If you are a woman and believe it’s harder for you to lose weight than it is for a man, then you’re right. You may be highly motivated to shed those unwanted pounds and are calorie counting. Yet, a man is able to lose more weight than you if they did everything you did. In this article, we’re going to explain female fat loss so you can know how to more effectively experience fat loss as a woman.
The main thing that makes fat loss for women challenging is genetics. Here is what goes into making it more challenging to lose weight for women:
Women have more body fat than men do. They also have less muscle. These two factors lead to a woman’s metabolism being slower than that of a man. If you are a woman, your body is burning fewer calories in its resting state than a man is. This makes it more challenging for women’s fat loss goals.
Fewer Hormones in Menopause
If you are a woman who is going through menopause, then it’s likely that you will notice some extra weight gain occurring. This is happening because you are losing hormones and seeing your metabolism slow down even more.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Something that affects up to one in ten women is polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. This condition involves a hormonal imbalance that leads to female fat loss being more challenging. Another telltale sign of PCOS is the occurrence of irregular periods.
You may not know this, but women have testosterone just like men do. The difference is that their bodies produce far less of it. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid that helps develop bigger muscles. The difference in the amount of testosterone is massive. Men have 7-8 times more than their female counterparts.
More testosterone in men means it’s easier for men to develop muscles than it is for women. This ease in developing more muscle also speeds up the metabolism, making it easier for men to experience fat loss compared with women.
Fat loss for women is also more challenging due to normal hormonal fluctuations. Every month, pre-menopausal women see fluctuations in how much estrogen and progesterone they have. These changes lead to retaining more water and having a more difficult time with fat loss. From around the middle of their monthly menstruation cycles to just before their periods, water retention is almost a given. That means you shouldn’t expect to see your weight drop, even if you’re exercising and eating healthy.
Differences in Fat Storage
Women’s fat loss is also more challenging due to differences in how women store fat. Fat loss for women is more challenging, given the female body holds onto fat more. There is an evolutionary reason for this. Women require more nutrients when they are pregnant, so the body keeps more fat stored in reserves in case there’s a baby on the way.
The locations that have evolved to get far stored in are the hips, butt, and legs. This is by evolutionary design. Additionally, the body will hold onto fat more overall. The body wants enough fat to exist so that leptin can be produced, which leads to better fertility. Also, storing more fat is the female body’s way of ensuring a baby’s brain is properly developed.
Fat Is Burned Differently
When it comes to female fat loss, in women, the upper body fat will get burned first. Body fat on the lower part of the body is more persistent and will stay on. The only times where lower body fat goes on its own is when a woman is pregnant and lactating. That’s because these fat stores are finally getting used for their intended purpose. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical to the proper development of a fetus, get stored in the thighs.
Food Preference Differences
Women are more into high-fat and sugar-laden foods than men are. This makes it more challenging for women’s fat loss to occur. The natural gravitation towards foods high in fat and sugar becomes a psychological challenge that is more easily overcome than some of the other things on our list.
Most women usually just focus on cardio workouts. They generally tend to avoid lifting weights. However, this workout preference makes it more challenging to gain more muscle, burn fat, and increase metabolism. In most women’s minds, if they start weightlifting, they are going to bulk up. That is why even if they do lift weights, they will only lift light ones. Men, on the other hand, focus on heavy weightlifting, which increases their muscle mass while boosting their metabolism.
This is also something well within the power of women to change. Getting more weightlifting into your workout routine using weights that give you a challenge will help you on your fat loss journey.
Post-Workout Food Cravings
After an intense workout, women tend to satisfy their hunger cravings a little more than men. This is due to a biochemical process occurring in their systems. A hormone that makes you feel hungry, called ghrelin, shoots up in women after a workout. On the other hand, a hormone called leptin, which signals when you are full, sees a massive drop if you’re a woman.
Emotional eating can lead to having trouble shedding unwanted fat. Stress eating involves eating more to feel better, instead of solely doing it because you are hungry. Not only that, but you may be often going for foods that light up the pleasure center in your brain, which often includes foods high in sugar, fat, and salt.
Now that you understand how fat loss occurs in women, you can make some changes where it’s possible to help shed those unwanted pounds. There is still plenty in your hands to adjust, so you can get rid of that fat you no longer want.