Extra pounds are bad enough, but it also matters where those pounds are stored. If they are around your belly, you are „apple-shaped.” If they are around your hips and thighs, you are „pear-shaped.” Where you store weight is for the most part inherited from your parents, just like the color of your eyes or hair, although men tend to be „apple-shaped,” and women „pear-shaped.” If you are apple-shaped, you are at a greater risk for heart disease which may help to explain why men are more likely than women to develop heart disease. Being „apple-shaped” can also be thought of as having extra weight around the abdomen, or a large waist-to-hip ratio. But whether you are an „apple” or a „pear,” you should take steps to lose extra pounds.

How to check your waist-to-hip ratio:
A look at your profile in the mirror may be enough to make it clear that you have too much fat in the abdomen. Or you can check your body this way:
Measure around your waist near your navel while you stand relaxed, not pulling in your stomach.
Measure around your hips, over the buttocks, where they are the largest.
Divide the waist measure by the hips measure to get your waist-to-hip ratio. Research in adults suggests that ratios close to or above one are linked with greater risk for several diseases. However, ratios have not been defined for all populations or age groups.
If your weight is outside of the healthy range for the height/weight table, or if your waist-to-hip ratio places you at risk, you may wish to consider making an effort to lose some weight.

And by losing weight, you will not only lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, but also feel better, be more able to exercise, and reduce your chance of having a heart attack.

Remember, obesity occurs when calorie intake exceeds calories burned. Therefore, the best advice to help you lose weight: Eat fewer calories than you burn. Don’t try to see how fast you can lose weight. It’s best to do it slowly. Fad diets do not work over the long haul because they cannot be followed for life. When people go back to their old way of eating, they usually regain the weight, leading to cycles of weight loss and gain. These cycles can be destructive to your body, both physically and emotionally.

Try to lose about 1/2 to 1 pound a week. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. One pound equals 3,500 calories-or 7 times 500. So if you cut 500 calories a day by eating less and being more active, you should lose about 1 pound in a week. For example, in one day if you replace a chocolate candy bar at lunch with a small apple, have a piece of baked chicken instead of fried chicken at dinner and then take a 15-minute brisk walk after lunch and dinner instead of lingering at the table, you can cut your calories by 500. Making these kind of changes every day will help you to lose about a pound a week.