What is the difference in body fat storage for men and women and why is that so?
Despite the media telling us what the perfect body shape is or what an ideal body should look like; it’s time to take at a look at thousands of years of evolution that have made men the shape they are, and women the shape they are.
Men tend to store their fat around the mid-section creating the dreaded ‘beer belly’ and women tend to store fat in the bottom and thigh area, creating comments about ‘thunder thighs’ and ‘saddle bags’.
The labels of pear shape are generally reserved for women and apple shape for men or to use the more scientific term : the android and gynoid shapes.
According to a study done in the University of New Mexico, men need less body fat than women to be healthy. A fat percentage of 12-18% with a minimum of 5% for men is considered healthy whereas for women, it is 16-25% with a minimum of 15% – three times higher than men.
Fitness models however buck the trend and have around 8% of body fat which is really the bare minimum. Getting to that level also requires a lot of hard work and dedication and is not ‘natural’.
The gynoid shape women need the additional fat for childbirth and reproductive purposes. That stubborn excess bit of fat below the belly button is actually there to protect your ovaries, so that you have extra protection to ensure healthy child bearing. The last thing your body is thinking about is how good that bikini is going to look, or how flat your stomach needs to be to fit into that slinky dress.
Equally, the ‘saddle bags’ and ‘thunder thighs’ are there to protect the vagina and the fat in the breasts are there for milk.
The stick thin woman is not a natural phenomenon – it is a product of magazines and the media brain washing women into achieving the much sought after ‘model’ look. Although we are not advocating being over weight and having too much fat, it is also essential to accept that women will have more body fat than men and to understand the difference in fat storage for men and women.