Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Why Women Must Typically Work Harder to Lose Weight
Why Women Must Typically Work Harder to Lose Weight
The gender gap is a phrase usually used to describe disparities in income between men and women, but it may very well apply to weight loss as well.
Many women express exasperation at being unable to lose weight despite making significant dietary changes and exercising, whereas their male counterparts appear to drop pounds just by making minimal lifestyle tweaks here and there.
Could it be that the cards are somehow stacked against women, and men really do have an easier time losing weight?
Several Factors Make Weight Loss for Men EasierOne of the biggest factors men have in their favor is body composition. Men tend to have more muscle than women, who in turn have about 10 percent more of their body weight in the form of fat.
Muscle tissue burns three to five times more energy than fat tissues, so as you gain muscle, your metabolic rate increases, which allows you to burn more calories, even when you're sleeping or physically inactive. Perhaps because of their greater muscle mass, a man's resting metabolic rate can be up to 10 percent higher than a woman's (of the same age and weight),1 giving them a weight-loss advantage right out of the gate.
Men and women vary in the type of fat their bodies are made up of. Men tend to have more visceral fat while women tend to have more subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is found just under your skin, and is the type that causes dimpling and cellulite. Visceral fat, on the other hand, shows up in your abdomen and surrounds your vital organs including your liver, heart and muscles.
Visceral fat is the one that is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke, among many other chronic diseases. So from a health standpoint, having more visceral fat is not a "benefit." However, from a strictly weight-loss point of view, visceral fat is metabolized faster, making it easier to lose than subcutaneous fat – another biological hurdle for women to jump over.
Women may be more inclined toward emotional eating than men – reaching for food (typically junk food) in response to stress, sadness, loneliness, and more – and this can be a very tough habit to break. Research even shows that women may have a reduced ability to stave off hunger and resist food cravings than men.
However, women should not feel disheartened, as weight loss is certainly attainable no matter what your gender. There are several weight loss secrets that many people aren't aware of, which can help to tip the scales back in your favor.
The Go-To Weight Loss Trick that Works for Both Men and Women
Once you review the research, it's clear that if you are serious about losing weight, you have got to strictly limit the amount of fructose in your diet, as evidence is mounting that excess sugar, and fructose in particular, is the primary factor in the obesity epidemic. So cutting soda from your diet is essential. However many fail to appreciate the importance of cutting out other sources of fructose, including those found in processed foods, fruit juice, excessive fruit and so-called "healthy" sweeteners like agave.
This is especially true if you have insulin resistance and are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or high or unregulated cholesterol levels.
For the majority of people, severely restricting carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, and grains in your diet will be the key to weight loss. Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.
As you cut these dietary villains from your meals, you need to replace them with healthy substitutes like vegetables and healthy fats (including natural saturated fats!). Your body prefers the carbohydrates in vegetables rather than grains and sugars because it slows the conversion to simple sugars, and improves insulin resistance.
When you cut grains and sugar from your meals, you typically will need to radically increase the amount of vegetables you eat, as well as make sure you are also consuming protein and healthy fats regularly.
This Efficient Exercise Can Help You Burn More Fat
Once you've addressed your diet, exercise can truly begin to work its magic on your physique, and help boost fat loss even further. The trick to achieving flat abs is to incorporate the correct types of exercises. High intensity interval exercises should be at the core of any routine. This short intense training protocol improves muscle energy utilization and expenditure due to its positive effects on increasing muscle mass and improving muscle fiber quality. Further, several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session.
In fact, you can actually lose more weight by reducing the amount of time you spend on exercise, because when doing high-intensity interval training you only need 20 minutes, two to three times a week.
Help for Emotional Eaters
Many adults turn to food in times of boredom, stress and loneliness. And for those who are eating due to stress, the comfort food of choice tends to be greasy, salty or sweet. Not surprisingly, such "stress-driven" eaters, particularly women, tend to weigh more on average. And women who feel a lack of emotional support in their lives have a greater tendency to eat to cope with stress.
So your emotional health, whether you're eating as a distraction, a reward or to help fill a missing void in your life, must be dealt with in order to successfully resist cravings for unhealthy foods. .
How to Even the Playing Field...
The three strategies noted above will greatly help most anyone lose weight, but women can help to close the "gender gap" for weight loss by:
· Eliminating or strictly limiting fructose in your diet
· Engaging in high-intensity Peak Fitness exercise to burn fat and increase muscle mass (another fat burner)
· Addressing the emotional component of eating
Join us tonite at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness at 142 Erickson dDive, Red Deer for an information evening at 6:30 or call Danika at 403-347-3261 for more information