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Why Women Have A Harder Time Losing Weight Than Men

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Joan Lunden

Health / / March 21, 2009

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So here is the way the story goes. You and your man forge a pact: Together, you'll each drop pounds before bathing-suit season. Here's a tip: Do it his way. I mean that, because through a twist of biological and sociological fate, he's much more primed to succeed.

You've probably already noticed that when he simply gives up beer -- bam -- 10 pounds are gone in a flash! But why? Why is it so much easier for him? First, there are the natural reasons: Men have considerably more muscle than women, and muscle is the primary fat-burner in the human body, so if you have more, you can burn a greater amount of fat.

Second, women store more body fat for proper reproduction. And let's not forget that men weigh considerably more than women. Why does that matter? Well it takes a lot more calories to support the mass of a 225 pound man than it does to support that of a 150 pound woman. So that means men can simply consume more calories, and still lose weight.

Finally, starting very early on, boys are, for the most part, more physically active than girls. Let’s face it, while little girls are playing with their Barbies, little boys are out chasing each other and climbing into a tree fort somewhere.

So while you can't change biology, you can adopt some of the following guy-like behaviors that foster weight loss:

Diet and Eat

All too often, women go on starvation diets. However that quickly lowers your metabolism so that you don’t burn calories as efficiently. So remember, not eating is a bad approach for weight loss.

Go Pro

Eat more protein. Meat and eggs have long been considered guy foods, but they're packed with protein -- in particular, an amino acid called leucine, which is critical for boosting metabolism and preserving muscle. Unfortunately many women crave chocolates and sweets, which affects insulin and other fat storage hormones in your body and that causes you to have a sugar crash and crave more food soon after.

Add Weights to Lose Weight

Women should absolutely be lifting weights like the guys. Weight loss is typically 75 percent fat, and 25 percent muscle. So if muscle's the primary fat-burner in the human body, and you lose it, then your progress will slow dramatically.

Get in It to Win It

OK let’s be honest. Men tend to push themselves more than women. At the gym, women typically do an easy cardio session on some sort of cross-trainer while guys push themselves harder by running or sprinting and hitting the weights. Men are more aggressive, and are more competitive when they work out, and when they play.

However when it comes to weight loss, we know which sex is more determined!

Categories: Fitness
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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