Are you an apple or a pear? It turns out that our body shape is a more important indicator of our overall health than body weight alone. A recent article discussed how the body types of apples and pears relate to being overweight or obese. I find it amazing that about 2/3 of all adult Americans are overweight, and more than half of those are obese. Our bodies gather what we are unable to eliminate from our daily diet. What we eat regulates where excess tends to gather in our body. An apple-shaped body accumulates fat from the top of the hips forward and upward to the abdominal area, chest, and neck. A pear-shaped body accumulates fat from the top of the hips downward and backward to the hips, thighs, and buttocks.

The food we eat determines our shape and proportionality, and our body shape shows our historical accounts of eating choices and habits. Soft dairy (milk, butter, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc) and oily foods tends to accumulate on the breast, chest, and neck area, whereas refined carbohydrates (cakes, pastries, refined bread, chips, commercial beer) store in the abdomen. Dense, hard proteins, such as meat, tend to store in the buttocks, and hard, salty cheeses tend to accumulate on the hips and thighs. Abdominal, or visceral, fat is considered the most harmful, as it surrounds and accumulates around the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Overweight people with apple-shaped bodies tend to suffer from the most common modern illnesses: type-II diabetes, heart disease, breast and colorectal cancers, etc.

The regular consumption of grains, beans, vegetables, and naturally pickled and fermented foods helps to lose visceral fat and redistributes weight in healthier proportion. Over time, the most harmful fat (around the internal organs) begins to slowly decrease, and fat returns to healthy levels for our body type. You can start simply by trying to increase the proportions of healthy foods and eating habits in your diet.

Incorporate these recommendations during the holiday season to avoid excess weight gain. Try them more vigorously after the holidays to return to your normal, healthy weight. You can expect some results within two to four weeks; you will look fabulous and feel vibrant again!

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-sit down to meals and snacks without reading, watching tv, or working
-stop eating three hours before going to bed
-walk outside daily for at least a half hour
-have quick, or lightly steamed greens once a day
-decrease the consumption of refined fatty foods, simple sugars, and chemicalized foods
-decrease the consumption of animal and dairy foods
-have a variety of grains such as brown rice, barley, oatmeal, polenta, unyeasted sourdough bread, non-enriched real durum wheat semolina pasta, etc.
-season vegetable soups with naturally fermented miso
-eat a variety of beans and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, cannellini, etc.
-include a variety of fibrous vegetables (watercress, Napa cabbage, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, carrots, daikon radish, etc.)
-incorporate sea vegetables into your cooking
-enjoy naturally fermented sauerkraut and kimchi
-snack on seeds, nuts, and seasonal fruits
-do a body rub

Let me know about your results.