Plagued by a thick middle, padded hips or a large behind? Thanks to science, you can sculpt a slimmer silhouette with a shape-specific diet and exercise program.
If you're frustrated by the body shape life handed you and think there's nothing you can do about it, you're wrong. Breakthrough science based on targeting specific types of body fat can help you lose inches in the most stubborn areas, namely your butt or your gut. Here are the revolutionary diet and exercise tips designed to help you reshape your body for life. While you're working on losing those pounds, learn the style secrets that will help you fake it until you make it.
Body Type: Pear (Full Hips, Thighs and Rear)
If you fall into this category, the first secret to slimming down is to understand what type of body fat you're fighting. Those with large bottoms are carrying around extra subcutaneous fat. This fat that appears just below your skin is actually healthier than belly fat; unfortunately, it is also harder to get rid of. Subcutaneous fat is associated with healthy cholesterol levels and fewer heart attacks, but it also has less blood flow and holds onto calories, which makes it tough to burn off.
Diet Plan: Eat a Low-fat Diet
Research shows that a low-fat diet actually helps break down stubborn fat cells in your bottom region.
Step 1: Cut Back on Saturated Fats
To get on track with a low-fat diet, begin by cutting down on saturated fats, including animal sources such as high-fat dairy and red meats. Eliminate hidden saturated fats such as hydrogenated oils found in processed foods.
Next: The best exercise moves for pear shapesStep 2: Include Low-fat Dairy in Every Meal
You don't have to cut out dairy entirely. Studies demonstrate that calcium helps to regulate the way fat cells store, build up and break down fat. Subsequently, low-fat dairy sources such as milk, yogurt and cottage cheese help promote weight loss. Choose low-fat (2%), not no-fat dairy.
Butt-blasting Breakfast: Low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola
Lunch: Low-fat cottage cheese with tomatoes, cucumbers and grilled chicken
Snack: Low-fat milk with dark chocolate cocoa
Dinner: Lean turkey burger with low-fat cheddar cheese
Workout for a Pear Body Type: Curtsy Squats & Rows
To work this area, do resistance training and get a cardio workout at the same time by using something called "complexes." Complexes are a type of circuit training consisting of body sculpting moves, done back to back in a circuit format. Pears should combine curtsy squats and rows. You can do this routine with a resistance band or by holding milk cartons or cans. Start by doing a curtsy. Then, lean forward with your hips and go right into a rowing motion with your arms. Do as many as you can with good form in 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times. You'll increase lean body tissue, boost your metabolism, and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Next: What to eat if you're an apple shapeBody Type: Apple
If you're struggling to get rid of a thick middle, you're battling visceral fat, the fat located in your abdominal region that surrounds vital organs. While this fat is easier to get rid of than subcutaneous fat, it is also worse for you. Excess visceral fat has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. People with large middles tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the body's key stress hormone. Too much cortisol slows your metabolism and also breaks down muscle, making you hard-wired to store fat.
Diet Plan: Avoid Refined Carbohydrates and Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
First, avoid refined carbs like white bread, pasta and rice that are low in fat and spike blood sugar, which can increase stress and make you hungrier. Replace simple carbs with anti-inflammatory foods such as barley, buckwheat and amaranth. These whole grains stabilize blood sugar and help control cortisol surges. Go for other healthy anti-inflammatory fats, too, like olive oil, avocado, sea bass and salmon. (Try Dr. Oz's anti-inflammatory toast: Toasted Ezekiel bread—sprouted 100% whole grain—topped with avocado, olive oil, lemon and chili flakes.)
Workout for an Apple Body Type: Metabolic Disturbance Training
To slim your middle, you'll want to practice interval training that involves sudden bursts of high-intensity movement alternated with lower intensity movement. Using an exercise stepper, begin by stepping up and down at a moderate pace for two to five minutes. Then crank up the pace for 30 seconds to one minute, until you can feel your heart rate has increased and you're slightly out of breath. Then go back to the more moderate pace. Repeat throughout the workout. This method boosts both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to speed metabolism and burn belly fat.
Next: How to look 10 pounds thinner until you reach your goal weightHow to Look 10 Pounds Thinner
The secret to faking it before you make it is to change the way you dress. The single biggest mistake women make, whether they have big bottoms or big middles, is layering clothes or wearing baggy clothes in an attempt to hide their problem areas. However, this has the opposite effect, highlighting exactly what you're trying to disguise. It can even make you appear 5-10 pounds heavier. Rather than hide something, work to accentuate your assets.
Disguise Your Bottom:
Go for rich, dark tones on the bottom. To draw the eye upward, pair with light-colored, patterned or embellished tops.
The length of your top should hit the middle of your hip area.
Wear wide leg trousers and A-line skirts.
Avoid cuts that hug your hips and taper down – this will accentuate your bottom area.
Disguise Your Middle:
Wear V-shaped necklines to elongate your neck and draw attention toward your face.
Avoid billowy tops and small, busy horizontal prints; they'll make you appear wider.
On top, go for solid, deeper tones such as rich purple, dark berry, cinnamon and deep orange; style it up with a structured blazer.
A wrap dress can help camouflage your belly and give you more of a waistline.