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Spare Tire or Junk In The Trunk: What’s Your Waist-To-Hip Risk?

By Expert HERWriter
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When I asked a girlfriend if she thought she was more ‘pear-shaped’ or ‘apple-shaped,’ she replied, “Honey, I have some serious back and rack.” Naturally, I busted out laughing and nearly lost my morning cup of tea…but I knew what she meant. Women are more concerned with the numbers on the scale than the actual size of their waist and hips. This number is important to know because it can change your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hormone imbalance, and even cancer.

Not familiar with the fruit comparison? An ‘apple-shaped’ person has more fat in their middle section. It’s the proverbial extra tire(s) rolled around their belly. A ‘pear-shaped’ woman has larger hips and buttocks compared to her waist. When it comes to your health, you’re better with a pear by having a smaller waist and bigger hips. Keep in mind not all women actually resemble the fruit-shape however it’s the ratio between the two that is important.

First, take a measuring tape and measure around the widest part of your hips (including your rear), then measure around your waist where it nips in the most. Then divide your waist by your hips (ie. waist in inches / hips in inches) and see if you are less than 0.8. If you are, then you’re a pear. If you’re over 0.8, then you are an apple and have serious potential for health problems.

Women with thick middles have more fat stored in and around their organs. That fat is more likely to contribute to elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, elevated inflammation, and atherosclerosis. It’s more difficult to lose and contributes to a host of glandular problems as this layer can produce its own hormones.

How do you lose the apple fat? By focusing on blood sugar and insulin balancing acts of health. Eliminate or greatly reduce carbohydrates, fruit, sugar, sugary drinks, soda, fancy coffee drinks, and alcohol. All of those things break down into glucose and create weight gain around the middle.

Stick to high protein, healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds), and vegetables – specifically speaking, 50% of your dinner or lunch plate should be vegetables. Eat protein at every meal including breakfast. Cereal with milk, bagels, and sugar enhanced yogurts don’t count. Think of those things as contributing to the tire ring.

Supplements that help blood sugar balance include: magnesium, chromium, cinnamon, green tea extract, fish oil/omega 3, gymnema, garlic, ginseng, and L-carnitine.

Exercise in intervals. Stop walking the same pace for 30-45 minutes and expecting to see drastic results because you need to rev up your metabolism with quick bursts of fat-burning changes. Every 2-4 minutes go faster or slower, increase or decrease your incline, and move that resistance setting. Absolutely required for weight loss and blood sugar support is weight training. I don’t mean using the heaviest weights to bulk up, but I do mean get some resistance and work against it.

It’s time to get serious about our obesity epidemic, especially if you are an ‘apple-shaped’ woman. Take control of your health and aim for a healthy waist/hip ratio!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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