Why Women Can’t Lose Weight as Fast as Men
These days, it seems like weight loss is an American pastime, which is not surprising, given the high amount of obesity in the country.
This number might be a lot lower if it was easier to lose weight, and some have it harder than others, and it seems like they can’t lose weight.
Women have suspected for years that men have an easier time losing weight, and, unfortunately, they’re kind of right. Several studies have confirmed that there are biological differences that give men an advantage when it comes to losing weight.
Even so, biology is only the half it, because a lot of the factors that keep women from losing weight are actually cultural rather than bodily. What these obstacles are and what you can do about them will be discussed more thoroughly below.
Biology, and Why You Can’t Lose Weight
Biologically speaking, women are not built to lose weight as easily as men. For instance, men naturally have more muscle and about ten times as much testosterone, both of which are designed to help break down fat.
Lung capacity differs among the sexes, with men generally having more. This means that women will usually feel the exhaustion and strain of their exercise before men do, assuming, of course, that they are doing the same exercise.
Add to this the effects of Estrogen, and the rest of the female reproductive system. Because women are the ones who carry babies, they naturally have more fat because it helps with fertility.
Estrogen lessens a woman’s ability to get rid of calories after eating. Unfortunately, the issue goes even deeper than hormones, all the way to brain chemistry.
A study at the Brookhaven National Laboratory tested how people’s brains reacted when they were exposed to images and smells of food. On the whole, men’s brains reacted differently than women’s.
When the men weren’t hungry, their brain chemistry stayed largely the same before and after being reminded of the food. Women, on the other hand, had difficulty turning off their cravings completely, even when instructed to focus on other things.
Women also seem to have a larger emotional response to food, often turning to it for stress relief. Men were more likely to drink in response to stress.
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Weight Loss and Societal Roles
Biology isn’t everything, and society is no friend to women when it comes to weight loss. For instance, men are encouraged to focus more on weight training and muscle building, whereas women are told to stick to cardio.
The problem with this is that, since muscle plays a huge role in helping get rid of fat, women are unknowingly discouraged from doing the very thing that will help them lose weight.
Men might be contributing to this problem, again without realizing it. Most of our date night ideas involve eating, which wouldn’t be a problem except that women tend to fall into step with their partners in terms of eating habits, and women just aren’t built to handle as much food as men.
Men also carry fat more gracefully than women. When men gain weight, they tend to get a beer belly, whereas women gain weight in their hips and butt.
Because of this, men tend to look like they’re losing a lot of weight when they’re only losing a little, and the fact that they’re generally taller and larger-framed doesn’t help.
It should be mentioned that carrying fat in the belly puts men at higher risk for a whole slew of life-threatening medical conditions, so there’s that.
Building a More Effective and Scientific Weight Loss Plan
With all of this in mind, the next question is, naturally, how do you rework your weight loss plan to work better?
One of the most conscious, and therefore simplest, methods is to switch up your exercise routine. Abandon the treadmill and try lifting some weights. The extra muscle will help you burn off more fat.
You also might want to consider keeping a food and weight loss journal. Knowing how many calories you’re taking in and burning off can give you the motivation to eat healthier and exercise more.
A great thing about the human brain is that a little organization goes a long way.
Take up meditation. Meditation can help to reduce and manage stress, which may lead to less eating, a healthier body, and a more positive attitude. What makes meditation so effective is breath control.
Slowly and deliberately controlling your breathing affects your entire circulatory system, making you feel much more aware and in charge of your life. It’s so effective that therapists and psychiatrists use it to help patients with hyperactive or anxiety disorders.
If meditation isn’t your thing, you might want to try something called ASMR. A fairly new concept, ASMR involves using a series of soft, pleasant sounds to help the listener to unwind and fall asleep.
Even if you don’t sleep, it can definitely be relaxing. However, if it does help you sleep, that’s a big advantage, as sleep plays a big role in weight loss.
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Losing Weight in All the Right Ways
Unfortunately, it’s much harder for women to lose weight than it is for men. There are a lot of reasons for this, biology and societal standards are the reasons it seems like you can’t lose weight.
Of course, knowing where the hurdles are make them much easier to jump over. Restructuring your exercise routines to include muscle-focused tasks will eventually make it easier for your body to break down fat.
It’s not all about a healthy body, though, because being in a better place mentally and emotionally means that snacking will be less of a problem because there are fewer negative emotions to trigger it.
The best way to do this is through meditation, ASMR, breathing exercises, or anything else that helps to reduce stress.
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