Your Body Shape and Body Fat Distribution

Your Body Shape and Body Fat Distribution
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Have you ever heard your friends or family members say: “I have got mom’s thighs and butt”, or “I have got dad’s belly” etc? Genetics does play a part in body fat distribution but there are also other factors involved such as gender and race etc. I want to go through a few areas with you briefly to offer you a greater understanding of “fat, it’s distribution and the way it effects our health and fitness. One more thing – I need to warn you that I can’t draw for peanuts so please excuse my diagrams…

Fat Distribution

I told you I couldn’t draw…..but the above diagrams are fairly close to “accurate” when it comes to the type of body shape I am trying to describe for body fat distribution – this makes it easier for you to remember what each body shape represents.


Scroll down to manually measure your fat distribution.

Gender and Body Shape

The android shape or apple shape body is more common among men where the gynoid or pear shaped body is more common among women that are pre-menopausal. While watching the last Olympic Games, I noticed that the body shapes of the athletes differed from country to country. Normally I wouldn’t take much notice of this but with so many people from so many countries gathering in the one place I thought I might use this to do “some” research – that is in between yelling “Go Aussies!” I think it is truly amazing how the environment, genetics and various other factors can affect our body shapes.

What Each “Shape” Represents

The android or apple shape body tends to store body fat around the tummy and upper body. The gynoid, pear shaped body, shape is known for fat storage around the hips, bottom and upper thighs. The Ovoid or fruit box shape is more of a all-over general coverage of bodyfat. The andriod type storage of body fat is considered to be more harmfull.

Visceral Fat

This type of fat tends to store around the internal organs of the body. It is more common in people suffering from obesity than someone who has a low percentage of body fat, however genetics may also have some affect on it as well. As you can imagine, this type of fat storage is of great concern. Large amounts of body fat around the abdominal area is more commonly listed for visceral fat.

Manually Measure Your Body Fat Distribution

Now don’t go freaking out if you measure in the “definite risk”. This table is to give an idea of fat distribution and how it relates to health risks. However the best thing to do if you are concerned is to visit your doctor. The following measurements are in cms. Use a tape measure to record your waist circumference where your naval is located.

Women Women Men Men
Type of Measurement Possible Risk Definite Risk Possible Risk Definite Risk
Waist Circumference 85 cm 90cm 95cm 100cm

What influences Your Metabolism and Body Fat?

* More Muscle – the more lean muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate
* Age – resting metabolic rate decreases with age
* Gender – females often have a naturally slower metabolism than males
* Genetics – Genetic make-up of a person
* SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) activity – This system speeds up the body’s processes and can be naturally slower for some folk.
* Ambient Environmental temperature – The body can burn more calories in colder weather.
* TEF – Thermal effect of food eg. spicy foods, caffeine
* Physical Activity – this varies substantially from person to person
* Pregnancy and Lactation – Will increase metabolic rate
* Crash Dieting – reduces metabolic rate

(Ref: Fat Loss Leader Training Program)

This doesn’t mean that you can sit back and “blame” having a high body fat distribution on “nature” but it does give you an indication of what influences your body fat.

© Mandy Gibbons
Virtual Fitness Trainer


“How To Get Into The Best Shape Of Your Life – Quit The Mind Games… And Get A Hot Rockin Body”
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Leave A Reply (12 comments so far)

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  1. vanessa
    3 years ago

    I have a slightly larger upper body than my lower body. I’m pretty sure it is because of genetics from my father as both me and my sister have this problem. I am active and have a healthy body and weight but I would love to have a more feminine, curvaceous figure. I know you can not target areas to gain/lose weight, weight gain or weight loss happens all over. Whether my body is a little bigger or smaller my shape stays the same but more or less toned I guess. I would just like to know if there is ANY way I can attain an hour-glass figure even if genetics are not my side or am i doomed to a life with no hips, legs, or butt unless my stomach is still slightly larger?? :( Please help me!

  2. Shaun
    5 years ago

    What foods target weight gain in the gluteus maximus area and weight gain and loss in the abdominal areas

    • Admin
      5 years ago

      Weight gain as in to intentionally gain weight (because someone is slim and wants to gain more curves, muscle or size) or weight gain as in being overweight?

  3. Jess
    5 years ago

    Hey quick question, I use to be a gymnast and use to have an excellent body and weighed about 112lbs. Now (I am 63″, and 20yrs) I weigh 155lbs granted I am no longer a gymnast is there a chance I could get back down to that? with proper diet and.. how many times a week should I exercise?

    • Admin
      5 years ago

      First off, Jess, I’d forget about the scales and “weight”. And focus on fitness, increasing lean muscle and decreasing body fat. The more lean muscle you have the higher your metabolism allowing you to burn more calories. Obviously how many times per week you train will depend on your fitness goals, your fitness level and how dedicated you want to be.

      Some terrific programs to help whip you into shape are:
      Fit Yummy Mummy… (you don’t have to a Mum or Mom to do this program)
      Turbulence Training Fat Loss – Women

  4. Geoff
    5 years ago

    Hi I was wondering if you think we could establish an equation between the variables that influence metabolism and body fat and your body goal.

    • Admin
      5 years ago

      What did you have in mind, Geoff? There’s 10000’s of variables…

  5. kenneth
    5 years ago

    Hey there. I’d just like to ask if being a lazy bum and just sitting for the entire day watching TV or spending most of the time with computer has a big effect on fat distribution? Most of my friends said that I got, or most specifically my tummy got fatter. Although I don’t want to turn into an android shape form soon… I’d be really upset.

    • Admin
      5 years ago

      Hey Kenneth

      Sorry to tell you this but if you’re a couch potato and stuck in your computer chair all day you’re going to have to get up and get going with a decent exercise regime and eating plan if you want to start kicking some body fat to the curb.

  6. Princceygirl
    5 years ago

    hi so do you know how i cud manipulate the fat distribution in my body,im female and i gain weight on my upper body starting with the midsection up to my face and end up looking very chaby with a swollen face?

    • Admin
      5 years ago

      Focus more on manipulating and reducing body fat in general – rather than focusing on just your upper body or lower body.

      Definitely check out VFT’s Fat Loss section:

FREE Fat Loss Webinar!



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