Life’s Basic Unfairness

Have you noticed how obnoxiously easy it is for men to lose weight? As opposed to wen, I mean.

N has decided to lose weight. So we started taking longer walks than usual. A week later he discovered he’d lost 4 pounds.

If I wanted to lose 4 pounds, I’d have to sweat and starve myself for a lot longer than a week. And he just goes and does it. This is simply unfair.

20 thoughts on “Life’s Basic Unfairness

  1. I don’t think the difference is between men and women as much as it is between larger and smaller people. I’d guess N is bigger than you, so for him 4 pounds is a smaller percentage of his total bodyweight.

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  2. Yes, actually I have noticed this. The issue is that female hormones tend to result in an overall metabolism that is slower than that of men. I’ve needed to increase the amount of time I spend exercising each day just to maintain the same weight.

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  3. This is surely not a difference between men and women but between genetic differences. Those endowed with good genes can more easily maintain a more acceptable BMI than those with inferior genes. This is not a matter of fairness. For the person it is a matter of luck. For the parents it may be a matter of good and bad selection of partners – from that particular aspect.

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    1. “Those endowed with good genes can more easily maintain a more acceptable BMI…”

      BMI isn’t the best predictor of health – because it doesn’t really look at body composition. A better measure of health could be waist-to-height ratio. For instance, a man who has a potbelly but also has skinny arms and legs and chest might show up as having, in your words, an ‘acceptable’ BMI because his overall weight may not be much… but the lack of muscles in his body and the excess deposit of visceral belly fat (which is the least healthy type of fat) would show that he isn’t at optimal health. In contrast, a well-muscled athlete with a trimmer waist could have an ‘unacceptable’ BMI, even though he’s in better physical shape.

      By the way, women – on average – tend to store fat more easily even though they eat fewer calories… and in pre-menopausal women the pattern of fat distribution tends to favor more the hips, buttocks and thighs, and less frequently visceral belly fat. In general, if you want to get into better shape, try not to fixate on the number on the scale. Look at your body composition: your muscle tone and strength, and how your fat is distributed (one measure being your waist size relative to your height – measure your waist in inches at where your navel is, divide it by your height in inches… ideally you’d have a number that isn’t greater than .5).

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    2. Funny that you talk about “good genes”. Genes are just the result of adaptation. Historically not to long (from a gene perspective), the ability to store energy in the form of fat was key to survival, specially for mothers. They’re in the pool for that reason.

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  4. Nah, it’s not gender specific, it’s genetic: replace you with me and N with my sister and there you have the exactly same situation…

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  5. In general, of course its gender specific. On average men have more muscle, which is directly related to metabolism and the burning of fat(slang). Though this idea might not fit very well into certain paradigm’s of gender differences. πŸ˜‰

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      1. Maybe not(well maybe one, pika), many just disagree on how those physiological differences can affect who and what we become.

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      2. Oh no, I’m not denying physiological differences between men and women. πŸ™‚ Just saying this may not necessarily be one of them, as there are cases when people of the same gender can be in the described situation (and I can easily think of several other women that are either like me/Clarissa or like N/my sister).

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        1. “as there are cases when people of the same gender can be in the described situation ”

          – Yes, this is definitely true. I know this guy who eats like a little bird, walks everywhere, does Zumba, and still struggles to stay under 270 lbs. If I did all he does, I’d be half the size I am. πŸ™‚

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      3. I didn’t realize that noses were physiologically different between men and women. By the way, what is a fascist? Is that something in the foot?

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  6. Oh G-d, yes. I (jokingly) pledged to my new roommate, who is a man, that I was going to make him fat. His stomach like a garbage trough, he can eat anything and everything, but he’s very skinny, and his previous roommate was a vegan who made him only vegan dishes, so I decided to fatten him up a bit. I’ve made him pancakes, frybread, steak, butter-soaked meals, and I’ve been baking up a storm of sweets, all of which he eats voraciously, but since I moved in, he’s actually *lost* weight.
    We trade nights cooking, maybe I should see what happens if I tried to cook more like him on the nights I cook, except I’m afraid he would vanish into nothingness if I skimped on the fat! πŸ™‚

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  7. Generally, it’s more difficult for women to lose weight but genes are also important for this and for many men/women, it’s more difficult/easy than to the average women/men to lose weight. BMI is a outdated concept in a medical point of view, but in a epidemiological point of view, it’s still a good (but not the best) proxy to predict overweight condition.

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  8. It has to do with muscle mass. More muscle, faster burning of fat. It so happens men on average have more muscle than women on average. I hear you on starvation, though. I highly recommend weight watchers, though, Lost 30 lbs on them already (in 4 months).

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