Weight Loss, Women vs Men

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Here is the one major  principle for weight loss, “ expend more energy than you gain from your food and drink”. The modern diet doesn’t help with keeping yourself slim.

What is a healthy weight?, a weight that you feel good about, doesn’t cause any health problems and also makes you feel positive about the way that you look. The way a person looks is important and it is not just vanity, because looking good helps confidence, and therefore encourages psychological health. The normal quoted height/ weight ratios found in medical journals and websites do not tell the whole story, especially for males who work out. A 6ft male who weighs 190lbs with a 33 inch waist is considered overweight according to the Mayo Clinic BMI calculator. If the male works out however, this weight is on the low side and doesn’t take the exercise into account. I would not consider such a person as overweight, I would expect that this person looks good and has an attractive muscle tone. Generally, the average suggested weight range for a 6ft male is 155lbs -170lbs, which appears to be on the light side to me.

For the ladies, the average female height in the U.S.A. is said to be 5ft 4 inches with an ideal weight of 120lbs. The height quoted, seems to be somewhat less than I would expect, but it is an average of several different races of people. Ladies tend to concentrate on their looks over health when considering weight. This does not matter, as a healthy weight will result in both good looks and health.  A woman can carry more weight than the height/weight and BMI charts quote and still be very attractive, so don’t stress out over ideal weight charts and media publications on perfect weight and body type and such things.

Do Men Lose Weight More Easily Than Women?

Men lose weight more easily than women for several reasons,

  • Muscle – men have more muscle than women and because of that, they burn more calories.
  • Estrogen –  reduces a woman’s ability to  burn the energy off, after eating.
  • Stored fat –  men and women store fat in different areas of the body and it is easier for men to lose their belly fat that it is for women to lose the fat stored around their hips and thighs.
  • Water loss –  men lose water more easily, glycogen and water are stored in the body together. Glycogen is stored carbohydrates and when the energy in glycogen is used, it also releases the stored water.Men use more carbohydrates during exercise than women. Water is heavy and because men burn more carbs than women, they lose more water because of this.
  • Comfort eating – this more favored by women and comfort foods tend to be high carb, processed foods.

These are physiological facts and nothing can be done about it, however, studies show that after a few months of a dedicated weight loss program the different results between men and women begin to even out, so at the end of the day it is possible for both men and women to lose as much weight as they wish, just don’t get into a weekly weight scale competition with a man in the early stages of a diet plan.

 

Natural Body Type

The three body types commonly used are the Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.

As with everything, most people can be a some of one type and a little of another, but identifying your body type in general terms can sometimes assist you in your choice of weight loss program, including physical exercise, and will help you to know what to look out for during the course of your program.

  • Ectomorph – Slim/thin in looks, with long slender limbs and no signs of accumulated fat or much muscle, they can eat what they like in as much quantity as they wish and still won’t gain weight. The type of body that female supermodels posess. It looks good on a woman but not so flattering for a man.

 

  • Mesomorph – Muscular and solid looking without gaining fat too easily. The bones are of a medium density and they are the middle ground between the ectomorph and the endomorph. The mesomorph can gain muscle easily. A great body type for a man.

 

  • Endomorph – These body types have wide waists and big bones, they tend to gain weight easily and don’t gain muscle very quickly. Not so good for either men or women, but these minor disadvantages can be overcome.

 

The basic body types are very generalized and only give a person a simplified guide as to their natural tendency. Most people have a mixed body type that only favors one of the major types to a greater extent but also has qualities of other body types to a lesser extent such as a man with mainly ectomorph qualities who also adds muscle to his body reasonably easily.  Nothing is absolute, and it is perfectly possible for an ectomorph to gain muscle and an endomorph to lose weight. Good eating habits and the correct physical exercises can achieve whatever result that you wish, to a large degree.

 

Age and Weight Gain.

Many people gain more weight as they age and there are many possible reasons. It could be that they are less active. This is an easy fix, just be as active as you can.  I have noticed lately, that I see more older people who look slim and fit and more younger people who look like they have been on a diet of chips, soda and candy for their whole lives. We could also speculate that younger people generally don’t get a full serving of exercise anymore during the course of a normal day and the fit looking younger people are the people who have to expend energy at the gym in their own time after work to stay fit.

Some scientists suggest that age effects our eating habits and that older people can become less perceptive about their body’s nutritional needs , specifically effecting the mechanism that stops us from continuing to eat when we are full.

As we age, our metabolism slows and this leads to fewer calories being burned. Burning calories can be achieved by exercise, so older people who don’t want to gain weight can take as much regular exercise as their health allows.

Loss of Muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat and as we age, we lose lean muscle if we don’t exercise.. Weight training can counteract this aging effect and also boost strength and flexibility.

 

Food Quality

Food quality is as important as the type of food eaten, this should be remembered when selecting your diet plan ingredients. The best approach if you haven’t got a diet plan yet, is to minimize highly processed foods, drinks and anything that states that it is a diet or low-fat product unless it is naturally low in fat, make your meal size smaller than your usual size and cut out the snacks. The grocery stores are normally laid out with the fresh foods around the perimeter and the processed foods in the aisles, so minimize eating foods found in the aisles, which are normally canned or dehydrated. Generally, organic food is a good choice.

 

Surgery For Weight Loss

I would not advise this approach unless it is the only option in a life threatening situation. I don’t believe in any surgery that is not for emergency purposes. The surgery itself is not necessarily dangerous, but It is tempting fate to allow someone to perform invasive surgery for a problem that could probably be solved by dietary change, exercise and determination. Surgery is also very expensive as it is usually considered cosmetic.

 

Exercise

There are people who can lose significant weight without exercise but I believe that exercise should be an integral part of any weight loss program. Weight training is ideal because it builds muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat. This results in a win-win situation, you get to look more toned and lose weight more effectively. A whole body approach is advisable for weight loss, meaning that you should exercise every part of your body in each session, chest, shoulders, arms, back, legs and abdominals. A body builders approach can be used, where you break the training sessions into two or more body parts per session, such as chest/back one day, legs/shoulders another and arms on another day but this requires more dedication. A full body approach to weight training ensures that you keep your muscles in balance and you can’t skip the less appealing exercises such as legs for the men and upper body for the ladies. Don’t worry ladies, you won’t end up looking like Arnold, (it takes a huge amount of effort, among other things, to produce those results) but you will look very toned. With weight training, the body continues to burn calories long after completing the session.

Cardiovascular exercise is also good for burning calories and it keeps you fit. The exact exercises will have to be a personal choice, but running is good, circuit training in a gym class is good, including the popular boxercise and martial arts inspired classes.

The bottom line on this is that it is wise to include an exercise plan along with your diet plan for best results. Pick an exercise regime that you enjoy because this will help you to stick to it.

 

Mental Approach

Determination is needed to be successful in weight loss, this is why I suggested earlier that it would be beneficial to experiment with finding the diet that suits you, psychologically and physiologically.

A desire to succeed and a positive approach are needed. Aids to this can be visualization techniques, affirmations and meditation. I believe that many high performing athletes use some or all of these techniques to perform at their best, as do many high performing people in all walks of life. It might sound New Age, Hippy, Weird etc, but it can’t hurt, and if you discover that it works, you have found a new assistant, one that was in your own mind all along.

 

Types Of Diet

There are many diets available, the trick is to discover which diet your body responds to best. I would also suggest that a weight loss diet does not have to be boring, painful or debilitating. The expert official advice is not always the best advice to take and I believe in researching and experimenting for yourself, because where diet and exercise are concerned, you are the expert regarding your own body. The saying that “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” is very apt here, and it should be considered when choosing your diet plan. Find out what works for YOU, keep notes and use the information to improve the quality of your life and achieve your goals.

If you have known medical issues, I would advise checking with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

Most diets plans will work if the programs are followed accurately (no cheating).  Each diet plan has potential to work for you as long as you stick to the plan you choose.

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