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The Weight Loss Conundrum: Men v. Women

By Yana Berlin

I remember watching my boyfriend eat quantities of food that I was sure would kill him, but he in fact survived, and didn't gain any weight to show for his gluttony.  I used to be comforted by the thought of his metabolism crashing in the next decades to come, which would somehow make all the salads I ate instead of pizza worth it.  Now two decades later he is still the same size, even my father who is 64 weighs only 7 more pounds than he did in high school.  What gives?!  

men losing weightrWell, to simplify, most of the reason men are able to keep slimmer, or at least able to lose weight much easier than women, simply has to do with how they're put together, and how we're not.  Men are much more muscular than women, for starters.  The more muscle you have, the more calories you require to function on a daily basis, even when your body is resting.  Similarly, men are larger than women, and it's simple fact that larger beings require more food and sustenance to break even at the end of the day.

Just those two mass-related factors make a huge difference, but the different hormone composition that men have also make losing and keeping weight off much easier. Women's bodies are designed to bear children, and with this in mind, we're hormonally prone to store fat in our hips, thighs, breasts and stomach area in an effort to be ideally prepared for pregnancy and childbirth.  Once the fat is deposited, it's not going to go easily.  

Many women hit the gym in an effort to shed the excess fat, but chances are you won't see results on your scale or in your jean size, even after a month of regular and rigorous exercise.  Mother nature gave you fat in those places and has biologically set you up so that even with lots of exercise, it's not going anywhere.  The fact is, men can get results within two weeks of working out, thanks to testosterone and larger muscles to work with. Women are much more likely to get visible weight-loss results from changing their diet and monitoring their eating.  

That isn't to say exercise isn't incredibly beneficial for a whole variety of reasons, it just means that if you're looking to see the numbers go down on your scale and tag of your jeans, pick up a calorie-counting book at the bookstore and steer clear of junk food.  Additionally, women's weight loss experts have pointed out the fact that women who rely on gym time to stay slim, often times eat food they otherwise wouldn't, dieting or not.  So there it is ladies, if you're looking to pick the diet fight with mother nature, go into it knowing how to battle: decrease calorie-consumption and don't kill yourself at the gym.

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