While many women struggle to lose unwanted weight, men seem to have an easier time shedding excess pounds. Men do have a competitive edge when it comes to weight loss, as men’s bodies naturally contain more muscle mass and are more prone to building muscle due to higher levels of the hormone testosterone. As a result, men have a higher resting metabolism. These two advantages combined means more calories burned and quicker weight loss, as a higher metabolic rate burns more calories just to keep the body functioning. While it can be frustrating to watch your significant other lose weight at a faster pace, hang in there. With a little more time and effort, women can reach their fitness and weight loss goals.
Men can often lose weight by increasing their exercise as opposed to combining diet and exercise. Research suggests that women need to get significantly more exercise to get the same health benefits and must also address their diets to see weight loss results. Men tend to have more visceral fat, which is easier to lose. However, this type of fat accumulates in the abdomen and surrounds vital organs, and is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Women have more subcutaneous fat found just under the skin, which can result in cellulite and dimpling. Women tend to carry more body fat on their thighs and around their hips, much healthier areas to store body fat.
From that standpoint, women may have one advantage, as throughout their lives even the fittest women naturally average 6 – 11% more body fat than men. Women’s estrogen levels work to retain fat in order to preserve fertility as a natural part of women’s child bearing physiology. While women may have a harder time losing fat, subcutaneous fat is the least harmful to health. Unfortunately, women tend to be emotional eaters, making it harder to resist unhealthy foods and sabotaging our diet resolve. Stress eaters tend to weigh more on average, and consuming extra calories when we are stressed or lonely can make weight loss even more challenging.
While women tend to engage in aerobic exercise or use light weights while strength training for fear of building muscle, men tend to use heavier weights that build muscle and burn more calories. When women cut calories, their bodies tend to go into starvation mode, slowing metabolism and hanging onto fat, while men’s bodies respond more quickly to exercise. As women’s bodies are typically smaller than men’s, women have lower caloric needs, leaving less room for a reduction in calories. As a result, women lose fat much more slowly than a larger man, who can create a larger calorie deficit more easily.
Engaging in high intensity, shorter bouts of exercise helps to burn fat and increase muscle mass for both men and women. Weight training at least twice a week will get your fat burning engine revving, help to build a streamlined physique and strengthen your bones. While women may struggle more than men to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, obesity is an equal opportunity offender. Eating healthy foods in moderation and living an active lifestyle will result in reaching your goals no matter your gender. So while it may take patience for women to get closer to their ideal weight, persistence pays off. While initially men lose more weight and more body fat, after about 6 months the rate of weight loss evens out, equalizing the playing field. While the pounds may not drop as quickly as some women might prefer, as long as it is moving in the right direction, you are on track to meet your goals.
Products to support weight loss goals include:Weight Loss Support Packets by Designs for Health – This complete program provides support for optimal fat burning, reduced cravings, increased energy and improved metabolism and leptin resistance. Women’s Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations provides broad spectrum health support with highly bioavailable multivitamins, minerals and trace elements and is specifically designed for women over 40 years of age. Healthy Transformation Weight Loss Program by Metagenics provides a 12 week program for basic wellness and strategic weight loss support along with a 30 day supply of nutritional products. Available with and without individual soup packets. Al’s Formula (Basic Nutrients for Men over 40) by Thorne Research provides comprehensive vitamin and mineral support for mature men’s health and wellness.