Phoenix Pro Fitness Godalming: The skinny on gender related fat loss and how it affects YOU!
Did you know that your gender affects the way in which you store and lose fat and subsequently, your health?
Research studying gender differences in energy balance, insulin resistance and body composition show that, for a given body mass, men have a higher proportion of metabolic boosting lean tissue whilst women have a higher level of adiposity (fat cells). Men, however, were found to have more visceral fat (intra-abdominal fat which is closely linked to heart disease, coronary artery disease as well as other health pathologies) whereas women had more subcutaneous fat (beneath the surface of the skin).
These differences, combined with differences in sex hormones and adipokines (cell to cell signalling proteins secreted by adipose tissue), may contribute to greater insulin sensitivity in women than in men.
Geer, E.B & Shen, W. Gender differences in insulin resistance, body composition, and energy balance (2009) Gender Medicine, 6 (Supp. 1) pp.60-75
Not surprisingly then, another study published in the International Journal of Obesity, found that for a given reduction in body weight or waist circumference, men demonstrated a greater loss of visceral fat and lower loss of subcutaneous fat. What is interesting, however, is that the total body fat lost for a given bodyweight or waist circumference was the same for both sexes.
KUK, J.L, & Ross, R (2009) 'Influence of sex on total and regional fat loss in overweight and obese men and women.' International Journal of Obesity, London, Jun 33 (6) :629-34
It is well established that women generally have a higher % body fat than men, with a healthy range for women being cited at 20-25% and 10-15% for men. And because women tend to have a lower propensity for lean mass, it becomes even MORE important for them to build it if fat loss is the goal. Muscle tissue is the body's metabolic furnace after all. But don't worry. Unless you are seriously genetically unique, the majority of women can't 'bulk up' even if they try. In fact, I have personally tried to gain muscle size in prep for a bodybuilding contest, and despite the fact I am naturally of athletic build, I STILL don't look bulky, even with a concerted effort. But I am getting leaner and leaner, and you will too.
So, whilst it is clear that there are distinct differences in the metabolism, mobilisation and storage of fat between genders, dietary and training implications remain largely the same. In the next day or two I will post the 'fat loss echelons' - the ranking system that will help you prioritise your training schedule for faster fat loss, and protection against excess fat related illness.
To Your Success!
P.S. Book your free consultation at Phoenix Pro Fitness now to see how we can help you with your fat loss and fitness goals!