What Makes Women Fat?

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By Dr. Victor Dumaguing

To Your Health

Friday, January 10, 2014


THE title may have been expressed as a question but there is something categorical and declarative in it. At this time of the brand new year when everyone is still obedient or trying their best to hold on to their promises and resolutions, this statement may dampen the enthusiasm of our womenfolks. Right at the outset, it must be emphasized that being fat is not a disease, but rather a symptom of a disease process. And the sad reality is, women get fat more easily than men. Before the author gets a collective howl of protest and angry words, allow us to add that it's harder for women to lose fat than men, for the following reasons.

Hormones are secretions of endocrine glands or ductless glands, so-called because these chemical substances are poured into the bloodstream, without passing through ducts. Male hormones- testosterone and related androgens- tend to build more muscle mass and lesser fats.

Muscles, especially skeletal muscles which form the bulk of the body are metabolic energizers, that is, they burn fat more readily. Before puberty -- 9 for girls and 11 for boys, on the average -- male-female differences are not so pronounced or significantly different. However, by the age of twenty, active girls have 22% fats in their body while active boys have only 10%.female hormones alter their metabolic pathways to favor body-fat storage whereas men tend to produce more heat from their calories.

Women also burn off fewer calories because they are generally smaller than men and their bodies contain lower percentage of muscle. A woman may weigh only 10% less than her husband but have 30% less muscle. Thus, a woman must build up their store of muscle in order to lose their store of fat.

It is also an undeniable fact that women resort to fasting and sometimes too weird, irrational, unbalanced dieting gimmicks to get rid of fat. Sad to say, the effects of these tactics are devastating in the sense that muscle mass is reduced thus fat-storing ability actually increases. To cope up, the body gears down and learn to function on a lower calorie intake. Future fat gain follows and fat loss becomes more difficult.

Women, as a rule have little time to exercise. In our society today, where a wife is career-oriented, most women have two jobs; the one they do outside the house and their job inside the house as mother to children and a dutiful wife to her husband. Thus, the usual scenario is a woman coming home tired and wasted from day's work, and whatever little energy is left, she uses it doing her homemaker duties, thus leaving very little time for exercise. Moreover, women are not as sports-minded as the men, thus the lack of strenuous, calorie-burning activity is not a top priority, thus, giving more chances to gain and accumulate that unwanted fat.

Now, to our dear women readers and friends, this should not in any way discourage you to pursue that new year's resolution to achieve a body that you love and a weight that makes you smile. The healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, and just a friendly reminder, short-duration exercises, no matter how intense burn only carbohydrate or calories, whereas longer duration- at least 30 minutes- even a lower but sustained intensity burn both your calories and fats. Shake a leg!

Next Week; The Link of Obesity to Cancer

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 11, 2014.

Opinion

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