The contrast in the way men and women deal with diets, lose weight and practice sports does exist. Some differences come down to the biology, others are mostly behavioural. Basically, you lose weight when your body is burning more calories than it consumes. But it is not as easy as it seems. Especially, if you are a woman. In this blog I will highlight the major reasons that put a crimp in your weight loss goals, as well as suggest seven strategies to help you reach your ideal weight. It is harder for women to lose weight but it is not impossible!
Men will normally have more muscles than women. Muscle mass burns more calories than fat mass. So, the metabolic rate in men is faster, on average it is about 7 percent higher than in women.
In the gym women tend to lift lighter weights and concentrate on cardio fitness, whereas men usually try to lift heavier weights, thus boosting both muscle growth and metabolism.
Scientific evidence proves that male and female brains differ in their response to food. Here it is well worth considering the findings of the research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA in 2009. According to it, women’s brain becomes active as they see, smell and taste the food even if they are not hungry. During the research such products as pizza, cinnamon rolls and chocolate cake were used. Brain scanning revealed its activation in the regions which regulate the urge to eat. This brain activation was not found in men.
After a workout women show a higher level of ghrelin, the so-called “hunger hormone”, while their level of leptin, the hormone responsible for the feeling of satiety, drops dramatically. Such drastic fluctuations have not been found in men. Women tend to exaggerate with their post-workout meals, which may increase the risk of excessive weight gain. According to the scientists, this may trace back to Darwin’s theory. In other words, it is just a female’s body natural way of fighting the energy deficit in order to stay fertile.
Then, there is another curious fact: many women gain weight as they start living with a man. The reason is easy to explain: they just tend to copy their partner’s food habits, eating as much and as often as the males do. That means overeating.
Women are more likely to eat for emotional reasons than men. In their striving for comfort emotional eaters tend to crave for certain foods which affect the pleasure center in the brain. These are usually sweet, greasy and salty products which may cause weight gain.
Approach to dieting
Both men and women have a tendency to follow the “all-or-nothing” weight loss approach, but women are more likely to run to extremes to get back on the “straight and narrow”. They often use such tactics as juice cleansing, meal skipping or extreme dieting. These are definitely not the steadiest weight-loss methods. The majority of men would just come back to the initial plan or opt for an extra workout in the gym.
How to lose weight more effectively: practical tips
- First, set up realistic goals and move ahead in small steps.
- Start a weight training routine. Muscles burn more calories than fat, even at rest. Train at the gym at least two times a week.
- Don’t keep “dangerous” foods at home or at work.
- Get enough sleep. An adult needs at least six hours of sleep per night, on average we have to sleep for seven hours. Lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone thus raising the risk of overeating.
- Plan your meals ahead and never do grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
- Don’t starve yourself. Eat every two to four hours.
- Get yourself into a vertical position as often as you can. Avoid staying in a sitting position all the day long. Such simple actions as leaving your workplace and going out for a little walk will trigger the release of the mood-enhancing hormones, in particular serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. Simple moderate-intensity physical activities, like walking, will help you curb your appetite and will let you stay energetic.