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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 21, 2012

Gender Differences in Fat Metabolism

By Mark Sisson
360 Comments

A few months ago, I addressed the role gender plays in how we respond to intermittent fasting. That post sparked a great discussion, and I’ve since received a fair number of emails from readers eager to learn other ways in which gender plays a role in our health and nutrition. One email in particular set me off on a round of research. So, a hat tip to you, Winifred, for giving me something to think, learn, and write about. I hope everyone finds it to be helpful.

As you may know, women and men store and metabolize fat differently from each other, and a 2008 paper (PDF) reviewed the evolutionary reasons for these differences. Here’s a summary of their findings and few other noteworthy factoids:

Women carry more fat than men. They are better at storing fat than men. Moreover, when women store fat, they do so in different places than men. They’ll preferentially store fat in in the hips, butt, and legs, whereas when men gain weight, it usually goes to the upper body (hence why you see massive beer bellies atop stick legs). Furthermore, when both men and women store upper body fat, men are more likely to develop visceral fat – the abdominal fat associated with metabolic syndrome – while women are more likely to develop subcutaneous fat.

On women, body fat seems to be healthier and less problematic. The characteristically female lower body “gluteofemoral fat” is actually a strong sign of metabolic health, whereas abdominal fat is not. In men, high body fat levels correlate strongly with insulin resistance, while this relationship is much weaker in women (probably because of their lower tendency to store visceral fat).

Women burn fat differently than men. Upper body fat goes first, while lower body fat tends to stay put. Except during pregnancy and lactation, when the lower body begins to give up lower fat stores far more readily. Interestingly (and not by coincidence), women tend to preferentially store the long chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA – the one that’s so important to the baby’s development during and pregnancy – in their thighs.

Women make more triglycerides than men do, but their serum levels are similar. This indicates that the fat is being taken back up into adipose tissue at a higher rate in women than in men.

Women are better at burning fat in response to exercise. During endurance exercise, they exhibit lower respiratory exchange ratios than men, which indicates more fat burning and less carb burning.

Women are better at converting ALA into DHA, and they also tend to have more DHA and AA circulating throughout their serum than men, who have more saturated and monounsaturated fat.

These differences in fat metabolism aren’t seen in isolated muscle cells of men and women, which isn’t really surprising. We’re made with the same basic building blocks; we just run on different software. The differences are systemic and hormonal.

Why does this sexual dimorphism in fat metabolism exist?

Well, the name of the game in evolution is reproduction, and reproduction is far more nutritionally expensive for women than it is for men. I don’t think I have to spell out why – for a man, the reproductive process is a brief moment in time, a half tablespoon’s worth of effort; for a woman, the reproductive process lasts the better part of a year and represents a significant drain on nutrient stores. As such, women are “designed” to hold onto said nutrients because, as far as evolutionary fitness is concerned, her primary purpose is to feed, nurture, and cultivate an entire other human being inside her body for nine months. Think about that for a second: women have to create and support another life inside their bodies. They have to provide the food, the water, and the shelter. If something goes terribly wrong in the “outside world,” that nutrient flow to the fetus could be interrupted, thus putting her evolutionary purpose at risk.

Now, imagine if the body didn’t know best. Imagine if the expectant mother had to know precisely what the fetus needed at any given moment – what precise nutrients were needed, which foods to eat and when to eat them in order to provide said nutrients, what to drink and how much of it, what not to eat nor drink – and then make a conscious decision to provide those things right on schedule? It wouldn’t work. We wouldn’t be here. Luckily, the body “knows.” The body will draw on what’s stored and what’s provided to make a health baby. And if it’s not all there, it’ll even convert other stuff into the stuff that it actually needs. Sure, a good diet will absolutely improve fetal health, but we’ve all known parents with less-than-ideal diets who have healthy kids. The body knows.

Which is why women store and burn fat differently than men. In order to be able to provide those nutrients to the growing child, female bodies store certain types of fat in certain places on the body. Female bodies “hoard” certain types of fat and are loathe to relinquish them “just cause you had a simple caloric deficit.” Whereas a man could go low carb Primal and lose weight pretty easily because all he “has” to be able to do is provide a bit of sperm, a woman’s body has more important things in mind, like having enough body fat on hand to produce enough leptin for optimal fertility, or enough DHA stored in lower body fat to build a robust baby brain.

How does this affect my recommendations or your diet, if at all?

Women – don’t be concerned about a little (or more than a little) subcutaneous body fat, especially on your lower body. If you’ve been trying in vain to lose that stubborn jiggle on your thigh, consider that maybe, just maybe it’s there for a reason. Even if you’re not interested in having a child, it’s likely that the presence of lower body fat indicates good health. You don’t have to get pregnant, but the ability to do so is probably a marker of good health, and the research outlined above suggests that classically feminine patterns of fat deposition are healthier than classically male patterns. And even if you don’t like your glutofemoral fat, rest assured that the males in your life (even ones as far away as Papua New Guinea – PDF) likely do!

Men – most of the fitness and health literature is geared toward you, so I’ll just suggest that you take this information on gender differences in fat metabolism into consideration.

I’ve always stressed the relativity of a person’s ideal body composition. I’ve discussed my own failings at trying to eat big and lift big to get big. I managed to put on five pounds of muscle by eating and working out way more than was comfortable or natural, but it made me lethargic, and as soon as I skipped a meal or workout, muscle would just peel off. That’s my comfortable body composition. Your ideal body composition might look very different, and, if you’re a woman, it might look very different from a man’s. That’s fine. That’s natural. That’s attractive. That’s how it’s supposed to be, and by trying to fight it – in either direction – your health may suffer.

What do you folks think about all this? Does this take a load off your mind, or does it open up new avenues of inquiry? Let me know in the comment section!

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360 Comments on "Gender Differences in Fat Metabolism"

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Michelle
Michelle
4 years 1 month ago

Fabulous article. There is a range of being healthy but the media higlights only what maybe 1% can achieve making te 99% worry and chase goals that are unrelaistic and undesirable.Our goals should be healthand if we want look good naked, mt look good for a magazine shoot.

Michelle
Michelle
4 years 1 month ago

Wow I was first!!

Peter
Peter
4 years 1 month ago

I am really really tired of people who comment “First”
No input just a childish display.
Please refrain from I’m first nonsense.
Please notice you were too slow anyway and you are second.sheeesh.

Paul
Paul
4 years 1 month ago

Please notice Michelle posted the first TWO comments.

Max Ungar
4 years 1 month ago

Yah, I agree. I think this post does a great job at saying that not everyone is the same. Meaning that your ideal body composition is not going to be the same as some super model somewhere. However, your ideal body composition is healthy, natural and beautiful. Great post.

Kate
Kate
4 years 1 month ago

I don’t understand why so many people compare themselves to what a super model looks like? While there are beanpole skinny (naturally without effort) women/men out there, probably more likely than not, that super model had to suffer, A LOT, to look the way she/he does. Especially by modern societal standards. They’re deprived and starving. Who, in reality, is happy that way???? I know I wouldn’t be!

Lauren
4 years 1 month ago

You would be surprised. When you are skinny, you get a lot more attention (if you are into that sort of thing) then you would be at an average to overweight size.

N
N
4 years 1 month ago

I have to agree with Lauren – although logically it doesn’t make any sense to abuse oneself in order to get unnaturally thin, (a fair amount of) society rewards skinny with attention.

Unfortunate but true.

Ashley
Ashley
4 years 18 days ago
That’s not really fair. I’m considered skinny which is a result of working out and eating right. Today’s average weight person is likely to be overweight. From speaking to men, they prefer women with a little meat on them and believe that super models are too skinny. I think it was Women’s Health Magazine that took an old portrait of a naked woman. And by old think not this century, so the woman by my consideration was kinda chunky. They doctored it up so the lady in the pic looked more like the skinny “modern” standards of today. When surveyed,… Read more »
Gift Clumsywarrior
4 years 1 month ago

yuppp totally agree! my body type is more like a dude… always have belly fat first before other part. lol I got trapped in body image issue for a while since i have like big muscular legs, unlike those models usually seen on magazines. Now I just focus on being healthy and be comfortable in my own body.

homehandymum
homehandymum
4 years 1 month ago
Totally. I’m completely mystified by the near-universal assumption (in the paleo-sphere) that a ‘healthy’ fenale will look like a supermodel or triathlete. Natural selection will go for ‘fertile’ over ‘ripped’ any day. Think about those wonderful fertility goddess statues from paleolithic times- they had hips, butts, breasts, and… bellies! I simply don’t believe that evolution cares how flat your tummy is, especially after you’ve had kids. Has anyone looked into the whole belly-fat thing? Is it really true that a waist/hip ratio for women should be 0.8 (like we’ve been told),or is this another case of the stats being fraught… Read more »
TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

Regarding waist/hip ratio, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was oversimplified (or rather I would be surprised if it wasn’t) BUT there is actual evidence that waist/hip ratio is at least a reasonably decent (though certainly not perfect) marker for risk of a number of diseases, e.g. diabetes.

However the actual ideal # varies depending on things like ethnicity and family background.

JMH
JMH
4 years 27 days ago

There’s also the problem that one’s “natural” waist, or what science considers to be a waist, and what we culturally consider to be a waist is a lot different. One’s natural waist, as I understand it, is just under the ribs. Just about everyone is smallest there, no matter how big they might be. It’s why empire waists look so good on a woman. It emphasizes the natural waist, and flares out at about that /.8 angle. (Too tired for maths.)

Ware
4 years 1 month ago

Good stuff, Mark. One of the things I like most about your take on ancestral health is that it’s just that – health. I always see you encouraging people to embrace their own natural, ideal body composition, not an artificially constructed societal one, and to experiment to find a diet that matches their lifestyle (e.g. natural, vegetable carbohydrates as an elective macronutrient in response to exercise levels, etc., rather than an automatic evil). Glad to see this one.

Carly
Carly
4 years 1 month ago

Thank you for this. I mean, seriously, thank you. My upper body has shed pretty much all its fat, I can see my abs, my arm muscles are defined…but my damn lower body just holds onto the fat for dear life. Maybe I should just accept that this means I’m healthy 🙂

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

You and me both, Carly!

Paleo Ron Burgundy
4 years 1 month ago

Nothing wrong with a badonkdonk!

Joshua
Joshua
4 years 1 month ago

Bon, or Ron, or whoever you are, I like where you link goes. Very nice, and a move I shall imitate.

Levon
Levon
4 years 1 month ago
This article was well written. Links to cited articles were provided which always gives credibility to the author/researcher. The evolutionary explanation for fat storage was accurate and dovetails nicely with primal eating. We live in an articial world with an abundance of natural amd unnatural items, some of which we consume more than moderately. Our bodies reflect this. What does a completely natural body in a natural world look like? After reading this I have a better understanding of that question and it’s answer. Also kudos to Ron for linking to the 2nd best site on the web, with his… Read more »
Patrícia
4 years 1 month ago

And me: already makes three. 🙂

Decaf Debi
Decaf Debi
4 years 1 month ago

The next time my 6yo son pokes my outer thigh and giggles at how “squishy” it is, I’ll inform him that he’s lucky I am a prime specimen with plenty of glutalfemoral fat reserves or he wouldn’t even be here to laugh at me.

Yeah, that will make me feel a lot better!

Laura
Laura
4 years 1 month ago

Thank you for that comment… It made my day 🙂 I may steal your line for future use against my very young gang of five who feel the need to mention how squishy certain spots are….

elaine!
4 years 1 month ago

Yeah, my brothers used to call me thunder thighs. Should be more like, WONDER thighs! GIRL POWER! 😉

Stacy
4 years 1 month ago

I *love* this & I’m stealing it.

Jackie Kessler
4 years 1 month ago

I’m stealing this too!!!

Hilary
Hilary
4 years 1 month ago

Amen to that!

Guilia
Guilia
4 years 1 month ago

I’m with you Carly – my body decided to become a bottom heavy hourglass at age 12 and weight fluctuations notwithstanding (from 58 to 82 kg), the basic shape and composition of my body/body fat doesn’t change. Looking at pictures of every female relative I have, we’re all the same, hanging onto that bum and thighs until the famine!

Jodie Jantz
Jodie Jantz
4 years 1 month ago

Great article, but what does it mean then if I a woman has ab fat? So far I have lost 60lbs but I still have fat around the middle and I have hit a wall as to fat loss. All ideas would be helpful.

Nikki
Nikki
4 years 1 month ago

I would also love to know this! I carry all of my weight in my stomach and it NEVER goes away. Even when I lost 50 pounds I had rolls on my midsection and thin arms and legs. What caused this to happen and what do I do about it?

Barb Crocker
Barb Crocker
4 years 1 month ago

Me, too! I am small-hipped and have a smaller chest, so not much fat being stored there. Instead, it’s seems to be around my belly…the traditional apple shape.

I have been assuming that I’m insulin resistant. I have a strong family history of diabetes. I also assume that I have to really limit sugar in all it’s various forms to reduce the belly fat, but I’d love to hear an expert’s opinion.

Kiki
Kiki
4 years 1 month ago

I’d LOVE to know this as well. I’ve lost approximately 20 lbs in the last few months, I almost feel like I’m UNDERweight now at 5’4 and 114 lbs. I feel like even though my upper body has shrunk so dramatically, I still have a little “pooch” over my abs/belly that I can’t seem to shake!

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

There are probably multiple factors but cortisol (a hormone released when you’re stressed) is one I’ve read definite research on, and diet composition is another. Sleep is another possibility.

So be happy, eat well, and sleep well. It might help, and if it doesn’t at least you’re be calm, happy, and well rested :).

Angel
Angel
4 years 1 month ago
I would also like to know what ab fat means on a woman. I’ve always had a belly paunch (starting at about my solar plexus and curving way out to just below my belly button), even when I was skinny in my teens and twenties. Near as I can tell, it’s almost all subcutaneous, but it also makes me look like I’m perpetually bloated. I believe it’s partly genetic; I’ve had to make peace with the fact that it will very likely never go away. I also (for a woman) have broad shoulders and a thick waist; I’ve never had… Read more »
Susie
4 years 1 month ago
In my recent BioSignature (really interesting assessment if you’re curious: http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Education/Biosignature.aspx) The BioSignature measures where you store fat and how that relates to your hormonal profile. My top two problem areas: 1. Suprailiac (love handles) and 2. Umbilical (belly). This first relates to blood sugar management and the second relates to cortisol. The BioSig isn’t a perfect science, but I have definitely seen improvements in these two areas by going very low carb (huge improvements in my love handles. Huge.) and now I’m working on the cortisol issue. I’m not very stressed out, so instead I eliminated birth control (which… Read more »
Vetti
Vetti
4 years 1 month ago

Ladies, I have been Paleo/Primal for about 2 years and found the same thing… UNTIL … in support of BF I’ve been on an autoimmune + FODMAPS protocol for 3 weeks and the little pooch around the middle shrank!
Note I lost only about 1kg, so I’m not sure whether it was inflammation or boating as I am yet to re introduce foods.
I’m so chuffed to have a flat-ish tummy that I’m wondering if I’ll bother reintroducing any of it 😉
The thighs are still there 🙂

Marisa
Marisa
4 years 1 month ago

Agree with the above poster. My perpetual belly shrank after I discovered my fructose intolerance!

Shana
Shana
4 years 1 month ago

I find myself now almost 6 months pregnant.. And I can certainly say the first place I put on weight was my gluteal-femoral area. Now I have a better understanding of why it happened there first! I know its all to help the baby. Wonderful post Mark!

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

So, even though I am 18% body fat (huge yay, my goal was 20%. And a big thank you, Mark, for TBP, I hit that glorious number because of you), and it seems the jiggle on my butt and outer thighs only diminished slightly, it is a sign that I’m *healthy*?

That will take time to sink in.

Robert
Robert
4 years 1 month ago

A woman at less than 20% body fat, with abs showing has nothing to complain about. And if anyone in your life complains about your gluteal-femoral fat, then tell that person to go away.

Robert

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

“And if anyone in your life complains about your gluteal-femoral fat, then tell that person to go away.”

+1

mntnmom
mntnmom
4 years 1 month ago

Much lower than the body fat than what I’m sure you’ve worked hard accomplish, can actually be dangerous. At around 16% a large percentage of women stop menstruating. We don’t now know if lack of a cycle is dangerous *in and of itself*, but it is a big indicator that the body is starting to shut down to preserve energy. 18% is amazing! Consider the *jiggle* to be famine insurance. 😉

Groktimus Primal
4 years 1 month ago

The down side of being unique is that there may be no fitness model hiding inside your skin. Luckily most people can probably achieve reasonable results without killing themselves.

Harry Mossman
4 years 1 month ago

Brilliant and much needed information!

Issabeau
Issabeau
4 years 1 month ago
So this explains why my *ss and thigs kept getting bigger over the last 2.5 years of eating primally…hmm. I never had a womanly figure really, I have always been the kind of stick figure growing up and in my 20’s. I’m loving my newly acquired hip and thigh fat. Good to know that it’s high in omega 3 and I wonder if me eating a crap load of fish over the last 12 months has anything to do with it? Because I ate a lot of red meat the first year of eating primally and my hips didn’t change.… Read more »
Catherine Kostyn
Catherine Kostyn
4 years 1 month ago

Very interesting article Mark, and it makes a lot of sense! As a woman, I’ve always carried my extra weight more like a man does – stick legs and all. While I’ve lost a lot of weight, reversed diabetes 2, and gained a lot of fitness along the way, I still have that spare tire that I hope “going Primal” will help me with.

Does the study say anything about women who carries weight around the middle section rather than the “usual” pattern?

Amber
4 years 1 month ago

Yes, I’m definitely interested in hearing more about ab fat for females. I am fit, tiny butt, no fat on my muscular legs, but my body loves to store this bit of fat on my tummy!

Anders Emil
Anders Emil
4 years 1 month ago

How has your diet been before going primal? I’m not exactly an expert, but I’ve heard this before and found some studies indicating that trans fats “increase the amount of fat around the belly. They do this not just by adding new fat, but also by moving fat from other areas to the belly.” Read below:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20060612/eat-trans-fat-get-big-belly

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

I believe I’ve seen similar research about high carbohydrate diets — that they tended to favour more abdominal fat and less lower body fat.

Jenny
Jenny
4 years 1 month ago

me, too! 🙂

peggy
peggy
4 years 1 month ago

maybe that’s ok! We all need to quit setting “what that chick on the cover of Shape” looks like as a goal/ideal and remember that we are all unique.
Most of what makes the “jiggle” go away is weights. but then not all of us will have the same success/results as others – because of our genetic predisposition(s)

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

I know I’ve read research before showing that women who carry their weight in the abdomen do tend to be at somewhat higher risk for health problems (e.g. diabetes). Apparently it’s one of the reasons, though not the only one, for genetic differences in diabetes.

Sorry :(.

Marie
Marie
4 years 1 month ago
Me too Mark, I lost weight everywhere and now have stick legs. I eat 60% Healthy fat, 30% protein 10% carbs from veggies lots…still have the muffin top? I also IF once a week for 24 hours. I eat about 1800-2500 calories daily, lots of grass fed butter and healthy oils (grass fed beef, eggs and free range chicken) NO SUGAR, GRAINS or FAST FOOD. (past three years) I am stronger and faster feel great (look great with out the muffin top would look better)… never been overweight but now looking at boarder-line underweight 5’5 -111lbs. with a muffin top…… Read more »
Elenor
Elenor
4 years 1 month ago
I always wonder, when nice-looking / nicely built women complain about or agonize over so-called “muffin top” — if they are, in fact, unaware that a woman’s body SHOULD have hips and a waist? If you’re wearing your pants so tight that your subcutaneous fat is pushed up and over your belt line (the lower-body version of a push-up bra?!) — maybe that’s not a sign that you need to ‘do something about your body’– but you need to get pants that fit better? Women are supposed to have smooth contours and a lovely (granted, small) layer of subcutaneous fat… Read more »
Parson
Parson
4 years 1 month ago

Good point Elenor. There’s a reason vanity sizing exists. Some of us don’t want to let go of our size 2s.

And another flip on the “muffin top” if you are small in the waist and thicker in the hips, pants today are not really made for “us.” They are all low-rise for the boy shapes of teenage girls today.

Lauren
4 years 1 month ago

You can get smaller, but you are more likely going to have hip bones jut out rather than a muffin-top. We can’t win, can we?

Josephine
Josephine
4 years 1 month ago

exactly what I was going to say! also, proper fitting clothes can make a world of difference when it comes to curves

Deanna
4 years 1 month ago

I agree with the “pants fitting better” comment. I think it was one of those fashion TV shows where the host said that back in the day, everyone used to get their clothes tailored, and the “made to wear” phenomenon is only very recent. Heck, not that long ago, women were still making their own clothes. Maybe we should spend less money on tons of clothes and instead get the stuff we have tailored so it fits properly.

Susie
Susie
4 years 1 month ago

I generally find that, if my pants aren’t pushing up my belly fat and causing the muffin-top, then they keep falling down and I’m constantly pulling them back up. I feel like it’s a catch-22 for me.

Lisa
Lisa
4 years 25 days ago

I don’t want to start an argument, least of all with a cat ’cause I love ’em, but I wonder why you say women ~should~ have those things.

Kaki
Kaki
4 years 1 month ago

How does this relate to menopausal women?

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
4 years 1 month ago

I was thinking the same thing. Does the female body change according to different ages (ie, childbearing vs non)?

em
em
4 years 1 month ago

It does. And men’s bodies change, too. Old men and old women look more alike than men and women in their reproductive years.

Josephine
Josephine
4 years 1 month ago

I’ve just started reading “Why Women need Fat” Melissa Mcewen’s review of this book mentions some of these connections.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
4 years 1 month ago

Not only that, but will all this lead to separate future Primal Blueprint books for each gender?

katie
4 years 1 month ago

It’s interesting that since I’ve been eating primally my body has taken on a much more feminine shape. Nature is cool.

Sir Mix-A-Lot
Sir Mix-A-Lot
4 years 1 month ago

Someone help me out here. What rhymes with “gluteo-femoral”?

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 years 1 month ago

Derriere Immortal

Christina
Christina
4 years 1 month ago

Why? Are you writing poetry about the female bod? Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

edearl
edearl
4 years 1 month ago

booty-o-fonderwul

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

ephemeral?

Emerald is close enough to sound like a rhyme.

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
4 years 1 month ago

paleo temporal
(means I set my diet-watch to Primal Time)
as in,
when I was chillin’ with my Grokkies and our gluteo femorals
yeah everybody shakin’ their derriere immortal
i knew it was cause we all went paleo temporal…

you get the idea

god that’s nerdy LOL

Joanne
Joanne
4 years 1 month ago

Aw man, now that’s going to be stuck in my head all day…

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
4 years 1 month ago

and when I ditched the grains the pain went down the drain
i mean I used to be bigger than Queen latifa
but then I made peace and shook hands with beef-a
I smile as I lick the bacon grease
cause what a relief
I’m a FAT BURNING BEAST
y’all

Rae
Rae
4 years 1 month ago

Nerds totally rule!!! roflmao!!!

JohnC
JohnC
4 years 1 month ago

Are chicken thighs better to eat then? 🙂

Mary
Mary
4 years 1 month ago

Thank you thank you thank you. So happy to read a thorough, well-written article/blog post about these differences!

rose
rose
4 years 1 month ago

Fat deposition in post-menopausal women is a completely different animal. There are a lot of us out here, Mark.

mhillacorn
mhillacorn
4 years 1 month ago

That’s right – my thighs and butt are shrinking, but I have gained belly fat since menopause. Primal has help tons though and I have lost 13 pounds. Almost under 20% body fat!

Never give up!

kimberley
kimberley
4 years 1 month ago

Yes, I would like to see more info on post-menopausal metabolism/fat deposition. I would be so happy with 20% body fat. I’ve only just started Paleo lifestyle so I appreciate all these posts that show the success of others. It’s encouraging.

tess
tess
4 years 1 month ago

no kidding. when you write “women are …” or “women do …” most of the time it doesn’t describe how MY body is or behaves, at all.

not even close.

hummingbird
hummingbird
4 years 1 month ago

I would like to see this topic addressed as well–my body responds differently, looks different, since menopause. I am a couple of years post-menopausal–nothing is the same!

River
River
4 years 1 month ago

Please be mindful that “gender” is not the same as “sex”. Mark, you should be using the term “sex” when referring to biological differences, as gender is an expression that is not based on someone’s “parts”. I am a faithful reader and your work has changed my life!

Joshua
Joshua
4 years 1 month ago

O brother, can we just all admit we all know exactly what he is saying and not be nitpicky where there are no nits to pick.

River
River
4 years 1 month ago

No, please recognize that all people are not aware of how certain language is oppressive and/or inaccurate. If you look up the two work in the dictionary, they have different definitions. I’m not trying to be a jerk, because it’s awesome info, but definitely upset me in the way it was framed.

Mike
Mike
4 years 1 month ago

For this and all scientific discussions gender refers to sex. XX and XY stuff. Surgery and hormonal therapy affect appearancevbut they can not change your DNA.

Anna
Anna
4 years 1 month ago

But hormonal therapy will sure as heck affect how you lay down fat! I bet Primal trans-people are doing a lot of interesting self-experimentation, and mixing of advice when it comes to ancestral heath. Hopefully there will be a resource on those issues someday.

Kris
Kris
4 years 1 month ago

I agree – I am a trans man and live primally as a way to be healthy and modify my body in a way the fits with my gender. For me, and for many other trans and gender queer folks out there, there is a BIG difference between sex and gender.

I love this site, the Primal Blue Print, and the work Mark does, but would love it even more if I saw LGBTQ perspectives considered a bit more. Not all Grokers want to be attractive to the opposite sex.

treborix
treborix
4 years 1 month ago
Like Kris I’m a trans man. Mark’s post quite clearly goes through the differences in storing fat that we associate with male/female. For most people that will tie up with their genes because their genes have dictated the appearance of their sexual organs and their sexual organs produce most of their sex hormones. Some of us get our primary sex hormone from other sources (I get injected with mine). Personally once I started hormone treatment I started to apply advice for guys to myself. And it’s largely held true. But I had hormones “loaded” for the start of my treatment.… Read more »
em
em
4 years 1 month ago

Not everyone is born XX or XY, like those with Klinefelter’s. And even if the chromosomes are clear, there are still conditions like CAH, which can make genetic men look like women, or virilize the genitals of females, or lead to various degrees of intersex. Then there are transexuals, who may be genetically and anatomically one sex, but deeply, unshakeably, identify with the other. Sex is a tricky business, sometimes — genes don’t always determine identity — so it is important to make a distinction between sex and gender.

Jennae
Jennae
4 years 1 month ago

Agreed. My in-laws had adopted a baby girl with fetal-alcohol syndrome. She was undeniably a “she” but was born with both parts. I don’t understand it all, but they had to choose which sex (gender?) she would be right after birth. Not all genetics go by the book. FWIW:)

Joanna
4 years 1 month ago

I totally second this. River is not being picky here, actually. Just accurate. Gender and sex are considered to be different in the scientific literature, it would be great if the post title would reflect this.

Omnomnomz
4 years 1 month ago

Yeah, another transperson agrees! But good article! I wish this would be shown in the health classes, esp. to the girls. It’s so sad to see so many people with eating disorders.

Judy
Judy
4 years 1 month ago

Thank you for the Great post! Since I’ve started eating primal, I’ve leaned out a little (eating bacon, whole milk yogurt, organic cream, butter, etc…) even though this was not my intent when starting this lifestyle. I think this may be more a function of my waining hormones (I’m over 50). All I know its made quite the improvement on my quality of life. You’ve confirmed what I always thought about body image and health. It’s great to lead a healthy, active life style and still sport a wonderfully feminine figure.

Kat
4 years 1 month ago

And don’t forget that even after those nine months are over, women are still growing their babies for a long time through nursing. Evolutionarily, women would need to be prepared to be the primary nutritional source for their babies for a year or more – traditional societies tend to breastfeed for three or more years, and that adds up to a lot of calories.

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
4 years 1 month ago

Great point Kat. Not only does it add up to a lot of calories but women also have to make up the vitamins and nutrients they “lost” during pregnancy.

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

3 years?! Well, good to know.

Since going Primal reduced my body fat *everywhere,* that bodes well for getting that part of my womanly shape back for a while once we have a little Grokling.

RaeVynn
RaeVynn
4 years 1 month ago

..and so, a great deal of that hip/thigh fat will remain until breastfeeding has used it up – which usually happens during the second year of breastfeeding. Something that new moms who only token feed for a few months never get the benefit of.

Cledbo
Cledbo
4 years 1 month ago

…and also something those crazy-ass Hollywood starlets should be told, so they stop express dieting away their nutritional powerhouse bodies 5 mins after giving birth!
Aishwarya Rai is not only gorgeous, she is a role model for mothers wanting to buck the “rubber band body” trend of the celebrity world – it is comforting to know that not only is she a bastion for self esteem, but is doing the right thing from an evolutionary perspective too.

kerryk
kerryk
4 years 1 month ago
Mark, this was interesting and a little comforting, but in a future post could you please, please dig a little deeper into a very large (ha!) sub-set of your female followers (and future followers) – – the post-menopausal woman and any additional challenges or differences in burning fat? For post menopausal women, doesn’t that mean their bodies aren’t driven to store fat for reproductive purposes? Shouldn’t the body then give up some of those stores more easily now? It sure doesn’t seem that way. And to round out that long-anticipated post that’s more geared to your post-menopausal followers, I’d love… Read more »
Diane
Diane
4 years 1 month ago

Yes! Please! Women spend half or more of their adult lives peri- and post menopausal, and believe me, fat metabolism changes!

Susan
Susan
4 years 1 month ago

Kerryk, Thanks for bring this up. Yes, Mark please do address this in the near future. I know you’re not busy! 🙂

Grokiana
Grokiana
4 years 1 month ago

Yes, please re: what happens to the toxins and hormones, etc, all stored in our fat, when we burn it?

Heather
Heather
4 years 1 month ago
Hi everyone, Count me in here too. Peri and post menopause is a huge issue, as us XX’s tend to live longer, and I want to be able to approach menopause and beyond empowered with strategies to cope. I have read that it is a stage where insulin resistance rears it’s ugly head which whacks on belly fat, and i am starting the research now but I think there is a huge chunk of readers out there that crave this information. As regards body shape, media has a huge part to play in this, in our modern world, primal cues… Read more »
Liz
Liz
4 years 1 month ago

Mark, count me in too. Would love for you to dive into the effects of menopause on women and how the primal approach can help. There is a distinct lack of info out there for us. And 51% of the population (and probably your readership) that have dealt with or will be dealing with this issue. Thanks much in advance!!! Grok on.

Christina
Christina
4 years 1 month ago

Mark, this was a great post. I’m sure it makes a whole lotta women feel better about themselves because it did that for me. I have spent a lifetime agonizing over my gluteofemoral fat that no amount of squats will shrink – this has been a huge bummer since having children was never my desire. But…I’m probably healthier for it. And that’s really all that matters. Thanks for all the good info.

Emma
Emma
4 years 1 month ago

Great post! I have spent a lot of time wondering about a related issue the last year while pregnant:
If the body knows best and the mothers dirt during pregnancy is important, then why oh why does nature make you feel so sick?
I’m ashamed to admit I’ve rarely eaten worse than whilst pregnant – anytime I tried to do better my body got rid of it immediately. I lost 4 kg in first 4 months and my poor daughter got white bread and cheap chocolate to live on – stuff I never ever eat otherwise…

Linda
Linda
4 years 1 month ago

This is my pregnancies too. Vomiting everything except McDONALD’S or white bread. Why?

Stephanie
4 years 1 month ago
I experienced horrendous morning sickness during my 2nd pregnancy and had trouble gaining weight until the 3rd trimester. It had my doctors worried, but my midwife was never all that troubled by it. She seemed confident my body would “figure it out” in due time, which it did. All the indicators of fetal health were good. Now I’ve been reading a book by German ancestral health scientists (not yet available in English, unfortunately), in which it is said that morning sickness is a protective mechanism to prevent the mother from eating anything that could potentially harm her or the baby… Read more »
Alexa
Alexa
4 years 1 month ago

So if we store fat differently, process nutrients differently, should we be working out differently than men in the primal context?

When you say, “Women are better at burning fat in response to exercise,” that means fat as a macronutrient, not the aesthetic definition of fat, right? Does this mean our balance of protein/carbs/fat should be different than the typical recommended 40/30/30?

But I do appreciate the shout out that women are just built differently. I think that in general we don’t give ourselves enough leeway here. Hooray for loving ourselves!

Chris C
Chris C
4 years 1 month ago
Eating 40% of calories as protein will probably make you feel sick. Almost every culture ends up averaging about 15% of caloric intake as protein, with a range of about 10% to 30%. If you stick to Mark’s “Primal Blueprint” recommendation of 100 to 150 grams per day of carbs, that is only around 400 to 600 calories per day, or maybe 30% for a woman with just moderate exercise levels, maybe a little less for someone who exercises more and eats more because of that. So you end up with something more like 15/20/65 to 20/30/50 protein/carb/fat ratios as… Read more »
Dan
Dan
4 years 1 month ago

‘As such, women are “designed” …’
Mark, you’ve got it!
I enjoy your website except for the evolution premise. Women were indeed designed. They were the last thing God created and still the best design around.

Barefoot Amy
Barefoot Amy
4 years 1 month ago

According to David King, an associate professor in the anatomy department at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale, “The modern theory of evolution is almost universally accepted among scientists. It is far and away the best explanatory framework ever proposed for understanding data from paleontology, biogeography, systematics, comparative anatomy and physiology, ecology, ethology, population genetics, and molecular genetics.”

Sorry, Dan, but humans and every other form of life on this planet (and beyond) are the product of evolution. The evidence is overwhelming.

Kiki
Kiki
4 years 1 month ago

So where is the missing link?

ajt
ajt
4 years 1 month ago

There is no such thing. I hate to reference Wikipedia, but here’s a nice selection of “transitional fossils.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transitional_fossil

Jim
Jim
4 years 1 month ago
Seriously? Are you so ignorant of basic biology and evolution that you would even need to ask such a question? There is no such thing as a ‘missing link’. Yes, there are many details of evolution yet to be worked out. But that’s a basic difference between science and pseudo-science: people continue to work on, enhance, refine, and yes, even correct the theoretical framework. That said, the existing framework of evolution is as well established as our knowledge of any physical science, and better than many which you wouldn’t think to question. Modern biology simply wouldn’t exist outside the framework… Read more »
Grokiana
Grokiana
4 years 1 month ago

Without having to insist on our own beliefs, Primal works whether you think humans evolved to perform optimally by eating, moving, sleeping, etc., this way, OR whether you think humans were brilliantly designed to function at peak using the world provided for them.

Either way, it just makes sense.

primalpal
primalpal
4 years 1 month ago

And who knows? God may be a sculptor of sorts using evolution to design and create us.

Either way, the primal blueprint works and in my own personal experimentation has proven to have truth in it! 🙂

Beth
Beth
4 years 1 month ago

Argree!
I don’t believe in evolution either, but that doesn’t negate the science behind Primal living working.
I think Dan made a valid and considerate point. He didn’t put anyone down, so don’t be offended.

Jess
Jess
4 years 1 month ago
Thank you so much for this post, Mark! I am very lucky to have an hourglass figure which I love (most days). I am pregnant now, so my waist is getting thick and I’m no longer looking much like an hourglass. Big boobs, thick waist, wide hips, and thick thighs. It’s reassuring to read about why my body looks like this now…and to be reminded of what these hips and thighs are for! It’s also reassuring to read that there really is a difference (and a reason for the difference) between the way women and men lose body fat. Thanks!
Chika
Chika
4 years 1 month ago

Great article Mark. Much of the research says that women tend to put on weight in their thighs and butt. However, when I gain weight, it tends to go to my stomach first (and also my thighs and butt). And when I lose weight, I see greater changes in other areas of my body as opposed to my waist. Why does this happen? I would love to see a follow-up article addressing this.

spincycle
spincycle
4 years 1 month ago

This is exactly how I gain weight too, it goes straight to my belly first, and I am female. I am lean and muscular elsewhere, but the belly fat just hangs on no matter what.

Michelle
Michelle
4 years 1 month ago
I agree, I have never been hour glass like, and nor has any of the females in my family. I do not carry weight in my lower area, when I lean out, I lean out in my upper body and my legs. I am currently at 17% body fat and I am a 34 year old mother of one. I think we can’t group all women the same, my more hour glass friends can obtain very small waist circumferences yet have very large thighs and hips. There has to be some evidence of different body types of women that cause… Read more »
Jana
Jana
4 years 1 month ago

I love this article as it helps women accept their natural body fat placement. I’d love to know more in regards to a post-pregnancy body. I just had my second baby in May and I’m finding it much more challenging to reduce my belly. I also ended up with appendicitis at the end of July which I think didn’t help. Also, why are my cravings so crazy now that I’m nursing. I didn’t have this problem when I was pregnant.

Audrey
Audrey
4 years 1 month ago

I just have to say that if you’re nursing exclusively the cravings are WAY worse than pregnant cravings. Pregnant cravings made me want one thing or one taste of a certain item. Nursing cravings made me a snack monster. Take heart! At around 10 months, when my son was taking in good amounts of solid foods the cravings started to let up.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 years 1 month ago

Yes! Nursing always made me gain so much weight pre-paleo. Now I just make sure that I eat enough carbs and fat; protein too but it doesn’t stem the cravings. I think water is a huge factor as well. Makes sense, I’m feeding a giant 5 month old super baby from my own body. That’s a lot of water I’m using. I’m guessing that I make 60-70 ounces of breastmilk a day maybe more.

homehandymum
homehandymum
4 years 1 month ago
Nursing mothers need way more food than pregnant ones. Snacking is totally okay, and stock up on lots of nutrient-dense foods. Butter, eggs, meat, bone-broth soups, dairy fats (if you can tolerate it), coconut cream and oil if you can’t. My body settled down a lot when I started using real butter instead of margarine, when I was nursing my first baby (way back before I knew about paleo). Watch your actual caloric intake, too – I wasn’t eating enough. Too many ‘easy’ foods that were empty (toast, mostly!), and not enough actual nourishment. Generally, in a metabolically healthy person,… Read more »
Stephanie
4 years 1 month ago
I agree! I really enjoyed this article, but I think it’s definitely worth noting that it’s not just the 9 months in the womb in which the female body has to do more to protect fetal health – breastfeeding is associated with even higher caloric needs. Arguably, the fat weight you gain in pregnancy could be more important for future breastfeeding than for the pregnancy itself. And in an evolutionary context, breastfeeding was designed to go on for up to 4 years! When I was breastfeeding my first child, I lost weight to the point of being very underweight. While… Read more »
Rhonda the Red
Rhonda the Red
4 years 1 month ago

Don’t forget that sometimes babies go through growth spurts and your body actually anticipates these by cranking up your own intake to meet the little one’s needs. Then the baby will nurse like a mad thing for a week or so to bring in even more milk. During those times I’d be a wild hunger monster! Thank goodness for dietary fat to help feed the little one.

Audrey
Audrey
4 years 1 month ago

“Except during pregnancy and lactation, when the lower body begins to give up lower fat stores far more readily” And that is why I am still nursing my little Grokling at 18 months. Horray!

Lea
Lea
4 years 1 month ago
I have always had a bubble butt (notice the word ‘had’). My butt began to go away durring my first pregnancy. While I was nursing, there was literally nothing left of my butt or thighs. My son was a very aggressive eater. It took a full 18 months post nursing for my butt and thighs to return to normal and they are still only a fraction of what they once were. The next child will likely just take the rest of me. LOL. But, that’s what a woman’s body is designed to do. Sustain, protect and nurture life. It is… Read more »
Jillian
Jillian
4 years 1 month ago

Okay, so I come from a fairly athletic-looking family. I a woman, and my fat levels are fairly low (17%) but I will tell you this: You can bounce quarters off my thigs, and my butt was reverse-engineered through Squats. While my stomach is very flat, I have a bit of fat there and on my arms.

…so I’m NOT healthy?

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

How do you feel? That’s the most important question.

You could also be one of the lucky women who could be an underwear model. I love every inch of my body EXCEPT what gets covered by my gym shorts.

Jillian
Jillian
4 years 1 month ago

I was just confused because it sounds like I’m UNhealthy by medical standards! But I have been eating like a saint my entire life! My dad was a nutrition nazi growing up, but now I love him for it and have been doing the same thing as an adult.

Grokiana
Grokiana
4 years 1 month ago

Isn’t the whole point to love our female bodies as they naturally occur under healthy life conditions? The last thing we need is more body envy, where women with full, rounded butts and thighs are scornful of slim women with boyish hips, who then feel insecure and sad about themselves. 🙁

Lisa
Lisa
4 years 25 days ago

Well, medical standards aren’t written in stone! I’m the same way and I’ve always been healthy. I did have to work for my body to some extent, but I have an athletic build as well. If you feel well, aren’t lacking nutritionally, and everything works… best thing you can ask for.

Mindy1986
Mindy1986
4 years 1 month ago

Damn. And I was hoping you were going to tell me exactly what to do to get rid of my outer thighs that seems to think they run my show…

Emily
Emily
4 years 1 month ago

I am adding my plea for more info on females who store fat on their abdomen. I have always had “runner legs” despite never running, and small arms. Fat accumulates aromd my waist first and then my breasts, and good luck ever getting rid of it. What could be causing this, how can we change it, and

Emily
Emily
4 years 1 month ago

And is it unhealthy or just our personal variation?

postmodernnomad
postmodernnomad
4 years 1 month ago
Thanks, Mark! Great article, but you forgot a couple places where we store fat preferentially — I’ll give you a hint: they’re to do with lactation. That’s another nice thing about primal compared to semi-starvation diets (i.e. low cal/low fat), is that with primal, body fat is preserved in all the right places! for Jodie and Nikki, who mentioned they had trouble losing abdominal fat — what about trying a careful carb count for a few days and then experimenting with lower levels… I know I need to keep carb counts closer to 20 than 50 to have visible abdominal… Read more »
Jodie Jantz
Jodie Jantz
4 years 1 month ago

Thanks I will try that.

Kat
Kat
4 years 1 month ago

Interesting and informative post. Anyone else have “Baby’s Got Back” running through their head? LOL

I do think that things are a little different for peri and post menopausal women though. All the fluctuation in hormone levels definitely affect the fat distribution. Also, stress and cortisol levels play a huge part in where your fat is stored (IMO). I’d love to see the whole peri/post menopause issue addressed.

Jenny
Jenny
4 years 1 month ago

I feel better! Even with 8 months of nursing so far, the fat has been SLOW to come off. This article also hints that different women store fat differently. And gain muscle differently, as Mark points out with his own example. Focus on acceptance and HEALTH, rather than some body ideal, is key for me.

Tracey
Tracey
4 years 1 month ago
I dont think I have ever been so happy to have a big ass in my life! After just a month of primal I feel spectacular not just because i am not a slave to the 3 hr meal plans anymore but because of this… I am so at peace with my body and instincts. i used to eat low fat and after a few days go nuts and crave half n half. Gee i wonder? Its so nice to just make peace and realize we are that way for a reason…and still get a bit of a smaller butt… Read more »
Hassan
4 years 1 month ago

Great post Mark! Love the part about how the body “knows”

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

IMO the difference between the effects of subcutaneous fat and abdominal fat is fascinating and although it’s known they’re very different, we don’t hear about it way often enough!

It can be a problem in both directions — fit athletic people (esp women but not only) who needlessly worry about a little bit of subcutaneous fat on top of their muscles

–but also people whose BMIs and weights seem OK but who have abdominal fat. They and their doctors can underestimate their risk of diabetes and heart disease.

AFAIK measuring waist/hip ratio is a rough way to estimate

Mark
Mark
4 years 1 month ago

I really appreciated your comments about trying to eat big, workout big, to get big. I was much the same when I was younger. Always wanted to be bigger. I tried for 6 months to put on weight with lots of extra calories and too much weight lifting and managed to gain ~7lbs. I was ripped though. However like you, a few weeks of slacking off due to burnout and the weight was gone. Much happier now to weigh less but have a lean, easier to maintain physique.

Diane
Diane
4 years 1 month ago

Still doesn’t explain why some of us women cannot attain that attractive athletic body on this diet no matter what we do.

Liz
Liz
4 years 1 month ago
I’m glad this article was posted–was JUST talking about this with a friend. Sometimes it’s frustrating for us women, because we’re involved in a community where men generally seem to have greater/faster success than we do (in terms of fat loss). And yet I still have to endure hearing the “You can eat as much paleo food as you want and LOSE weight!” Not sure who came up with that line of thinking, but it sure isn’t true for someone like me. These last ten pounds on my frame are holding on for dear life! That all being said, I… Read more »
Siobhan
Siobhan
4 years 1 month ago

Adding another voice here to the requests for post-menopausal women and fat/weight loss/body composition. And maybe the latest and greatest research on estrogen supplementation in those early years of menopause – I’ve been researching this on my own but, Mark, you do it so much better!

Maxmilliana
Maxmilliana
4 years 1 month ago

It would be great if this kind of knowledge were published in magazines/on blogs that teenage girls and young women read. They might be encouraged to not worry about their body image so much.

gibson girl
gibson girl
4 years 1 month ago

Thanks for pointing out the differences, Mark. I’m another post-menopausal apple shape that can’t seem to budge the weight. I was doing fine until the hormones changed direction! I don’t know that there’s any natural way around that.

Mitcher
Mitcher
4 years 1 month ago

I was expecting this article to say a lot more about testosterone in relation to fat metabolism. My understanding is that the differences between male and female metabolism are largely attributable to differences in hormone levels.

The reason men on paleo can obtain a lean, muscular build while female role models on paleo are often plumper is that testosterone helps metabolize fat.

leida
leida
4 years 1 month ago

So, if a woman wanted to reduce that fat to a healthy but lower level, would we talk about lowering the fat overall by not adding fat, increase protein to 40-50%, and choosing O3 eggs, wild salmon and g-g beef over the pork, poultry in skin and nuts/avocado. Prefer coconut oil over every other fat source. Avoid high sugar foods? Add 20 min steady state cardio after each lifting workout? What?

TO
TO
4 years 1 month ago

The way I’m understanding it is more that what’s a healthy level of body fat for the average woman is higher than what’s a healthy level of body fat for the average man.

I.e., you may not look like a TV model but if you have strong muscles, good energy and endurance,
feel good, and your body fat is mainly subcutaneous fat as described in the article (i.e., hourglass shape or pear shape), you may actually be healthier than that TV model.

leida
leida
4 years 1 month ago

Mark’s Body Fat % is lower than an average male’s BF%, and nobody is going to argue that he is healthy. So, if a woman wanted to achieve the same, healthy but below average BF%, what are the recommendations? Not a model with no muscle and 15% BF, but a fit woman with 16-18% BF and large muscle size instead of pudgy average woman at 25% BF.

darcieg
darcieg
4 years 1 month ago

25% body fat isn’t pudgy for a woman, and I’m certain it’s not average. It may be a little higher than athletic ideal, but it’s still reasonably good.

Greg
Greg
4 years 1 month ago

No, just the opposite.

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
4 years 1 month ago
I’m trying to build muscle and get a bit leaner lately and it’s been difficult with the available shelter/soup kitchen food. I’ll pig out on stuff like cheap cheese and cereal or other high-carb foods (french fries for ex., even some bread/bagels) and end up bloated and gaining noticeable fat fast, then if I cut back I’ll lose the fat fairly fast but also lose muscle. A few years ago my body probably looked better than now overall, and I was probably in better shape. I recovered a lot faster from workouts too – maybe because I was conditioned to… Read more »
Animanarchy
Animanarchy
4 years 1 month ago

Later on that evening just kind of thought, “forget that”.. went out and did pull-ups and a bunch of curls with a log. Stuffed myself with mostly healthy food, lots and lots of mixed greens, that really helps with satiety.
Going for more micronutrients and trying not to worry about calories. If I work hard enough, they’ll burn.

Ashley
Ashley
4 years 1 month ago

*Applause* Thank you, Mark. Well written!

John
John
4 years 1 month ago
Not sure if it was mentioned above but this post is only correct for younger people. As people age, the fat distribution pattern on their body changes. Not sure if any one has noticed that women approaching and past menopause often lose the extra fat on their *sses and thighs and start to accumulate more on the upper body – primarily the abdomen. You often see ladies in their 50-60’s with tiny butts. In men, as they pass middle age, their fat stores on the abdomen often shift downward onto the hips and legs. This may be primarily a result… Read more »
John
John
4 years 1 month ago

Oh and further to my comment above – don’t forget, womens breasts typically shrink past a certain age and men grow them.
For younger women who have apple shapes – likely a hormonal factor at play – likley could be changed somewhat though diet and exercise and reducing stress levels.

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