How to deal with your "fat shape"

I've always been jealous of women who gain weight on the bottom - thighs, butt, hips. You know those women who can look like a skinny chick in a face-only photo? And whose body, even when overweight, still conforms to society's idea of "sexy." How unfair is that?

I'm completely the opposite. I think half the weight I need to lose is in my face. It's just freakin' ginormous. There, and my tummy. Those are the places where all my fat accumulate. I can put on a pair of size 12 slacks; they fit fine on my thighs and butt but I can't zip them up over my stomach.

The reason for this disparity is your body type, or how genetics determine where your body is going to hold onto fat. The two primary "fat shapes" are Apple and Pear. According to Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, "The apple shape body type are women who typically have belly fat, a round face, a hump on their upper back and relatively thin legs." (I'm definitely an Apple.) Pears are the ones who have all their fat in the thighs, butts,  and hips.

The bad news: there's nothing you can do to change your "fat shape." But understanding it can help you plan a more effective weight loss strategy.

According to several different sources, the ideal program for an Apple is a diet that is low in complex carbs and high in healthy fats. Apples should develop an exercise routine that includes a lot of cardio, especially a type that incorporates interval training. Belly fat is also exacerbated by the hormone cortisol. Decreasing the amount of cortisol in your body can be achieved by stabilizing blood sugar levels and destressing workouts like yoga or T'ai Chi.

The best diet for a Pear is totally the opposite - low in fat (especially saturated fat found in dairy and red meat) and high in complex carbs. Pears benefit from circuit training style workouts - a combo of cardio and resistance.

The good news for me? It's supposedly easier for an Apple to lose weight because visceral fat (the type stored in the abdomen) breaks down more quickly than the subcutaneous fat (the kind that forms in the butt and thighs). The bad news for me? I ain't never gonna have a waist or a booty. :)

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