One of the biggest factors men have in their favor is body composition. Men tend to have more muscle than women, who in turn have about 10 percent more of their body weight in the form of fat.
Muscle tissue burns three to five times more energy than fat tissues, so as you gain muscle, your metabolic rate increases, which allows you to burn more calories, even when you’re physically inactive. Because of their greater muscle mass, a man’s resting metabolic rate can be up to 10 percent higher than a woman’s (of the same age and weight), giving them a weight-loss advantage.
Men and women vary in the type of fat their bodies are made up of. Men tend to have more visceral fat while women tend to have more subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is found just under your skin, and is the type that causes dimpling and cellulite. Visceral fat, on the other hand, shows up in your abdomen and surrounds your vital organs including your liver, heart and muscles.
Visceral fat is the one that is linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke, among many other chronic diseases. So from a health standpoint, having more visceral fat is not a benefit. However, from a weight-loss point of view, visceral fat is metabolized faster, making it easier to lose than subcutaneous fat.
Women may be more inclined to eating for emotional reasons than men – reaching for food (typically junk food) in response to stress, sadness, and loneliness. Research even shows that women may have a reduced ability to stave off hunger and resist food cravings than men.
Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and TMRzoo.com and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.