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Women's Fat Loss Issues

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Weight Loss related image Photo: Getty Images

Women’s fat loss issues are different than those used by men. That’s why two people following the same exercise program can get different results. Although women should still build muscle (without getting bulky) and burn fat, they go about it using different strategies. Its important to work hard and smarter to reach your weight loss and fat loss goals.

Men and women store and burn fat differently. It is important for you to know this difference. Men have more testosterone than women (no big surprise!). This allows men to produce more human growth hormone as well as stimulate more muscle and bone growth.

And, other factors combine to allow men’s cells to take in more oxygen than women’s cells. This means that when a man is working at 50 percent of his physical capacity, a woman would need to work at 70 percent of her physical capacity to stay even. Don’t shoot me! I’m just the messenger! The important thing to know is that I take this into account when I design fitness programs.

How does this affect fat loss and weight loss? The differences in how hormones and fat cells work in men and women determine the effects on fat loss and weight loss. Because of genetics, women’s fat cells are five times larger than men’s fat cells. Women need more body fat to be healthy. Take a look at this body fat table:

Necessary Body Fat: Women 10-13 percent, Men 2-5 percent

Athletes: Women 14-20 percent, Men 6-13 percent

Fit: Women 21-24 percent, Men 14-17 percent

Acceptable: Women 25-31 percent, Men 18-25 percent

Unhealthy: Women 32 percent+, Men 26 percent+

Also, women’s bodies (because of necessary genetics) have twice the amount lipogenic (fat storing) enzymes and half the amount of lipolytic (fat releasing) enzymes as men’s bodies. This has to be taken into account when exercise programs are designed.

Women tend to store stubborn fat in the buttocks, hips (saddle bags), thighs and the back of the upper arms (grandmother arms). Men tend to store stubborn fat in the abdominal area (pot belly and spare tire) and low back area. Excess abdominal fat has been shown to be a precursor to diseases such as cancer.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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