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Apple Body Shape: Diet, Weight Loss, Health Risks & Dressing


An apple-shaped body has a fuller middle, shapely legs, and slim thighs. They often have thinner hips, fuller breasts, and a flatter rear. 

Apple shaped women tend to gain weight in the midsection which is a cause for frustrations stemming from a protruding tummy. This often leads to low self-esteem. This, however, does, not mean that all apples are curvy or overweight. They generally have:

  • Broad shoulders
  • A less defined waist
  • Narrower hips
  • Large bust
Body types - apple, pear, rectangular and hourglass
Body types - apple, pear, rectangular and hourglass


Apple shaped celebrities include Jennifer Hudson, Rosie O’Donnell, and Elizabeth Hurley. Slim apple shaped celebrities include Tyra Banks, Angelina Jolie, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

What contributes to having an apple shape?

According to Dr. Nina Franklin, being apple-shaped is linked to genetics. Other factors include age, gender, stress levels, hormonal status and lifestyle behaviors.

Women generally have less visceral fat than men due to estrogen (a female hormone). Estrogen promotes fat accumulation in the lower half of the body and this fat mostly accumulates around the hips and makes women appear pear-shaped.  Estrogen levels decline as women age causing a shift towards the apple-shape.

Cortisol is another hormone associated with the visceral fat and apple shape. It’s a stress hormone and is released in response to stressful situations. This could be caused by conflicts or personal tragedies.

Lifestyle choices including the number of calories you consume compared to the amount you burn also play a huge role.

Weight Loss

With the right combination of apple shaped body exercises and eating habits, an apple shape can reduce excess visceral fat. The best combination would involve cardiovascular exercises and resistance training exercises.

To lose weight as an apple shape, there are several things you need to do:

a. Reduce sugar intake

An apple-shaped body carries weight in the middle which means it doesn’t easily regulate sugar well. Consume less sugar and avoid sugary treats like candy, soda, and refined carbohydrates. Eating lots of sugar causes an excess of insulin being forced to work to stabilize the blood sugar. High insulin also causes weight gain since the body is not metabolizing sugar properly. Reducing sugar intake ensures that your insulin levels lower and your body stops storing sugar and fats. It instead metabolizes it.

b. Consume foods with high fiber

High fiber foods take longer to digest. This means that the blood sugar and insulin levels will stabilize allowing for proper metabolizing. Some of these foods include fruits, whole grains, beans, vegetables, and lentils. Avoid foods such as bread and pasta. 

c. Exercise

Do at least 30 minutes of aerobics every day. That excess fat accumulating around the belly needs to go. Other exercises include swimming, dancing, running, step aerobics and basically any exercise that will get your heart rate going.

d. Resistance training

This should target your midsection. Aerobics will burn excess fat while strength training will make your core stronger. Also do some Pilates, yoga and proper crunches. This will give you a better posture, toned look and will continue burning your calories.

Diet tips for apple shaped body

Every weight loss guru will advise you to stop eating carbs if you want to lose weight. If you are apple shaped, however, you should make carbs your best friend. The complex carbs especially promote weight loss. Having enough carbs also relieves you from high levels of anxiety, stress, irritability, and depression.

Do not skip any meals, especially breakfast, as this will cause low blood sugar levels and lack of energy right after lunch.

Here are specific diet tips: 

a. Eat complex carbohydrates

They should be included in your daily caloric intake. They include brown rice, buckwheat, oats/oatmeal, vegetables, quinoa, buckwheat and most fruits. As for the vegetables, avoid the very starchy ones like sweet potatoes/potatoes, carrots, yams and corn. Also limit the very sweet fruits like watermelon, bananas, grapes, pineapples, and pumpkin. 

b. Eat quality proteins and healthy fats

This includes lean skinless chicken, turkey breasts, lean beef, lean lamb, eggs, lentils, beans, peas, cottage cheese and low-fat yogurt. Healthy fats include healthy cooking oils, avocado, flax seeds, nuts and fat-free yogurt. 

c. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sweets

This includes muffins, pastries, cakes, cookies, bread/pasta, and crackers. Avoid juice, candy, honey, ice cream, carbonated drinks and maple syrup. Basically, anything that contains fructose, sugar, sucrose or corn syrup. These foods cause a spike in your blood sugar and in time your body becomes insulin resistant. This triggers a fat storage metabolism that causes the excess weight.

Health Risks

study of 430,000 people found that people who are apple shaped have a high likelihood of suffering from too much cholesterol and high blood pressure. They also stand at a high risk of being insulin intolerant. This makes their bodies worse at processing sugar.

Apple body shapes store more fat around their stomachs and this, scientists say, wraps itself around vital organs. This then produces hormones and chemicals which tamper with an apple body’s blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol, which insulin controls. This raises their risk of getting health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Another study indicates that if your waist is larger than your hips, you are at a high risk for the disease. The study analyzed waist to hip ratio and found that people with thick middles have a high risk of death than those who have trimmer waists.

How to dress it

How to dress an apple body type
Dressing it

The best dresses for apple-shaped women, draw attention away from their middle. They direct attention to some of their strong points like their legs and bust. Look for styles that will add volume to your thighs and hips. 

a. Wear clothes that emphasize your great bust.

This can be done by wearing V-necks, A-Line dresses, and plunging necklines. This lengthens you’re your body while drawing attention to your awesome bust. Also, wear a good push-up bra.

Wear tops with embellished shoulders and necklines and tops that have sleeve details like gathers and slits. This accentuates your pretty arms and upper body. 

b. Show off your beautiful legs

Apple shaped figures have great legs. It doesn’t t matter if you are tall or short, show off your great legs. This can be done by wearing high heels that lengthen your body while balancing the bottom half. Short-shorts are another great option.

Clothes with details on the hemline are a good option too since they draw attention to your beautiful legs. 

c. Trim the waist

Choose clothes that make your midsection narrow and your body proportional. You can do this by wearing:

  • Dark colored waist belts
  • Dresses and skirts that flow from the bust and expand at the waist
  • Full circle skirts, prints and bias-cut skirts that add structure and volume to your hips.
  • shapewear to cinch your waist
  • Pants and jeans that extend just below the hipbone. This draws attention from the middle.

Clothes to avoid if you are apple shaped

  • Clingy clothes
  • Heavy boots
  • Leggings
  • Skinny jeans
  • bold patterns, light colors and large checks
  • Details on your waist since they widen it e.g. bows and beads
  • Pleats

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