Priya, on the other hand, is quietly seething under her skin. It’s been six months, and she has barely lost a kilogram. Yes, she has gotten stronger, but she hasn’t seen evidence of her hard work on the scales or in her clothes. She considers cutting her calories down, yet again, to see if that will help, but she feels as if she is slowly going crazy.
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Despite this being a fictional story of two people trying to get fit and lose weight, it begs the question: do men and women lose weight differently? And if so, why is that the case?
Most trainers have traditionally looked at women’s bodies as being like a man, except smaller. So they put women into the same training programs expecting the same results and are confused when it’s not the case.
Let’s start this conversation where both Priya and Muthu are the same: their age. They are both in their 40s and are experiencing a typical phenomenon of midlife weight gain. This weight gain can come from a variety of lifestyle habits. However, regardless of gender, there is a biological process called “sarcopenia” underpinning this change.
Sarcopenia is the slow decline of muscle mass. Every decade after 30, one can expect to lose approximately 3-5% of muscle mass. According to a 2014 study published in the European Journal of Clinical nutrition, muscle decline can lower your resting metabolic rate (the calories you burn at rest). This reduction in resting metabolic rate means a person may gradually put on weight over time, without changing their diet or lifestyle, simply because of their changing anatomy. Other factors contribute to weight gain, which will be the same for both genders, including high stress levels, lower activity levels associated with age, and indulging more in food.
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However, why is Muthu losing more weight than Priya? A woman’s body is an intricate network of hormones designed towards developing and sustaining life, whether she chooses to have a child or not. According to the US National …….