Battle of the bulge: If you’re an apple, it takes more than working your core to get healthy and trim – Post

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They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away — unless you’re the apple.

What makes that the case? YMCA of the Fox Cities healthy living and weight-loss coordinator Stacy Summers explains.

“An apple body type carries their weight on the upper half of the body, while the pear shape carries their weight on the lower half of their body.”

Apples might think finding jeans that fit well is their toughest battle, but they face more significant challenges than that. A larger waistline can mean a greater risk of serious health problems. Read on to learn more.

Why am I an apple?

If you tend to store fat around your midsection, you can thank your mom and dad for that. It comes down to genetics, Summers said.

However, that doesn’t mean your shape is completely out of your control. When your calorie intake and expenditure is balanced, your body won’t accumulate fat, no matter where your DNA tells it to go.

Stress, exercise and nutrition all play a part in that formula, said David Brown, president and owner of Underground Functional Fitness.

If your genetics have unleashed what he called “the Santa Claus effect,” you’re likely falling down on three fronts: “the mind, the muscle and the food.”

So my waist isn’t all that trim. What’s the big deal?

As it turns out, fat carried on the top half of your body is fundamentally different from fat carried on the bottom half of your body.

“In general, those who have an apple-shaped body have more fat around their organs. That in and of itself is a health risk,” said Shana Hussin, a ThedaCare registered dietitian and health coach.

This visceral fat surrounds the heart, lungs and liver like the Styrofoam in an electronics box. That puts pressure on your vital organs, Brown said.

Worse, though, is that visceral fat can become interstitial fat that invades the organs like the marbling in meat. This tends to increase cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides, which puts you at increased risk for heart disease.

And that’s not all. Abdominal fat “messes with your insulin levels. That’s when diabetes starts to set in,” Brown said.

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