In theory, no. Universally, there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat no matter what your age, gender or size.
So, you are going to have to burn an excess of 3,500 calories compared to your calorie intake to lose that pound of fat, whether you are a man or a woman.
However, there are certain characteristics of men that may mean that they find it easier to lose fat at a faster rate because they are often able to handle a bigger calorie deficit better. We find that this is because their bodies are a little more resilient to stress and they may be less hormonally affected by dieting compared to women.
In addition, because men tend to have higher amounts of muscle mass, they can diet on higher calories and still be in that all-important deficit needed for fat loss. For example, if you can diet on 2,400 calories compared to 1,400 calories, that is considerably easier and you are less likely to slip up. Women also tend to be susceptible to water weight changes, which can make it appear like fat loss is not happening as quickly or feels less linear compared to men.
Yes and no. You might see ‘fat burning’ supplements marketed online. While some may have a small ‘thermogenic’ effect, it’s not significant enough to lead to fat loss without concomitant diet and exercise changes.
There are no true legal ‘fat burning’ supplements that will make you lose weight. You cannot create a calorie deficit through supplements alone – this can only be achieved through reduced calorie intake and increased energy expenditure through exercise.
However, there are a range of supplements that can put your body in the best position to lose weight.
If you are overweight or lead an unhealthy lifestyle with high stress, poor sleep, little exercise and consumption of highly processed foods or alcohol, you are likely to have high levels of systemic inflammation. This inflammation can reduce blood flow to certain tissues, making it harder to lose stubborn fat in some areas. Supplements, such as our unique Inflammation Support formula, can help reduce systemic inflammation and support the fat loss process.
Supplements, such as Berberine, can help you become more insulin sensitive so your body can use carbohydrates more effectively. Supplements, such as our Focus pre-workout product, can improve your performance or output in the gym, which can indirectly support weight loss. Supplements can also be used to help manage appetite to make dieting for weight loss easier.
Our Amplify product, for example, has multiple purposes – managing appetite, boosting energy levels, reducing physical stress on the body, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
So supplements won’t directly help you lose weight, but they can support the weight loss process.
There is still a myth that eating carbs after a certain time of day, for example, will make people store that food as fat.
What really matters, however, is total calories over the day. You will not store fat unless you have an excess of calories – no matter what time of day you eat.
However, your body is better able to process carbohydrates at certain times of day. First thing in the morning, when cortisol is high after you wake up, your body is probably the least insulin sensitive. In simple terms, cortisol is a hormone that seeks to mobilise energy, while insulin is a hormone that seeks to store energy (you cannot do both at the same time). Hence why people who lead very high-stress lifestyles tend to be very insulin insensitive.
Eating carbs in the evening, however, can be beneficial for many people because it helps to produce serotonin, which leads to melatonin – supporting good quality sleep and recovery.
While there may be more or less optimal times to eat carbs during a day, the bottom line is that ‘calories are king’.
‘Spot reduction’ is the idea that you can target specific areas of your body to lose fat.
People believe that doing sit-ups, for example, will help to lose belly fat. However, this is a myth – you cannot ‘spot reduce’ fat. Fat is lost across the body as a whole.
When you begin to lose fat and get leaner, there will be parts of your body you lose fat immediately from and other areas that are more stubborn. This is different for every person because of their individual genetics, hormonal profile and body fat storage patterns.
Fat loss simply comes down to burning more calories than you consume in a day.
So as long as you are regularly exercising (in particular strength training) and following a calorie-controlled diet consistently, you will see results.