Women and Metabolism
Women and Metabolism
Women are constantly frustrated by their inability to lose as much weight on a diet as most men can. In order to understand where this frustration comes from, let’s take a closer look at the metabolic advantage men have over women.
Metabolic Inequality Not all weight is created equal when it comes to maintaining an optimal metabolism. Muscle is the key metabolic engine of the body, and men carry, on average, 30 to 40 pounds more muscle than women do. Since body fat is shuttled into muscle as a primary energy source for the body, men are able to burn an average of 30 percent more calories than women. This is why it’s easier for women to gain weight, and harder for them to take it off. Around the age of 35, the average woman loses approximately one-half pound of muscle every year. The loss of this metabolic machinery puts women at risk of gaining at least one-and-one-half pounds of fat each year in its place. The Estrogen Connection How many times have we heard a woman say, “I might as well apply it directly to my hips”? At the centre of this frustration is a woman’s primary sex hormone, estrogen. As with most hormones, estrogen production dwindles with age. Research has shown that fat cells become the primary site of estrogen manufacturing in postmenopausal women, and the enzyme responsible for manufacturing the extra estrogen (aromatase cytochrome P450) increases with age and seems to become concentrated in the hips and thighs.
The larger a woman’s fat cells become, the more estrogen can be produced. In fact, research performed at the University of Pittsburgh showed that women who developed the largest fat cells produced at least 40 percent more estrogen than those with smaller fat cells. Outsmart Your Fat Cells–keep your metabolism primed for 24-hour fat burning
- Weight training is no longer optional. Thirty to 40 minutes of resistance exercise three to four days each week helps to keep your metabolism revved by countering the loss of muscle tissue.
- Consume sufficient protein. Supplement with a high alpha whey isolate twice a day.
- Consume five smaller meals each day, and make sure each contains a protein source.
- Supplement with natural hormone-control formulas that contain cruciferous extracts like indole-3-carbinol, sulforafane, and diindolylmethane. These natural compounds contain phytonutrients that help correct estrogen metabolism.
- Reduce stress. Stress can exacerbate an already compromised hormonal system.
- Get sufficient sleep.
- Expose yourself to natural sunlight or full-spectrum light first thing in the morning. Natural light helps to reset metabolic function and speed fat loss.