If you ask most women, they’ll tell you that “men have it way easier,” men don’t give birth, they don’t have that monthly ‘visitor,’ AND they can eat more calories.” Okay, well, maybe that last part isn’t typically their statement, but it’s true.
Now, at the risk of upsetting all the fellas reading this, I have to say I am inclined to agree with the ladies — they do have a slightly tougher road when it comes to many things. That being said, we’re going to keep this to my area of expertise (so I don’t get in trouble with either gender), and discuss the four reasons why men can lose body fat faster than women.
Reason #1: Body Surface Area
One of the best predictors of resting metabolism is body surface area; the physical space you take up. To calculate body surface area, you’d basically wrap yourself once in Saran wrap (not recommended) and then measure the length and width of the Saran wrap and multiply. Since no one is running out to do that, let’s just say guys take up more space than women and because of it have higher metabolic rates.
Reason #2: More Muscle Tissue
Men also have significantly more muscle tissue than women. Muscle tissue is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body; therefore, the more muscle someone has the more calories they burn. Even if a man and a woman weigh exactly the same and have exactly the same body surface area, the man still burns more calories due to a greater amount of muscle mass.
Reason #3: Hormonal Differences
Although men and women have similar hormones, the relative portions of each hormone are different between genders. Men have more growth hormone and testosterone. Both hormones (growth hormone in particular) are fat burners and muscle preservers. So in terms of calorie deficits, men will find it easier to lose fat and preserve muscle than woman.
Reason #4: Fat Distribution
Men tend to store their fat in the abdominal region, whereas women tend to store their fat in the lower body. Abdominal fat tends to be far more responsive to the fat-burning hormones released during exercise than lower body fat. Because of this, men are better able to tap into, and burn, their largest area of body fat, where women won’t be as successful.
Many of these differences manifest themselves in men simply burning more calories than women. If a man’s total daily calorie expenditure is 2500 calories, he easily can create a 1000 calorie per day deficit and lose 2 pounds of fat per week. However, a woman may burn only 1800 calories per day, making it impossible to create a 1000 calorie per day deficit (since it is unhealthy to take anyone, male or female, below 1200 calories per day). The best a woman could hope for in this scenario is a loss of 1.2 pounds per week, which is 40% less fat lost over the same period of time.
This blog wasn’t intended to encourage men and discourage women. If anything this blog is intended to empower you ladies out there with some knowledge as to why the guys around might be losing body fat faster than you are. Gender doesn’t affect your ability to lose body fat, but it does affect the rate of reduction. Now that you know this is a physiological fact, you can accept it and get back to the business of losing body fat.