So you’ve finally made up your mind, once and for all, to lose weight no matter what. And to make sure that you won’t give up in the middle of your diet or exercise regime, you’ve decided to team up with one of your best friends. A team buddy that can give you support and cheer for you when you’re at your worst. Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? But what if your weight loss buddy is a guy?
Now, you’ve conquered the first month, after lots of sweating and craving for those chocolate donuts that you love so much (but which are absolutely banned from your new health program). Then you check your weight, hoping to see the results of your efforts and you see that you’ve hardly lost 3 pounds. You shrug it off, thinking “Well, maybe weight loss is slower in the first month”.
However, when you ask your male friend how he did, he turns to you with a big smile and says “Great! I lost nearly 10 pounds!” Your jaw drops, your stomach lurches and you can feel your face turning red. You can hardly believe your ears! You’ve been giving it your best and all you lose is a lousy 3 pounds while your male buddy sheds off 10 pounds! You’re not only furious, you’re green with envy.
It’s time for you to ditch your male weight loss buddy!
But wait! Let’s just rewind here for a sec. Why did he do better than you? He was always late at the gym and you’re almost certain you caught him cheating once or twice on his diet. So how could he possibly have gotten such great results with much less effort than you? The answer is, because he’s a man.
As unfair as this may sound, a man’s metabolism is much faster at burning fat than a woman’s. To begin with, a healthy young man has approximately 10-15% body fat, whereas a young woman will have 20-25%, which is necessary for her to have those gorgeous curves. So, initially, women will always have more fat than men and will tend to store it more easily.
The problem with fat is that, if we allow it to increase beyond the mentioned percentages, we begin to gain weight. However, note that body fat values increase as we grow older; the healthy percentage for males over 50 can move up to 25%, and that of women to 35% (this is perfectly normal).
Women tend to store fat around the abdomen, thighs, hips and glutes, while fat in men is stored in just one place, the abdominal area, which is why it’s also much easier for him to burn it out. Fat equals energy, and because men have larger bodies and muscles, they need more energy to move them; men are genetically stronger too, so they are able to imprint a lot more strength in any exercise they do, plus they have more resistance to physical activity.
Think of it in terms of a car. Say, we have an 8 cylinder car with 230 horsepower. It will need a lot of gas to have enough energy to race, but even though it gulps more gas, it also burns it faster. A guy’s metabolism works the same way. So have a male weight loss buddy by all means, but be sure to understand that your bodies are very different from a metabolic standpoint.