, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, veggies, and beans. Start with a foundation of complex carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice, and buckwheat. Also supplement with low-fat dairy and lots of fresh vegetable juices, leafy greens and high-fiber fruits.
Try to limit heavy meats, cheese, salty snacks, protein bars, and caffeinated beverages.
If you are an Hourglass
If you are have an hourglass figure, and then you should be focusing on both cardio and resistance exercises. Cardio will assist in keeping your weight in check, while resistance exercises will help to maintain balance between your upper and lower body. Vary your repetitions and keep your resistance weights light so as not to build too much muscle mass.
Hourglass figures can benefit from these exercises:
- Slow jogging
- Stationary biking (with light resistance)
- Jumping jacks
- Bicep curls
- Shoulder presses
An Hourglass’ Diet
Start with a foundation of raw vegetables and fruits, then supplement with whole grain cereals such as oatmeal, quinoa, and buckwheat. Include a daily serving of lean protein like Chicken breast, and plenty of spices.
Try to limit High-fat meats, caffeinated beverages, dairy, refined carbohydrates, and sweets.
If you are an Apple
If you are an apple, you will want to focus on aerobic training in order to slim down and lose body fat. By working on the lower half of your body, you can help balance out your chest and shoulders. Exercise is also crucial because it can speed up your metabolism and increase your calorie burn. Doing a lot of crunches, while great for strengthening abs muscles, isn’t going to get rid of any extra inches around your middle.
Look to perform exercises that are low-resistance and involve low repetitions. Try at least three 40-minute cardio sessions a week such as running, biking, or swimming to help build lean muscles in your lower body and balance the top half. Do some total-body strength training to help tighten your core and burn fat at least twice a week.
Apple figures can benefit from these exercises:
- Stair climbing
- Walking on an incline
- Leg squats
- Leg presses
- Dead lifts
An Apple’s Diet
Start with a foundation of clean proteins such as chicken, lean beef, pork, and fish. Supplement with healthy fats such as eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, nut buttes, coconut oil, olive oil, and full-fat cheeses. Also include plenty of leafy greens like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. Look for fiber-rich, complex carbs, like beans, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Eat foods low on the glycemic index such as lentils, eggplant and hummus rather than simple carbohydrates like bread, pasta and cereal.
Try to limit starchy carbs to one meal a day and low glycemic index fruits like berries, Coffee or caffeinated beverages, Sugary refined carbohydrates, like sports drinks, store-bought energy bars or sweetened yogurt.
If you are a Pear
If you are a pear you will want to focus on exercises that will balance out the top half of your body with the bottom half of your body. You will also want to try to slim down your lower half of your body. Focus on aerobic activities like running and biking that work your lower body and torch calories. Resistance exercises will help build your upper body. Use light weights and perform high repetitions of exercises.
Try to do at least three 30-minute cardio sessions a week mixed with two strength-training workouts to build your upper body, which will help balance the appearance of a bottom-heavy figure.
Pear figures can benefit from these exercises:
- Cycling (with low resistance)
- Elliptical training
- Jumping rope
- Leg lifts and dips
- Chin ups
- Shoulder presses
A Pear’s Diet
Start with the foundation of a diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereals, lentils and beans. Lean protein such as chicken or fish and fruits and veggies will help melt off excess pounds. The best way for pears to lose inches is to watch their fat intake, it’s really easy for your body to store the fat that you’ve eaten, but it takes a lot more energy to store carbs and protein. Focus on fiber such as whole wheat pasta, figs and edamame.
Try to limit High-fat dairy such as cheese and cream, non-organic produce and meats, caffeine, alcohol, unfermented soy (tofu).
What you should know about eating for your body type?
When you start eating for your body type, you will be amazed at how quickly your body will adapt to your body type’s eating plan. Energy will improve and weight will come off naturally. Regardless of your body type, body composition, or overall health status, your ability to handle carbohydrate-dense foods is greatly improved the more active you become. This means that the best time to eat a majority of those starchy or sugary foods is when you’re most physically active. Depending on your body type, your carb tolerance and needs are different and your strategy should be different to match.
Learn to Love your body by:
#Eating more often. Try eating three meals per day plus two snacks in between. Also, try getting a protein shake in before or after a workout.
#Stay Hydrated. Water is one of the most important nutrients we need to keep our body cool and hydrated. Water also helps up stay full during the day.
#Don’t skimp on carbs or fat. Eat complex carbs like whole grain breads, pasta, brown rice, potatoes and legumes, plus healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado, this type of fast is the good kind.
#Make sure you get enough protein. Ideally you can eat up to 2 g per kg of body weight, but make sure it is lean.
#Decrease cardio. Focus more on strength training the large muscle groups. Exercises like dead lifts, squats, leg press and bench press work multiple muscle groups. Also, increase your weights and lower the repetitions as you continue to progress.
#Avoid starch and sugar. Try to get carbs from vegetables and fruit and avoid starchy foods like breads, pasta, rice, potatoes and desserts as much as possible. The focus of this diet should be lean protein, veggies, fruit and some lean dairy.
#Get moving. To burn fat and boost metabolism, high intensity interval training and weight training is more helpful. Jump on the treadmill for a great workout instead of yoga.
#Work out the upper body with weights. By building up the upper body, this body type can achieve the gorgeous hourglass look when combined with the right diet.
So, Which Body Shape are You?