Thursday, February 03, 2005

Boys And Girls Are Different

Ladies, have you ever dieted with your husband, only to become discouraged as the pounds seem to fall off him like rainwater, while the scale didn't budge for you?

Or, even worse: Men, have you ever felt like your wife wasn't trying as hard as you, because you were seeing solid results and she didn't seem to be?

Well, I have news for the both of you. Boys and girls are different.

In the case of weight loss, this works in the boys' favor.

How much weight you lose is a factor of four things:

1. How much you eat.
2. How much you already weigh.
3. How much muscle you have.
4. How much work you do.

In every one of these categories, guys have the advantage.

1. A guy can eat more than a girl, and still lose weight. Depending on how much taller the guy is and how much he weighs, he can eat a lot more. In the case of me and my wife, I can eat around twice as many calories a day as her (me: 2,500 her: 1,2000) and still lose weight.

2. When you weigh a lot, your body has to burn more calories just to keep your body going--to maintain all those "parts." You might think of it as a self-regulatory system for the body. When it gets bigger, it tries to burn more calories to get itself smaller again. Since guys, on average, weigh more than girls do, this actually works to their advantage for weight loss.

3. Guys have more muscle than girls. Again, just a biological fact. If neither of you has seen the inside of a gym since high school, the guy's body will have retained more muscle than the girl's. Since the body has to burn calories to maintain that muscle, the guy will be burning more calories even if he's just sitting around watching TV. Even if you've both been lifting every day, the guy will still have more muscle than the girl, because his body is made to hold more muscle.

4. Guess what guys? If you ran a mile and your wife ran a mile, since you're bigger, taller, and you weigh more, you had to do more work to move your body that mile than she did. Granted, since you have more muscle, you and she may have worked at exactly the same intensity, but it took more energy, and ergo more calories, for you to do it than for her. In other words, you can lose more weight giving exactly the same effort as her.

So ladies, don't get discouraged, and guys, don't get a big head. It's not you. It's not fair. It's biology.

So ladies, go out there and show biology who's boss.

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