How Women Differ From Men When It Comes To Weight Loss
Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.
When it comes to weight loss, there are some notable differences between genders. At Interval Weight Loss, we know that a couple can tackle the same nutrition and exercise plan, and after 6 weeks, achieve markedly different results. Scientific research confirms that for women, weight loss is a slower process. The question is: why?
There are biological and socio-cultural reasons for this. Not only do men and women approach weight loss differently, but certain physiological factors make it easier for men to shift the number on the scales. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at these differences and find out why it really is harder for women to lose weight.
Do men lose weight faster than women?
It's a question that has been debated for years: do men lose weight faster than women? Finally, we have an answer. For women, weight loss is a slower process — at least initially. In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, men and women were assigned to commercial weight-loss programs such as Atkins, Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers. After 2 months, the men had lost twice as much weight as the women, and 3 times as much body fat. Fast-forward to 6 months, however, and the rate of weight loss had evened out.
How women and men differ when it comes to weight loss
It’s clear that when it comes to weight loss, women are on the back foot. So, what explains this difference? It turns out, there are a few factors at play. Here’s how women and men differ when it comes to weight loss:
Metabolism — Men tend to have more muscle mass than women, which means they have a higher metabolic rate. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so men may simply be burning more calories than women.
Body composition — On average, women have between 6 and 11% more body fat than men, which tends to be stored around the hips, thighs and buttocks.
Hormones — Testosterone helps to build muscle mass, which in turn helps to burn fat, whereas oestrogen promotes fat storage. On average, men have higher levels of testosterone, and women have higher levels of oestrogen.
Menopause — When oestrogen levels are too low, it can also cause fat storage. This is why menopause makes weight loss for women especially difficult — and why post-menopausal women are more likely to gain weight than men of the same age.
Yo-yo dieting — Men and women approach weight loss differently, too. When it comes to weight loss, women often start earlier in life than men, and they tend to set higher goals for themselves. Attempting to follow crash diet after crash diet has a negative and lasting effect on your metabolism.
Emotional eating — Women are more likely to reach for junk food when stressed, according to a study from The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and they’re more susceptible to the emotional triggers that lead to overeating.
Tailored weight loss for women at Interval Weight Loss
Now you know why it really is harder for women to lose weight. But what can you do about it? Developed and tested by Dr Nick Fuller from the University of Sydney, our scientifically backed program is a proven women’s weight loss solution.
We’re dedicated to helping men and women stop dieting and heal their relationship with food for good, with a host of delicious recipes and useful resources to help you achieve your goals. If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, sign up online today, and feel free to contact us directly with questions about the Interval Weight Loss program.