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Decoded: The Diet for your Body Type

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Dr. Sneha Tryewala believes that health is made in the kitchen. She emphasises on the importance of healthy food and detox juices. Read on to know how she decodes the diet for your body type; whether you’re pear-shaped, have an apple-like figure, are blessed with an hourglass bod or boxier than the rest.

Here’s the list of workout and diet plans for every body type:

Pear-Shape

Women with pear shaped bodies—wider at the hips and thighs—suffer from excess estrogen. This can cause toxic fat gain, water retention and bloating, she says.
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What you can do without

  • Tofu/Soy: Unfermented soy products can increase estrogen in the body
  • Excess coffee: Too much coffee could cause elevated estrogen levels.
  • Pasta/White carbs: High glycemic carbs cause water retention and lower body fat.
  • Processed meats and luncheon meats: These are high in salt and cause water retention, besides a spike in estrogen levels because of the hormone content in the meats.
  • Alcohol also causes spikes in estrogen production and ups your risk of breast cancer.
  • Harmful Fats: This includes hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, shortening, margarine and inflammatory fats, including most vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower), cotton seed oil and palm oil.
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Top foods to include

  • Flaxseeds: This is a weak phytoestrogenic food that helps eliminate excess estrogen
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower: They contain high levels of phytonutrients isothiocyanates, that helps lower estrogen.
  • Organic dairy/meat products: Since these are not injected with hormones they can reduce your hormone exposure.
  • Green leafy vegetables and beetroot: These high fiber veggies get rid of excess bad estrogen and are high fiber as well. They also support healthy liver function, aiding estrogen detoxifcation.
  • Bean sprouts: These contain high levels of glucaric acid (350mg/100g) that interferes with the reabsorption of estrogen from the gastrointestinal tract. It’s also a good source of fiber and protein.

Exercises that help pear figures

  • High intensity interval training boosts metabolism and burns fat.
  • Combine with upper body weights to give definition to arms and shoulders, streamlining your figure.
  • Lunges and squats for the lower body. Avoid lower body weightlifting. This will only add unwanted bulk.

Apple-Shape

If you’re apple shaped, your legs are your best asset, slender and long. You’ll have more fat around your middle and arms. “Apple shaped women suffer from an excess of insulin and cortisol with fat storage around the abdomen and love handles,” says Dr. Tyrewala. Insulin processes sugars in your bloodstream converting them into energy that is either used up or stored as fat. However, excess sugar or carbs—processed foods, sugary drinks, ready-to-eat foods—can cause insulin resistance. A pre-diabetic condition, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes are common health risks of apple shapes. Stress and depression have also been linked to excess fat storage around the stomach.
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What you can do without

  • Artificial sweeteners: Foods containing aspartame and artificial sweeteners raise insulin levels and lead to cravings and weight gain.
  • Fructose-sweetened foods or high fructose corn syrup: These increase your appetite and cravings. Common culprits include donuts, biscuits, cookies and cakes.
  • High carb foods: Even healthy carbs such as chick peas, sweet potato and brown rice can cause belly fat and weight gain in apple shapes.
  • High sugar foods such as sugar fruits (grapes, mangoes), flavored yogurts, Granola bars, energy drinks, juices and smoothies are typically low in fiber and can cause high inulin release.
  • Fast foods like sev puri, pizza and chips are both high in fat and carbs, making them a double whammy for your waistline.
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Top foods to include

  • Seeds: Fenugreek seeds (methi), chia seeds, oat bran and flaxseeds assist with blood sugar balance.
  • Blueberries: A daily dose of the bioactive ingredients from blueberries increases sensitivity to insulin and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Nuts (almonds and walnuts): When properly balanced with carbs, nuts can help to slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, which leads to less insulin release. “Eat a tablespoon of nuts five days a week to beat belly fat,” says Dr. Tyrewala.
  • Olive oil: It encourages the release of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin, which helps reduces belly fat and assists insulin balance.
  • Eggs: This protein-rich food assists appetite control, reduces post-meal insulin response and balances glucose/insulin levels.
  • Organic apples: In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, eating an apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL, the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  • White Beans: These are a great power combo food because they contain phosphadylserine, an important chemical that lowers cortisol.
  • Dark chocolate: It should have 70% cocoa content. The cocoa inhibits an enzyme that causes blood pressure spikes. Other studies have shown that cocoa has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. It also boosts serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant and helps to lower cortisol.

Exercises that help apple figures

  • Interval training and longer distance cardio for a balance of fat burning and toning.
  • Do exercises that focus on toning the midriff.
  • Build up the lower body using weights and avoid heavy upper body weights.

Hour Glass Figure

When you think of hour glass figures, yesteryear star Marilyn Monroe comes to mind. “The hourglass figure is perfectly proportioned,” says Dr. Tyrewala. The shoulder width is the same as the hips, the waist is small and well-shaped, while the bust and hips are well rounded and full. However that doesn’t mean you can eat with abandon. 
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What you can do without

  • Processed foods and drinks: Anything that comes out of a packet or can tend to be overloaded with excess sugar, salt or oil. These can cause fat to cling to hips, thighs and tummy.
  • Caffeine: Avoid caffeine in any form, from sodas to coffee. Caffeine has been linked to insomnia, migraine, elevated blood pressure, cellulite and impaired glucose metabolism.
  • Refined sugars: These have a rebound effect and increase cravings for sugary and fatty foods, leading to weight gain.
  • Alcohol: This is one of the fastest ways to pile on the pounds, especially if you’re an hourglass.
  • Eating late: Avoid eating after 8 p.m. Your metabolism tends to slow down in the evening making digestion harder and causing bloating and acid reflux.
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Top foods to include

  • Almonds: This nut is rich in essential fatty acids, calcium and magnesium, all of which prevent water retention. They’re also packed with Vitamin E to maintain the hormone balance.
  • Whole grains: Get your fill of ragi, howar, bajra, whole wheat and brown rice because these low GI foods prevent sugar spikes, keeping you full for longer.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Especially broccoli is rich in chromium, a mineral that helps the pancreas stabilize insulin release, so that you won’t have fluctuating blood sugars and hunger pangs.
  • Mushrooms: This fungus is a powerhouse of Vitamin B3 (niacin) that reduces stress and helps convert protein into energy.
  • Oily fish: Eat tuna and salmon, great sources of leptin, a protein that acts like a hormone to control your appetite.
  • Fish oil supplements: Not only do they supply essential fatty acids but they also help trim fat.

Exercises that help hourglass figures

  • Running, including long duration cardiovascular exercises.
  • Exercises that work the whole body, like circuit training.

Boxy bods

Women with box shaped bodies suffer from a sluggish thyroid that causes weight gain. Exhaustion, constipation, hair loss, brittle hair, infertility and poor memory are common side effects,” say Dr. Tyrewala. If you suspect you have a thyroid condition, make sure your doctor assesses you and your full range of symptoms, not just your blood work because even normal levels of TSH (an indicator of thyroid function) have been proven to accelerate weight gain.
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What you can do without

  • Unfermented soy: This can boost estrogen levels, which block the thyroid from functioning properly.
  • Flouride and chlorinated water: Both inhibits thyroid function and are associated with elevated TSH concentrations, increased goiter prevalence, and altered T4 and T3 concentrations.
  • Goitrogenic foods: Some foods can interfere with healthy thyroid hormone synthesis and cause the thyroid gland to enlarge. These include rapeseed (used to make canola oil), cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower), corn, sweet potatoes, millet and peaches.
  • Peanuts and peanut butter: This common legume is very acidic, inflammatory and a known goitrogen. It’s often contaminated with aflatoxin, a poison produced by the fungus, Aspergillus flavus.
  • High-mercury fish: Mercury is a known thyroid disruptor. The worst offenders are swordfish, king mackerel, shark and most types of tuna.
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Top foods to include

  • Low fat yoghurt: High in protein, low in carbs and fat. Researchers at McMaster University found that participants who consumed a high protein, high dairy diet while engaging in a strength training program experienced greater whole body weight loss, particularly in the stubborn abdominal area.
  • Seaweed/Kelp: Iodine is essential for healthy thyroid function because it helps regulate the thyroid gland. Good sources of iodine include sea vegetables such as kelp and seaweed. You can get 200-400mcg per serving.
  • Coconut oil: Not only do many people notice a boost in energy, but it has recently been shown to lower abdominal fat in two studies.
  • Brazilian nuts: High in selenium, excellent for the thyroid and improves T4 to T3 conversion

Exercises that help boxy figures

  • Limit the level of cardiovascular exercise you do.
  • Instead opt for heavy loading strength work that will tone your body.
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