If you're a female aiming for fat loss, you've likely noticed by now, much to your disgust, that your male counterparts seem to have a much easier time than you.
Unfortunately, males do have some advantages when it comes to fat loss, which is why they tend to get leaner faster than you do. This does not mean you might as well throw in the towel, however. With some adjustments to your approach, you can realize the success you are looking for provided you are willing to put in some hard work.
Why Males Have It Easier
There are two main reasons why males can achieve fat loss faster than females. The first one is due to the fact that they naturally tend to have a slightly higher basal metabolic rate than females do, allowing them to either eat more calories while losing the same amount of weight (thus making the diet more manageable), or allowing them to accelerate their fat loss for faster results. This is partially due to the genetic make-up of the male body compared to the females, so there isn't a great deal you can do to change in this regard.
The second major reason why males seem to lose fat effortlessly is due to the higher amount of muscle mass. Your muscle tissue is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body, therefore the more of it you have, the faster your basal metabolic rate will be.
It's unreasonable to expect a female to ever develop as much muscle as many males have, but this is something that you can work on and why strength training is highly recommended as a way for females to boost their rate of weight loss.
The Female Body Type
Females tend to have a body type that stores excess body fat in the thigh, hip, and lower abdominal region, so if these are your trouble spots, don't be too surprised. The fat in these areas also tends to be much more stubborn to lose, partly due to the fact the receptor cells that control the rate of lipolysis (fat metabolism) are different in these areas of women, making it harder for the stored fat to become mobilized.
While men will struggle more with lower back fat in this respect, for females, it's typically the thighs that prove to be most annoying when it comes to leaning down.
In addition to different types of receptors, these areas on a female body also typically experience lower levels of blood flow, further reducing the amount of fat from this area that is mobilized.
Exercise Techniques To Boost Fat Loss
Because of the decreased blood flow to these areas on a woman's body, one way to help boost the rate of fat loss is to be sure you're performing activities that will get the blood moving. Running tends to do this quite well, so that's a good option for lower body fat loss (running uphill will be even better since it's of higher intensity).
Many women will have to accept the fact that more cardio training will be required for them to lose body fat, especially as they approach the leaner levels.
Keep in mind though that there are also many women who go too far with this. When you're doing hours and hours of cardio a day, the body, particularly the lower region, can start to hold water weight, actually giving you a softer appearance. In this situation many women find that after dramatically decreasing the amount of cardio they are doing, they tend to look a great deal leaner.
Weight training will also be a must for females since that causes the greatest boost to the metabolic rate immediately after the session, really promoting faster fat loss. Women who place a much higher emphasis on cardio training in comparison to weight training are the ones who typically lose greater portions of muscle mass, becoming softer looking rather than lean and defined.
Nutritional Techniques To Increase Fat Loss
Potentially even more important in the war against fat loss for women will be their diet. This is not something most enjoy hearing, but it's s a fact that must be accepted if you are to really succeed with taking your fat loss to the next level.
Since diet will make the most difference regarding total calorie balance, it's far easier to reduce back on your food intake then try and aim to bring exercise levels extremely high. Some women will try to just do more and more cardio as a means to achieve the negative calorie balance, but this often leads to overtraining or overuse injuries.
When you get to the advanced stages of fat loss, carbohydrate cycling seems to be the best option for women, where you will consume a very low carbohydrate much of the time, periodically bringing the carbohydrate intake a great deal higher in order to 'reset' the thyroid hormones and get fat loss moving once again.
Women who use a very low carbohydrate diet for an extended period of time also seem to notice that fat loss begins to slow, further making it a good reason to boost your calorie intake once every two weeks or so.
Keeping A Realistic Mindset
Finally, it's going to be a good idea to maintain a realistic mindset throughout the whole process. It's not practical to expect that you would be able to obtain levels of body fat similar to that of a male you train with since women do require higher amounts of essential fat just to function effectively.
Males generally need 2-5% total body fat at bear minimum while females need 10-13%. As you can see this is a dramatic difference that is going to prove to be somewhat limiting to your trying to get into the single digits.
Unless you're preparing for a fitness, figure, or bodybuilding contest, you're better off aiming for a body fat level slightly higher than this (15-20% is typically ideal for most females), which will help promote healthier energy levels, a fully functioning reproductive system, and help prevent extreme food cravings from setting in (which often occurs at very low body fat levels).
So, keep these points in mind if you're a woman in search of fat loss. It's a great thing that you want to better the way you look and feel, but it's important to keep in mind that as a female, your body does react slightly different than a males will.