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Weight Loss by Body Type

On either one of my diets—the 10-Day Belly Slimdown or the Bone Broth Diet—you’re going to nuke those extra pounds. If you’re like most people, you’ll do it incredibly fast, and those belly pounds in particular will vanish before your eyes. However, one thing I know after more than two decades of guiding diets is that every person—and every body—is unique. And that’s totally okay!

It just means that you need to understand and respect your own body, and that’s what I want to talk about today. First, I want to look at how your body shape will influence how fast you lose weight and where you lose it. After that, I’ll share five ways to troubleshoot your diet if you aren’t getting the same results as everyone else.

Identifying your body type

Picture yourself and your two best friends. Odds are, you’re not the same size and shape—and that means that even if you all do the same diet, you’ll get different results. Here’s a look at how your body type can affect your weight loss:

Are you an “apple”?

If so, you carry most of your weight around your belly, while your butt, hips, and thighs are slimmer by comparison. This means that you have lots of dangerous visceral fat, but here’s the good news: visceral fat is very active metabolically, so you’ll probably lose weight faster than your friends with other body types. (There’s a silver lining to every cloud, right?)

Are you a “pear”?

In this case, you carry more fat on your butt, hips, and thighs than on your belly. This means that you’re at lower risk for health problems such as heart disease and diabetes—but it also means that your extra pounds may be a little slower to come off.

Are you an “hourglass”?

If your body is a classic hourglass shape, you’ll tend to lose weight evenly all over your body—not just on your belly. This means that in addition to slimming your waist, you’ll lose excess pounds on your arms, butt, thighs, hips, chest, and legs.

Are you a “pencil”?

If you’re slender everywhere else but you’re still battling a big belly, there’s a good chance you have a “cortisol tire” due to stress. This stress is unbalancing your hormones, and you’ll need to take control over it (more on this shortly) if you want those pounds to fall off fast.

Are you an “upside-down pear”—also known as an “inverted triangle”?

If this is the case, expect to lose some excess weight on the upper half of your body—not just on your belly. Knowing what to expect based on your body type, rather than comparing yourself to your friends, will help you to accurately predict the results of your diet. But other factors—not just your shape and size—can play a role as well, and you may need to address them to achieve maximum success. Here are five tricks to try if you’re not losing weight as quickly as your diet buddies are.

Trouble-shooting your diet

Nearly everyone loses weight like crazy on my 10-Day Belly Slimdown, especially once the “carb flu” phase is over. However, if you’re one of the few people who struggle—losing only a few pounds, or possibly none at all—I know it can be frustrating.

My advice? Hang in there. Again, the trick is to understand and respect your own body. If the pounds aren’t falling off as fast you’d like, here are five strategies that can jump-start your weight loss:

Focus on reducing your stress.

Chronic stress can throw a monkey wrench into your metabolism, altering your hormones in ways that lead you to put on belly fat. (That’s especially true if you’re a “pencil” shape—see above.) The solution: Stop putting everyone else’s needs first, and make sure your schedule includes a little “you” time. Meditate, do yoga, journal, read a good book, or do anything that helps you unwind.

Get more sleep.

Research shows that when you short yourself on sleep, your fat cells get “metabolically groggy.” This, in turn, can bring your fat-burning to a standstill. To avoid this problem, try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night.

Get your hormones checked.

If your sex hormones or thyroid hormones are totally wonky, even the best diet won’t take off your extra pounds. Get your hormones tested, and if the results indicate that they’re out of balance, talk with your doctor about bio-identical hormones. Perimenopause can start as early as your 30s, so don’t let a doctor tell you that you’re “too young” for sex hormones to be slowing your weight loss.

Do HIIT workouts.

I know it can be a challenge to exercise when you’re intermittent fasting, but try to set aside at least a few minutes each day to do high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. This means alternating easy exercise (for instance, slow walking or cycling) with a few seconds where you go all-out. HIIT elevates your levels of catecholamines, which drive the release of abdominal fat.

Stick very closely to the diet.

Even little cheats—for instance, having a glass of wine at dinner, eating a snack outside of your eating window, or fudging on your portion sizes—can slow or halt your weight loss. The more closely you follow the plan, the better your results will be.

Above all, stay strong.

If you don’t lose all the weight you want to lose on my 10-Day Belly Slimdown, switch to my Bone Broth Diet and give it more time. Drew, one of my biggest success stories, didn’t lose any weight at all for three weeks—and then he started dropping the pounds like mad, going from nearly 500 pounds to his ideal weight. So stick with it. Try my five strategies, be patient, and let your body do its thing. It may take a little extra time, but the magic will happen!

Keep thinking big and living BOLD!