Five Tips to Harness the Power of Body Shape

Health tips

No matter which body shape you have, how old you are, or how much you weigh, there are many things you can do to decrease your personal disease risk. Diet and exercise are only part of the equation-medical monitoring is critical, as is a change in mind-set. We need to stop thinking of our weight problems, and learn to accept ourselves as women with figures. Every woman can become stronger, look better, and feel healthier. My top tips for getting started:

For apple-shaped women

  • First step: throw away the scale and dig out a tape measure.from now on you should measure your health by inches instead of pounds.
  • Long-term goal: lose just two inches of fat from your waist to significantly decrease your risks for the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Diet strategy: Think high complex carbohydrates, moderate fats. Avoid foods made with white flour; eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods. Choose olive oil instead of butter or margarines. Avoid all products made with partially hydrogenated oils-those are the dangerous trans fats, which increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Exercise strategy: walk 30 minutes ever day to burn apple-zone fat.
  • Medical monitoring: Get yearly tests for cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose.
  • Secret sabotage: STRESS -- it adds inches to your waist!

For pear-shaped women

  • First step: understand that pear-zone fat is actually healthy.
  • Long-term goal: Avoid weight-gain after menopause, which can turn a pear into an apple.
  • Diet strategy: Think low fat, high complex carbohydrates. Avoid fatty foods, especially cheese and butter. Avoid candy, which is associated with a high risk of osteoporosis. Avoid salty foods, which can worsen varicose veins. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.
  • Exercise strategy: resistance training three times per week to build bones.
  • Medical monitoring: Get a bone density scan at age 45, and again every year or two after menopause.
  • Secret sabotage: poor body image-it can lead to eating disorders.

(For additional information and downloadable forms, see the website at

Read an excerpt from Apple and Pear: The Body Shape Solution for Weight Loss and Wellness, by Marie Savard.

Marie Savard, M.D. is a nationally known internist, women's health expert, and advocate for patients' rights. She is author of How to Save Your Own Life and the creator of The Savard Health Record. She lives in Philadelphia.

Copyright © Marie Savard. Permission to republish granted to, LLC.


In my opinion the best way to hardness your body after you had some weight loss is to make a lot of sport and to continue to have an healthy way of living the life.