Written by METABOLIC EFFECT
The shape of women’s bodies are determined by a number of factors: what we eat (and don’t), how we move, environmental inputs, our hormonal environment and genetics.
What is fascinating is that by looking at the shape of a woman’s body, we may begin to decipher clues about what hormonal influences may be prevalent. From there, we can harness the power of lifestyle (with nutrition, movement, exercise, sleep, leisire/relaxation & supplementation) for support.
Do you fit in any of the following categories?
Apple shape/Cortisol dominance: apple shapes tend to carry weight in the middle, while the arms and legs remain skinny.
High, unopposed cortisol will strip muscle in the periphery (arms/legs) and deposit fat in the middle.
If insulin is high as well, the look can become quite puffy, as if there is a layer of water underneath the skin.
Women in this category would do well to add in weight training to raise HGH and testosterone, both of which will oppose cortisol.
Daily walks in nature also blunt the effects of cortisol.
In those for whom high insulin may also be an issue, watching carbohydrate consumption will be key.
Pear shape/Estrogen dominance: pear shapes carry weight in the lower body (glutes/hips/legs). In these areas, estrogen receptors are quite rich. Women also have a lot of alpha adrenergic receptors on fat cells in this area. Alpha receptors make us “accumulate” fat, while the beta receptors help us “burn” fat.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and book choi help the body clear estrogen, as do seemingly random foods like lemon and egg yolk.
Dealing with any issues of constipation helps to clear out excess estrogen.
String bean shape/catecholamine dominance: women who tend to be “thin all over”/sugar burner tend to be dominant in stress hormones adrenaline/noradrenaline. These women may have a very hard time putting on muscle, because the catecholamines simply burn it off. Le sigh.
For these ladies, appropriate stress decompression and sleep is key, along with shifting exercise from medium intensity/medium to long duration/endurance work to heavy weights, with perhaps some quick sprints sprinkled in.
Addressing sleep issues, or simply getting more sleep, are key for this group.
Bottom line is this: no matter your shape, it’s beautiful. That is just the way of it. If you are looking for clues as to the current state of your physiology, body shape can help shed some insight. If you are interested in changing your shape, those clues can lead you to your next step.