Scientists say it all comes down to the way men store fat.
New research confirms suspicions: men lose weight faster and gain more health benefits from weight loss than women. Scientists say it all boils down to the way men’s bodies are built and where they store fat. Men have more lean muscle mass and a naturally higher metabolic rate, which allows for their bodies to burn more calories. They typically carry visceral fat in their midsection and when that fat is shed it boosts metabolism. On the other hand, women tend to carry subcutaneous fat, which is stored around the hips, thighs, and butt and offers no metabolic health benefits when shed.
Throughout the eight-week study, scientists recorded the weight loss results of more than 2,200 overweight adults in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand who followed an 800 calorie-diet of mostly soups, shakes, hot cereals and low-calorie vegetables. The findings showed that men lost 16 percent more weight than women. In addition to less body fat, men had a lower heart rate and lower risk for diabetes. For women, the low-calorie diet had some negative impacts such as larger reduction in their high-density lipoprotein (HPL) cholesterol aka the “good” type, reductions in bone mineral density, and a decrease in lean body mass, which slows down the metabolism.
Some of these factors are unfortunate for women, but in general weight loss is always beneficial for people who are overweight or have health issues. Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D. states, “The benefits of weight loss are going to always outweigh the negatives. The women’s HDL went down, but I would imagine their LDL, the bad cholesterol, went down too. And that’s good.” Dr. Young also suggests women can combat many of the negative results with exercise. Lifting weights will build more lean body mass, which in turn can elevate your HDL and strengthen your bones. Even though men have the advantage when it comes to weight loss, women can still benefit from losing weight and should not be discouraged to do so.
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