Historically, male bodies, were not a topic of great discussion or importance. Body worry and dieting were the domain of 'the fairer sex'. So why is it that there is progressively more information to be found about mens diets? Why are men starting to catch up with women in body dissatisfaction? Why are they also now struggling with their weight? Why are they looking at weight loss plans? What has changed?
The one big advantage male bodies have always held over women is that women's percentage body fat varies along with female sex hormone changes. So while most humans are born with similar percentages of body fat, girls experience a fat spurt at puberty which boys don't: boys sprout up, girls sprout out. The same occurs during pregnancy and menopause, neither which affect men. When we do lose weight, we can lose fat or muscle depending on how we lose weight. When you go on a fad diet you're likely to lose muscle and when you go on a health gain plan where you enjoy the benefits of exercise you'll have a healthier weight loss.
Having said that - I feel it's important for you to know that fat is not the big ogre it's always been made out to be. Watch this fabulous interview with Health Professor Linda Bacon and read about these weight loss advice myths to discover more of the science about weight and longevity.
Thus from puberty onwards, women are designed to carry a higher percentage body fat than men. Male bodies can have a very low percentage body fat and still be healthy whereas women need extra body fat for their bodies to function properly meaning that when women lose too much body fat, such as anorexics, their menstrual cycle becomes erratic or ceases completely and it apparently exacerbates the potential for them to develop osteoporosis.
On the other hand, in thinking about weight loss for male bodies, I've measured the percentage body fat of men (in particular soccer players) who have body fat in the low single digits. The lower your percentage body fat the fitter a man is - and their body does not appear to suffer the same low ill effects that women do, so long as they do not have orthorexic or anorexic tendencies.
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