men and women weight loss rates

There is no denying the fact that men and women are not built the same way. Also true is the fact that both men and women gain weight as the years pass. With the ever worsening global obesity epidemic coupled with today’s busy but somewhat sedentary lifestyle, the average weight gain for adult men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four has now risen to about 2.7 pounds from an earlier figure of 1.7 per year while that of women of the same age has risen to 2.2 from 1.4.

What about weight loss when it comes to men and women? Do men really lose weight faster than weight do, or does it just seem so? Without much thinking I believe most people will say "Yes" to this question and frankly speaking, they aren’t any further from the truth. Men have certain advantages over women when it comes to weight loss and as unfortunate as this might seem, weight loss is not an equal opportunity activity because gender and age play major roles.

The truth is that men actually burn fat more quickly than women on an average and this is because men have three key weight-loss advantages over women. The first has to do with the body composition of men in general which makes them burn calories a lot faster than women. Secondly, there are certain hormonal differences that affect mostly women. Lastly, the other weight-loss advantage that men have over women is that men tend to be more active than most women.

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Body Composition

Men naturally have greater lean body mass – more muscle mass and a lower body fat percentage – than women. With the knowledge that lean body mass is the key factor that determines an individual’s metabolic rate – the body’s fat-burning system – it becomes obvious why men tend to lose weight faster than women. Other reasons aside, this is simply the singular most important reason for the differences in how fast men and women lose weight because the metabolic rate is what determines the rate at which any individual – whether male or female – burns fat.

Due to the more lean body mass that men have, they tend to burn more calories even while they are at rest resulting in further weight loss. Research has also shown that the average man’s metabolic rate is about 5 to 10 percent higher than that of a woman of the same weight and height. With men being taller and often heavier than women due to their muscle mass, the muscle advantage in weight loss for men increases even the more.

Hormonal Differences

The lean body mass that men have is mostly influenced by the male hormone – testosterone. Testosterone is produced by the testes in males and by the ovaries in females. However, women have only about one-tenth of the testosterone of men. Another natural advantage obviously rears its head here again.

On the flip side, women’s bodies tend to have varying degrees of hormonal fluctuations. Want to talk about being unfair? First, a woman’s body is designed to hold on to body fat in case of pregnancy. How is that for a start?

Secondly, while increase in estrogen – the female hormone – not only interferes with muscle building ability in general, it also interferes with and suppresses thyroid function which essentially slows the metabolism thus making it more difficult to lose weight.

Conversely, immediately prior to the menstrual period, there is a significant decrease in the production levels of estrogen and serotonin – a neurotransmitter which helps the body maintain a relaxed feeling. This inevitably leads to irritability and mood swings which cause an increase in food craving especially for carbohydrates and fat-rich foods in most women.

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Activity Level

According to a study in the American Journal of Physiology, women burn an average of 16 percent fewer calories than men because the women’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) was 6 percent lower than that of men. Surprisingly, the study found that the calories burned in physical activity were 37 percent less than that of men – meaning that the women were simply not moving as much as the men and so were burning fewer calories.

That would also be an unfair advantage because physical activity, especially high intensity interval training and resistance training generally help to increase and maintain lean body mass. Apart from the result of this study, it is also generally accepted that men are more of the physically active type than their women counterparts and their physical levels help to increase their fat burning ability the more.

And then again, recent studies suggest that women have a more difficult time getting rid of their excess weight by means of exercise. With men finding it very difficult to lose weight, women have the misfortune of have to work almost twice as hard to stay in shape.

Men therefore need to become somewhat more understanding of what their ladies go through in their various attempts to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Ladies need more encouragement and assistance given all the odd against them in their weight loss efforts as they put in their best effort to lose those extra pounds.