Changing your body is never simple. The one exception might be if you’re an 18-year-old athletic male who can put on muscle and shed body fat with ease. For everyone else, it tends to be a bit of a struggle.
Women tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to fat loss and muscle building because the vast majority of the advice available is based on research done on men. This is a gigantic problem with untold consequences for women.
As you will see in this article, women’s bodies differ significantly from men’s in terms of metabolism and somewhat in terms of exercise response. Additionally, there are considerable gender stereotypes and misconceptions that limit women’s ability to get useful advice about how to improve their physiques.
This article will tell you five ways that women’s metabolism differs from men’s and what to do about it so you achieve the physique you desire. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscular curves, maximal strength, or athletic performance, this article will tell how to get the most out of your training.
1. At Rest, Women Burn More Carbs And Less Fat Than Men
In addition, women tend to have greater fat storage after eating, which also contributes to their higher body fat percentage.
From an evolutionary perspective, it’s favorable for women to have more body fat because these fat stores will be used during pregnancy and lactation. Once young women become able to reproduce, their bodies will begin storing fat around the hips and thighs “locking it away” in preparation for having a baby.
The fat around the hips and thighs (called gluteofemoral fat) has a particularly high concentration of DHA, one of the three omega-3 fats. The theory is that gluteofemoral DHA fat is used to make breast milk, and that it is for the development of a baby’s brain.
Research suggests that U.S. women tend to have a low percentage of DHA in their gluteofemoral fat due to low intake of omega-3s. This typically leads to significant weight gain during pregnancy, because the woman’s brain is thought to monitor nutrient status throughout the body, sensing the low DHA stores.
This leads to excessive hunger cues, causing women to eat more, in the quest to store as much DHA as possible for nurturing an infant brain. In contrast, Japanese women have a much higher percentage of DHA in their fat due to high fish intake and are correspondingly leaner.
What To Do About It?
Regardless of whether you’re planning on having a baby, get adequate DHA in your diet. Shoot for a balanced ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats by limiting your intake of vegetable fats and oils.
Make your body metabolically flexible so that it is capable of burning fat for energy. Do this by limiting carbohydrates in your diet at certain times so that your body is forced to learn to burn fat.
For example, try eating lower carb on a day when you aren’t training but higher carb on workout days. Doing anaerobic-style exercise such as weight lifting and sprints also improves the body’s metabolic flexibility.