We bet that 2016 kicked off with you making some seriously health conscious decisions. Ok, you may not be going quite as far as training for the marathon, but you joined your local gym in a bid to shift those post-holiday extra pounds and began a green juice fuelled healthy eating regime. So you’re slaving away, going to as many exercise classes you can possibly fit into your daily schedule – morning HIIT, lunch time abs and after work Pilates – but just not shedding those pounds. Your boyfriend on the other hand is already back to his post Christmas fighting weight, and with way less dedication to the gym and the healthy eating. Not fair, and surely not even possible right? Well, sadly it turns out there could actually be a legit scientific reason for it…
According to a new study, women may find it easier to gain weight than men because of differences in a part of the brain which controls calorie use. So, when you’re tucking into nice meal after a long day, and are left with the dreaded food baby, don’t fret. It’s all to do with pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) peptides, hormones made in this area of the brain which regulate the appetite, physical activity, energy expenditure and body weight.
However, the study published in the journal ‘Molecular Metabolism’ found that POMC neurons perform different functions.“While the subset targeted by obesity medication lorcaserin influences appetite in both males and female mice, in males, this subset has the added benefit of also modulating physical activity and energy expenditure,” said lead author Professor Lora Heisler at the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. But in female mice, physical activity and energy expenditure were not strongly affected. “So, while medications targeting this source of POMC peptides may effectively reduce appetite in females, our evidence suggests that they will not tap into the signals in our brain that modulate physical activity and energy expenditure,” said Professor Heisler.
Not great news, but hey, at least we’re all in it together ladies!