The short answer is yes.
Human beings all take the same inputs. Think about it, as babies, Mother’s milk is practically the same for boys and girls. There are some studies showing minor differences between the milk produced for boys and girls depending on societies where they evolved to promote the survival of one sex over the other when advantageous, but in most cases it is practically identical in terms of the content of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) and micronutrients (minerals & vitamins), which suggests our requirements, at least as infants are identical.
The bottom line is that we are roughly the same, women naturally have more body fat than men and it is stored in different places generally, but getting to a healthy weight depends on the food in the environment. In modern society we have all possible foods available at all times because of our collective ingenuity, however, if we lived in the past, before modern intervention, we all simply took what we could get as and when it became available.
Nature decided what we ate and when!
With that in mind, my theory is that: it is the over-abundance of autumnal carbohydrates in our diets all year round that puts us into a constant state of conducive to fat storage, preparing us for a phantom winter that is always around the corner, but that winter of course never comes (in dietary terms) and so we are left continuously in squirrel mode, putting on pounds and pounds indefinitely over the years.
So here’s the deal, we all have a basic requirement for carbs for our brain and body, men and women. At rest, males and female bodies are both fat burners, and our brains burn sugar. The requirement for carbs as a result depends on your physical size and level and type of activity. I would suggest 40% of the diet maximum should come from carbohydrates if you’re looking to lose weight, and to have at least one meal a day without carbs. If you work at a desk, breakfast may be a good time for this meal (e.g. eggs with more eggs or with some form of meat or fish), but if you train intensely in the morning (heavy weights or tough cardio), you should have a carb focussed meal well before it for breakfast and you could have a fat-focussed meal later in the day. The details of these types of meals, timings etc. are discussed in detail in Don’t Eat for Winter.
My wife Nicola, recently started taking the diet seriously, she trained for years in the gym, doing circuits and running and was doing really well but struggled to get to what she had in her mind as her ideal weight but she was happy enough with her physique. However, once she shifted to the DEFoW diet, her body scan showed a massive drop in fat (down to 18%, which is athlete territory), with no muscle loss. She lost 6kg of pure fat that she didn’t think she had to lose and gained 2kg of lean muscle and looks incredible and she has bags more energy than before. I’ve never seen her this content and bubbly going around, she just seems a lot happier in herself.
Here’s Nicola’s own words and some recent pictures I took of her on a night out in Waterford a couple of weeks ago…
“I’ve done the slimming group diets, cabbage type diets, paleo, calorie counting and many more. These worked for me to some degree but I either couldn’t get past a certain point or they were totally unsustainable as a lifestyle plan. They were a constant battle. Now, I am eating loads, I have loads of energy and I feel great. I’ve been watching Cian crafting his book for months now and it took me a while to try it myself (it always takes me ages to get going with changes, I kinda have to digest them in my brain first). What can I say….it’s a game changer!! I’ve never found it so easy to maintain and train which such benefits. I wasn’t looking to even lose much weight (Just compliment my workouts) but shockingly, I have lost a stone of fat that I didn’t even think I had. I’m at the same weight now as when I was 18, only now I have muscle tone. I love the way my clothes fit and I feel great.”