Male vs Female Fat Loss – Who Has It Easier?

The Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Hard for Women & Men to Burn Body Fat

Men and women both have a hard time losing body fat, but for different reasons.

Here are the top 5 reasons why it’s hard for men and women to lose body fat, and gives the 3 proven diet and exercise techniques for losing as much fat as possible in only 12 weeks.

Men and women struggle with fat loss for different reasons, but does one sex have an easier time with weight loss?

Here are 5 reasons men and women struggle with weight, and the 3 essential techniques everyone must follow in order to burn fat and boost their metabolism.

#1) The number one reason men and women have a hard time losing weight is because of poor nutrition.

Advantage: Women

Most women are better educated on food choices, but men continue to eat as if they were still playing college football. As a result, men will have a harder time losing weight because no matter how much they exercise, they are still eating too many calories. You can’t “out-train a bad diet”.

#2) The second reason men and women struggle with weight loss is because their metabolism decreases over time due to muscle loss and reduced activity.

Advantage: Men

Most men have more muscle mass and get more exercise than women. Plus, more men do strength training while women neglect this key element of the fat burning equation.

In fact, a recent study showed that both men and women can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time with strength training – even at age 60!

Without strength training and interval training, women will continue to burn fewer calories per day with each passing year and will have a harder and harder time with fat loss.

#3) Men and women will struggle with weight loss if they only rely on slow, boring cardio.

Advantage: Men

More men do interval training, and that is better than slow cardio for fat loss.

In a recent study, men and women on a year-long cardio program lost only 6-8 pounds, even though they exercised 6 days per week.

In another study, a group of women did not lose weight after 15 weeks of cardio (3x’s per week). In contrast, a group of women in the same study that did interval training were able to lose belly fat.

#4) Men and women have a hard time with weight loss if they don’t have social support.

Advantage: Women

Most men try to do everything on their own, but weight loss is easier if you have social support. On the other hand, most women are more willing to recruit help from friends and family when on a weight loss program.

Men and women can get social support from friends at work, from their family, from people at the gym, or even in an online fat loss forum.

#5) Men and women struggle with weight loss because of poor exercise choices.

Advantage: Tie.

Most guys and gals just show up at the gym without a plan – or they just go for a jog and do some crunches. But without a professional plan, both men and women will not lose weight, but only waste time.

To lose the most amount of fat in the least amount of time, both men and women should follow a program containing the following three essential elements…

A) A reduced-calorie diet of whole, natural foods.

No one needs an extreme eating plan. Just focus on eating 10-20% fewer calories than you need, focusing on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and sources of protein and healthy fats. Stay away from anything in a bag or a box.

B) Resistance training (Strength training)

Resistance training, using dumbells, bodyweight exercises, or barbells help men and women burn fat and build muscle.

C) Interval training

Short bursts of exercise, as done in interval training, work better than slow, boring cardio, and get results in half the time.

In a recent transformation contest, both men and women using a fat loss program of resistance training and interval training were able to lose up to 33 pounds of fat in only 12 weeks.

The Transformation Contest winner was a female, while second place went to a man who lost 33 pounds in only 12 weeks – this proves that both men and women can burn belly fat with resistance training and interval training for fat loss.

Top 3 Weight Loss Pitfalls

You may think you are doing everything right and still your weight loss efforts are stalled, or worse, you find the scale going in the wrong direction! Maybe you successfully lost weight, but now the number on the scale is creeping back up. What’s going on here? Well there are a few common pitfalls people tend to slip into without realizing they are sabotaging their efforts. Here are the 3 most common:

1. Skimping on Protein. Starting your day with a complete protein will increase chemicals in the brain that not only improve sleep but also improve your mood due to their tryptophan content. This amino acid is a precursor to serotonin the feel-good hormone that keeps you feeling happy and motivated. Serotonin becomes melatonin, which helps you sleep at night. Fewer than 6 hours of sleep per day is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, increased risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Sleep is critical for maintaining healthy weight and protein is important for restful sleep. Adequate protein in the morning blunts appetite throughout the day and studies showed starting the day with clean protein instead of carbs can reduce risk of fatigue by up to 75% for 6 hours and double your energy within 30 minutes! (A better workout!) One study found women who included protein at breakfast lost weight 65% faster.

2. Doing the same workout day in and day out. When you follow a consistent exercise program, your body gets more efficient and you no longer burn as many calories. You either have to increase the intensity or change your routine regularly if you want to maintain your weight loss. Your body is Intelligently created and when you do the same 3 miles on the treadmill or the same kettle bell workout every day, your body adapts. Just vary your routine – the intensity, number of reps, speed, and even the specific exercises every few weeks to keep your body surprised and burning the maximum number of calories. It is one of my recommendations in my book, Today is Still the Day.

3. Not Drinking Water. Don’t get so caught up in eating healthy foods that you overlook drinking adequate water. Staying hydrated reduces hunger, increases the number of calories you burn and improves your body’s ability to burn body fat for energy. Drinking 16 oz. 15-30 minutes before meals boosts metabolism 24-30% over the next hour to 1.5 hours.

My basic recommendation is one half your body weight in ounces and including ΒΌ tsp. of natural, unprocessed salt for every 32 oz.

Are any of these pitfalls hindering your efforts?

Your Eight Hormones and Weight Loss

There are many physical, mental, and physiological

benefits to regular exercise. One category of

benefits is the impact that exercise has on many

of your body’s hormones. Hormones are chemical

messengers within your body that affect almost

all aspects of human function:

1. Growth Hormone

– Stimulates protein synthesis (muscle tone/development),

and strength of bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. –

Decreases use of glucose and increases use of fat as a fuel

during exercise. This helps to reduce body fat and to keep

blood glucose at a normal level which helps you to exercise

for a longer period of time.

Release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland

in the brain is increased with increasing aerobic

exercise time, especially more intense exercise such as

interval training. To receive an article on interval

training, send email to: [email protected]

2. Endorphins

– An endogenous opioid from the pituitary gland that

blocks pain, decreases appetite, creates a feeling of

euphoria (the exercise high), and reduces tension and

anxiety.

Blood levels of endorphins increase up to five times

resting levels during longer duration (greater than

30 minutes) aerobic exercise at moderate to intense

levels and also during interval training.

Also, after several months of regular exercise, you

develop an increased sensitivity to endorphins (a

higher high from the same level of endorphins), and

endorphins that are produced tend to stay in your

blood for a longer period of time. This makes longer

duration exercise easier (you’re feeling no pain)

and it causes your exercise high to last for a longer

period of time after exercise.

3. Testosterone

– An important hormone in both males and females for

maintaining muscle tone/volume/strength, increasing

basal metabolic rate (metabolism), decreasing body

fat, and feeling self-confident. It’s produced by the

ovaries in females and by the testes in males.

– Females have only about one tenth the amount of

testosterone that males do, but even at that level in

females it also plays a role in libido and intensity

of orgasms. Production of testosterone in females begins

to decline as a woman begins to approach menopause

and in males it begins to decline in his forties.

Blood levels of testosterone increase with exercise

in both males and females beginning about 20 minutes

into an exercise session, and blood levels may remain

elevated for one to three hours after exercise.

4. Estrogen

– The most biologically active estrogen, 17 beta

estradiol, increases fat breakdown from body fat stores so

that it can be used and fuel, increases basal metabolic rate

(metabolism), elevates your mood, and increases libido.

This hormone is at much higher blood levels in females,

but the ovaries begin to produce less of it as a woman

begins to approach menopause.

The amount of 17 beta estradiol secreted by the ovaries

increases with exercise, and blood levels may remain

elevated for one to four hours after exercise.

5. Thyroxine (T4)

– A hormone produced by the thyroid gland, Thyroxine

raises the metabolic rate (“metabolism”) of almost

all cells in the body. This increase in “metabolism”

helps you to feel more energetic and also causes you

to expend more calories, and thus is important in

weight loss.

Blood levels of thyroxine increase by about 30%

during exercise and remain elevated for several

hours afterward – this period of time is increased

by an increase in intensity and/or duration of

exercise. Regular exercise also increase thyroxine

levels at rest.

6. Epinephrine

– A hormone produced primarily by the adrenal

medulla that increases the amount of blood the

heart pumps and directs blood flow to where it’s

needed.

– Stimulates breakdown of glycogen (stored

carbohydrate) in the active muscles and liver to use

as fuel. It also stimulates the breakdown of fat (in

stored fat and in active muscles) to use as fuel.

The amount of epinephrine released from the adrenal

medulla is proportional to the intensity and

duration of exercise.

7. Insulin

An important hormone in regulating (decreasing)

blood levels of glucose (“blood sugar”) and in

directing glucose, fatty acids, and amino

acids into the cells. Insulin secretion by the

pancreas is increased in response to a rise in

blood sugar as is often the case after a meal.

Typically, the larger the meal, or the greater the

quantity of simple sugars consumed, the larger

the insulin response. This is another reason

that it’s good to eat small frequent meals and

to limit consumption of sugar and of processed

bread, pasta and rice. The whole grain (non-

processed) versions of those products are a

much healthier choice.

Blood levels of insulin begin to decrease about 10

minutes into an aerobic exercise session and

continue to decrease through about 70 minutes of

exercise. Regular exercise also increases a cell’s

sensitivity to insulin at rest, so that less is needed.

8. Glucagon

A hormone that is also secreted by the pancreas,

but it’s job is to raise blood levels of glucose

(“blood sugar”). When blood sugar levels get too

low, glucagon is secreted and causes stored

carbohydrate (glycogen) in the liver to be released

into the blood stream to raise blood sugar to a

normal level. It also causes the breakdown of fat

so that it can be used as fuel.

Glucagon typically begins to be secreted beyond

30 minutes of exercise when blood glucose levels

may begin to decrease.

So, next time you’re exercising, think about all

the wonderful things that are happening to your

hormones. It might even make you want to do more

exercise!

copyright 2007 by Greg Landry, M.S

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