Note: The information on this page is intended for informational use only. Do not use this post, or any other information on this site, to diagnose or treat any medical condition, or in lieu of professional medical advice from a certified personal physician. Always check with your doctor before undergoing any treatment or beginning any weight loss regimen.
It’s a common enough scenario that we’ve all probably seen play out once or twice before: A man and a woman, whether they’re significant others, colleagues, relatives, or otherwise acquainted, decide to start losing weight together. Then, a few weeks or months into their pact, the man has found that he’s shed a good amount of weight. The woman on the other hand is frustrated to find that she hasn’t made as much progress, despite being just as dedicated and following an identical regimen.
What’s to account for situations like these? Is weight loss really different for men and women? Well, yeas and no. Keep reading to learn more.
The simple fact of the matter is that on average, men tend to have an easier time losing weight than women. Some experts will point to behavioral differences to account for this fact, like women’s preference for carbs versus men’s love of meat, or even differences in brain activity, but these explanations rarely hold water. There are just as many steak-loving women out there as there are carbo-loading men (and vice versa), and other psychological explanations tend to be more anecdotal or apocryphal than scientific.
The real reason that men tend to have beginner’s luck when it comes to dieting is much more mundane: They’re bigger.
Men, on average, are taller, broader, and have more muscle mass than the average woman. This is due to greater levels of testosterone in the body. Because men are bigger with more muscle, they naturally have a higher metabolism, making it easier to create a caloric deficit each day to spur fat loss. They also tend to put on new muscle more easily, further widening the gap.
Fundamentally though, women and men have more in common than not when it comes to losing weight. The differences outlined above are typically most drastic early on in a weight loss regimen, meaning that over the long term weight loss rates between men and women tend to even out.
That’s largely because the basics are the same for everyone: A moderate, well-rounded diet rich in vegetables, lean protein, fruits, and whole grains along with an active lifestyle. Any long-term adherence to this lifestyle will produce lifelong fitness in the majority of people.*
The importance of strength training is another common thread – and something that can narrow the weight loss gender gap. Strength training increases lean muscle mass in men and women alike, revving up metabolism along with a host of other benefits.
One more thing men and women have in common – sometimes they need an extra hand. If you’re struggling with weight loss, the team at Medical Weight Loss Solutions in Connecticut offers custom, medically-supervised weight loss programs for women and men.*Get in touch to learn more.