Girls vs Boys- Gender differences in body fat distribution

 

 

 

 

Ask any experienced trainer and they will tell you that women have a more difficult time losing body fat when compared to men. In fact, in all the years I have been helping people improve their body composition I cannot recall a single instance where a man had a difficult time making significant improvements. This is not to say that men find it easier implementing the necessary lifestyle changes required for optimal results. Instead, it appears that a man’s body simply reacts differently to those changes when compared to a woman.

 

It is pretty obvious that when it comes to body composition there are some significant differences that exist between the sexes. For starters, women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men. Also, women store more fat in the gluteal-femoral region, whereas men store more fat in the visceral (abdominal) depot. And this is just what can be seen at a glance. When we dig a bit deeper there are many more differences between the sexes. Here are a few to consider;

 

When dieting, women’s bodies reduce thermogenesis at a faster rate than males

In a study published by the American Physiology Society, researchers concluded that during periods of calorie restriction females deactivate facultative thermogenesis (the production of body heat when exposed to cold temperatures) to a greater degree than males. Researchers hypothesize that this ability exists as a means to improve the odds of survival of the species when food is limiting. This means that when a woman goes on a diet her metabolism may slow at a faster rate than a man under the same conditions.

 

 

In the postprandial (after meal) period, men store more visceral fat and women store more subcutaneous fat

In a study published by the American Journal of Physiology, researchers examined sex differences in fatty acid uptake after a meal. It turns out that women preferentially shuttle fat towards subcutaneous deposits- the fat that is very visible just beneath the skin. On the other hand, men tend to shuttle fat more readily to visceral deposits- the more dangerous fat that surrounds organs.

 

 

Women store more nutrients in lower body fat than men

In a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers tested for gender differences in fatty acid metabolism and discovered significant gender differences in regional adipose tissue blood flow after a meal was consumed. The study suggests that blood flow and transport of fats to the lower body is greater in women compared to a man. Turns out the old saying of “a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips” may be true after all.

 

 

In the post exercise period, men mobilize fat more efficiently than women

In a study published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers examined sex differences in lipolysis (the breakdown of fat into free fatty acids) in the post exercise period. It turns out that lipid mobilization and metabolism are enhanced to a greater extent in men than in women during this time.

 

Don’t worry; I do have some good news if you are a woman…

 

During exercise, women burn more fat for fuel, men burn more carbohydrate!

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers examined sex differences in fuel metabolism during and after long duration exercise. Researchers discovered that women burn more fat when exercising at lower intensities than men do and may be more sensitive to the lipolytic action of the catecholamines.

 

As you can see, the cards are stacked unfairly and women do have more of an uphill battle when it comes to losing body fat. This also means that there are very few excuses for us guys and we need to be supportive of our better half. However women should not give up- it just means you have to eat and train smarter than a man (shouldn’t be too difficult judging by what I see when I walk into most gyms). Where a guy can often make impressive changes to his physique by simply working out 2-3 times per week and drinking less beer a woman may often have to do more. I encourage you to read this post on losing trouble spot fat as well as this one. Also, please post any questions below including any strategies you have found that work best for you.

 

 

 

 

This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

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About

bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

One Response to “Girls vs Boys- Gender differences in body fat distribution”

  1. Eileen says:

    Interesting article Bruce. I think most older women would like to have more fat on their faces and hands and less on their stomachs.

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