KUSA - If you ever thought it was tougher for women to lose weight than men, you were right. But there are some chemical reasons behind this as well as ways to get past them.
Many women will say that they've experienced the frustration of watching their male partner seemingly lose weight almost effortlessly while they struggle to drop a few pound.
This oftentimes has to do with metabolism, meaning that some of us just burn calories faster than others. And generally speaking, studies show women burn calories slower than men.
Recent research showed that one reason may be an enzyme called Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1, or ADH1. It's known as the fat-holding enzyme because when it's active in our bodies, it helps us hold on and store more fat, especially in the abdominal area. This enzyme tends to be higher in women than men especially as they get older.
In women, particularly when they are young, high levels of the hormone estrogen help women's bodies burn fat. But as they age and estrogen levels drop, this fat-holding enzyme gets even more active which means holding on to more fat over time.
The good news is you can use this information to your advantage to sort of trick your body into losing instead of gaining weight. Six steps that help out are:
- Food quality is very important. Avoid preservatives, trans fats and saturated fats.
- Eat fats early in the day when they can be burned off as the day progresses.
- The same goes with carbs; potatoes, pasta, bread and corn.
- Limit carbs and fats after 4 p.m. Your body has less time to burn them off.
- Always eat breakfast because it stimulates the body to release fat burning hormones.
- Do exercise, that can not only help rev your metabolism but can also help replace body fat with muscle. Exercising does not help with weight loss as much as diet; but over time exercise replaces fat with muscle and overall muscle burns more calories than fat.
These six steps are meant to tell your body it needs to use the fat instead of storing it. They will help make your body more efficient so you can stay slim your whole life through.