Pear shapes have larger buttocks, hips and thighs than apple shapes, as well as a smaller waist. The good news is that it's healthier to carry weight in your lower body than your middle; belly fat is linked to illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fat in the hips and legs is subcutaneous rather than visceral, meaning it lies just under the skin instead of around your organs like much of the abdominal fat. However, subcutaneous fat is more difficult to shed. The easiest way for pear shapes to lose weight is with a multitiered approach of diet and exercise.
Set Realistic Goals
There are no shortcuts when it comes to weight loss, so don't expect to flaunt a tiny rear in a few weeks. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, a healthy and realistic goal. While crash diets may seem tempting, starvation only slows your metabolism, leading to weight gain as soon as you start eating normally again. Furthermore, setting unrealistic goals leads to disappointment, discouraging you from sticking to your weight-loss plan.
One pound of fat is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. Therefore, cutting 500 to 1,000 calories per day leads to a loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week. The easiest way to accomplish this is by eating filling, nutrient-dense foods that are low in calories. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole-grain foods like oatmeal are high in fiber, leaving you satisfied with fewer calories. Avoid deep-fried foods, as well as high-calorie salad dressings. Avoid liquid calories from juices, sodas and alcohol, which do little to satiate you.
Exercise burns calories and raises your metabolism, slimming your pear shape faster than with diet alone. Cardio, or aerobic, activity provides the fastest calorie burn. The most effective exercises include running, jumping rope, rollerblading, skiing, football and climbing stairs. The Mayo Clinic recommends 150 minutes of cardio per week but notes that weight loss may require up to 300 minutes per week. You can space out smaller sessions to fit your schedule, but always exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Buttock and Thigh Toning
Unfortunately, you can't choose where you melt fat. To trim your hips and thighs, you must lose weight all over. The good news is that you can tone and tighten your problem areas with resistance exercises. Squats are excellent for lower-body toning, working your hips, buttocks, thighs, calves and abs. Forward lunges work your hips, buttocks, thighs and abs. To target your butt and thighs, do step-ups with dumbbells.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.