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Changing body shape with nutrition

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  • Changing body shape with nutrition

    I am three and a half months Paleo, and loving it (8lb weight loss, big decrease in weekly time commitment to working out). I have always considered myself to have an "apple" shaped body type, and longed for a "pear." My question is...can what I eat change my body type? Can certain foods affect where my body stores its fat? Discuss...

  • #2
    If where you store your body fat is not just a genetic predisposition, but affected by your hormones, and your hormones are out of whack, then yes, it could change the fat distribution. If you take regular measurements, you will notice a change sooner than visually.
    Depression Lies


    • #3
      It seems that eating a healthier diet leads to burning visceral fat, which is what gives people the apple shape. This fat is underneath the muscles, around the organs, so it leads to a bigger, rounder, belly, but doesn't necessarily make you "flabby".

      Subcutaneous fat is the type just under your skin that you can pinch. In women, it's usually stored in nice places like the hips and butt. Primal eating also seems to help balance hormone levels which could lead to a better fat distribution pattern. For example if a woman had elevated testosterone, it could lead her to have a more "male-pattern" fat distribution.

      I really like this blog post from Melissa McEwen: Why Women Need Fat | Melissa McEwen's on food anthropology, economics, and culture

      Disclaimer: All of the above is based on heresay. I do not have any personal experience to cite. I might be totally wrong.


      • #4
        why would you ever want to be a pear... i lift weights to fake being an hourglass! i am not sure, but have been told that having high estrogen levels make it more challenging for women to lose weight off of their hips and thighs- so maybe it is genetic as well as hormonal?


        • #5
          Originally posted by snowkid03 View Post
          why would you ever want to be a pear... i lift weights to fake being an hourglass! i am not sure, but have been told that having high estrogen levels make it more challenging for women to lose weight off of their hips and thighs- so maybe it is genetic as well as hormonal?
          because pears are where it's at


          • #6
            Total novice here, but it seems to me that the sprint and high intensity LHTs are going to change the way your body distributes fat for the better. Just keep your diet right and be honest with yourself if you are slacking in that regard, and get your sprints in and train with heavy weights on your lower body LHTs... In my green banana opinion!
            Happy Wifey and NEW MOM!
            Pre-preg weight: 130
            Current: 145 (eek!)
            Goal: ??? <-- whatever it takes to get rid of this tire!
            Started Primal in May '12.
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            • #7
              You have a natural body shape that is the result of your DNA, but your hormones affect how your fat is distributed. Dominance of different hormones result in different weight distribution patterns. For example:

              Cortisol: makes weight gather around the trunk and belly - basically around your organs. The legs and arms are thin in comparison. (A distended belly without too much excess fat around the back of the ribs is more likely due to a food sensitivity.)

              Estrogen increases fat storage in the body, which results in more fat stored in the female body. People that tend to put on fat around the hips and upper legs, yet are relatively slender in the waist and upper body tend to have a problem of excess estrogen, or a problem of estrogen not being balanced adequately with progesterone.

              When women reach menopause and the estrogen produced by ovaries declines, fat migrates from their buttocks, hips and thighs to their waists and is later stored in the belly.

              Men have less subcutaneous fat in their faces due to the effects of testosterone. Testosterone also reduces fat because it gives rise to a fast metabolism. Males generally deposit fat around waists and abdomens (producing an "apple shape") due to the lack of estrogen.

              Insulin: People that tend to get fat all over - fat neck, fat ankles, fat wrists, fat back of the hand - tend to be fat due to a problem controlling insulin.

              THere's an area of research called Biotyping, which creates an individualised diet for people based on their fat distribution patterns. The goal is to balance their hormones. It seems oversimplisitic to me, but probably worth a look: BioSignature Modulation: Weight Loss Through Hormone Balance | Institute for Optimum Nutrition

              I think eating a clean diet with lots of healing foods (bone broth etc) will go a long way towards balancing your hormones and helping you have the body you're supposed to
              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

              - Ray Peat


              • #8
                I have to do everything myself


                • #9
                  Well, I have the same exact body shape after a year but I do notice that my stomach has a lot less fat if I sprint once a week and it's even flatter if I eat fewer carbs.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                  • #10
                    Could eating more omega 3's help you become a pear shape?


                    • #11
                      Develop glutes and quads in the gym.

                      Heavy lifting seems to burn belly fat on women.

                      Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!