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Is it Harder for Women to Lose Weight Than Men?

Dhanashree Patane
The battle of the sexes has yet another war, and this time, it is weight loss. It is harder for women to lose weight faster than men. True or false? ... revealed here.
If only losing weight was as easy as losing my cell phone, my keys, my temper, or even my mind, I'd be SO skinny! - Unknown
For long women have envied men for one good reason, and that is they can eat whatever they want and still not pile on a bulk of fat cuddling their waistline. They eat, they burn, and its gone. How do they do that? It is simply not fair. Most women reading this know the pain of weight loss, and how stubborn body fat can be.
In the case of women, the slightest craving of a delicious dessert would give them a guilt trip, while men could gorge on the same dessert without the slightest frown. And you know the bonus - they could burn these calories like a piece of paper on a stove.
Why are men and women engineered differently for body fat and weight loss? Is it harder for women to lose weight than men? Yes, it is. Research says that women have to put in more effort to lose weight as compared to men, both in terms of exercise and diet. Women, are we disappointed? Yeah, a little. It is unfair, but that is how we are designed.

Why is it More Difficult for Women to Lose Weight Than Men?

The Science

➛ A study was conducted at the University of Missouri on obese men and women. They were all put on the same diet and exercise routine. In the end, it was observed that men benefited more from the fitness routine as compared to women on the same program. They exercised the same, ate the same, but, men showed better results in terms of fitness and weight loss.
➛ The primary reason why men lose weight faster is because they have a higher percentage of muscle in the body, while a woman's body consists of more fat. Muscles have a high metabolic rate as opposed to fats.
So it is the differences in body composition that sets men ahead of women as far as weight loss is concerned. Women have more percentage of subcutaneous fat, while men have more visceral fat. Visceral fat is metabolized faster than subcutaneous fat.
➛ The difference in body composition is because of the hormones. Men have higher levels of testosterone in them, while women have more estrogen. So here, it is the testosterone in men that gives them more muscle than fat.
➛ A woman's body stores more fat because of the female hormone - estrogen. These hormones wire the body in a way to store more fat, so as to prepare the body for reproduction and childbirth.
➛ It is observed that, as women grow older, their estrogen levels drop. Due to this drop, it gets more difficult for women to lose weight, as they age. Science reveals that estrogen also suppresses an enzyme that leads to accumulation of fat in the abdomen. So when the level of estrogen decreases, this enzyme gets active, and leads to abdominal fat storage.
➛ It you observe, women tend to put on weight around the stomach, thighs, and the bottom. This is to protect the womb and keep the body warm for nurturing the fetus. Men generally put on weight only in the middles.
➛ Talking about the physical aspects of both men and women's bodies, another reason why the metabolism is higher in men, is that, men have larger bodies as compared to the petite and usually delicate frames for women. Women also have a smaller lung capacity. So when women are working out, they feel they are working out as hard as compared to men.
➛ Men have a larger heart and lungs, and a higher amount of hemoglobin than women. The advantage? The oxygen required during exercise is transported to the different organs in the blood that contains high hemoglobin.
➛ A man's body responds more quickly to exercise than that of a woman. During exercising, a woman's body will go into a kind of starvation phase. It will lower the rate of metabolism, and try to retain as much fat as possible.
➛ Men weigh considerably more than most women. So here, the math says, it takes more calories to support a larger body of a man, and comparatively lesser calories to support the petite frame of a woman. So a man can eat more and still burn more calories.

The Psychology

➛ A psychological reasoning as to why women have a difficult time losing weight is, the brain and how it reacts to food. In women, the brain works differently when exposed to enticing food. Various studies have proved this finding.
➛ A group of men and women were shown different savory and delicious foods, but they were not allowed to eat them. After a few hours, all of them underwent a brain scan. It was observed that the women's brains still reflected hunger, while the men's brains did not.
It was concluded that a woman's brain is wired in a way to eat, whenever food is available. The need to support pregnancy may be a reason behind this.
➛ There also is the possibility of female hormones reacting differently to that part of the brain which triggers or suppresses hunger. In addition to this, women also have many hormonal changes as compared to men. They go through mood swings, thus encouraging cravings for food.
➛ Other social factors may also affect a woman and her diet habits. In most cases, women still responsible for cooking. They spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Hence, results the extra nibbling.
➛ The body of a man is also more active than that of a woman, at least in most cases. During childhood and growing years, boys are generally playing sports, climbing trees, and chasing each other. Comparatively, girls spend more time indoors.
Considering all these factors and findings, it can be said that it is indeed harder for women to lose weight than men. It has been rightly said, "it sure is tough being a woman!"