Apart from the obvious…
Most of us realise at a young age that there are differences between boys and girls. As time goes on we start to notice physical differences as well!
So how much do these physical differences really determine how our bodies react to exercise, weight loss etc.?
The design of the human body, no matter which theory of evolution you believe in, has a specific purpose: that it was originally intended for the ongoing evolution of life!
These specific purposes determine in a large proportion how our bodies react to the way that we store body fat, lose body fat and respond to other dietary and environmental issues.
The effects of exercise and the time lines in which we can expect to see and feel changes differ according to these elements.
Understanding that these differences exist, can improve your ability to make allowances for them; help minimise your levels of frustration; and enable you to focus on the things that will help achieve your health and fitness goals!
A healthy adult body has BILLIONS of fat cells. Individual genetics play a part as to where these fat cells are distributed and where we prefer to store excess body fat.
Men Store more body fat around their abdomen (beer gut). This allows for quick access to a source of energy (fat) for the hunter to search for, chase down food for his family, and be active enough to protect them from the dangers of pre historic living.
So there are differences to take into account when looking at Weight Loss for Men
Woman store more body fat around their hips, bottom and waist. These are areas that protect the reproductive organs and womb.
For both sexes our lifestyles are certainly different now, not many of us have to chase down our own food anymore, and the likelihood of a famine in this country is pretty rare.
Our body design hasn’t changed as dramatically as technology and lifestyle, but we still have to take this into account when designing weight loss programs for women.
THE EFFECT OF METABOLISM
BMR is a measurement of how much energy your body requires to survive in a state of rest.
Read the Input vs Output post to work out your BMR.
You will notice different formulas for males and females.
Our fat cells are created to store fat as energy for fuel for our bodies, the engine that burns that fuel is our muscle tissue as it converts this fuel into energy that is burnt off as we move.
Men with their higher percentage of muscle mass, thus have a greater need for fuel.
Generally men can eat and need to eat far more than women.
With a higher metabolic rate, they are able to burn energy faster and therefore usually lose weight quicker than women…think about The Biggest Loser results.
EATING TOO LITTLE
Women need to be careful they don’t eat too little, for their metabolism really reacts to food input.
It will drop significantly if too little food is consumed.
The female body fears starvation, being unable to nurture children sufficiently if it does, so it will store fat rather than use it in preparation for a phase of possibly famine.
The odds sound like they are all stacked in favour of the male, yet the general principals for weight loss for either sex are still relatively the same.
Only eat as much fat/ fuel as your body needs to function correctly. (work out your BMR)
Any amount of muscle has to actually move or be used to burn this energy (fat) before we intake more fuel or we will store it in the form of more FAT!
Muscle tissue is lost each year due to the aging process so needs to be replaced to allow our metabolism to be at an efficient level for burning fuel.
ESPECIALLY FOR THE GIRLS..
Don’t let the differences become a reason to give up! If you and your partner begin an exercise program at the same time and he begins to lose weight faster don’t get disheartened.
- Get an analysis of your energy needs so you can accurately look at your energy intake and output needs to maximise your weight loss.
- Do resistance training to replace and increase lean muscle tissue. Get a trainer to prescribe the right weights and exercises for you which will help build your metabolism and get lean muscle tone not any un-wanted bulk.
Most people get frustrated, lose motivation and find old habits too hard to break.
Have a personal trainer prescribe a program that is right for you.
Let them motivate and encourage you through the crucial stages where you may want to give up.
You can take it from there once you are confident and know you are doing it correctly!