According to research weight loss appears to be more difficult to achieve in women than men. This sex difference in weight loss could be related to women having less sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and catecholamine (Adrenaline, noradrenaline etc) response at a given intensity of exercise than men. Women may or may not have greater rates of fat breakdown compared with men. Braun and Horton have speculated three possible mechanisms for the sex differences in lipolytic activity: 
(i) an interaction of SNS with estrogen (women produce more than men), which increases the fat production by the body
(ii) male intramuscular stores of lipids may be more sensitive to SNS activity
(iii) males demonstrate decreased carbohydrate metabolism, which causes more fat to be used simply by default. 

The authors note that additional research in this area is needed to determine the exact mechanisms and that the sex difference is unlikely to prevent any woman attaining a health BMI (18.5-25).

 


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