Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why is it Easier For Men to Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

Man Holding Woman On His BackWe've all heard a story about a couple that sets off to lose weight together. All the man does is cut out a late night bowl of ice cream and loses 15 pounds in a month, while the woman exercises an hour everyday and counts calories and loses 5 pounds in a month. Doesn't seem fair does it?

The results aren't always this drastic and each individual is different. In general, it is easier for men to lose weight than women. There are several reasons for this.

Muscle Mass Differences
One of the main reasons that men lose weight faster than women is because they have more lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass one has, the more calories they burn, even at rest. Since men have more calorie-burning muscle, they lose weight faster.

Hormonal Differences
Men and women have different hormones. Women are "programmed" to store and retain fat. Women have higher levels of estrogen, a hormone that keeps fat on the body so it is easier to get pregnant.

Men have higher levels of growth hormone and testosterone than women do. These hormones have a large impact on rate and efficiency of the body's metabolism. Growth hormone and testosterone also has a huge impact on the rate and speed of fat loss. Higher levels of these 2 hormones are associated with increased muscle mass, which leads to an increased metabolism therefore greater body fat loss.

Body Surface Area
In general, men are taller, bigger and longer than women which means that they have a greater surface area to lose body heat from. The loss of heat results in an increase in a man's metabolism because their body has to work harder to regulate their body temperature. The metabolic spike related to body heat loss is another reason why it is easier for men to lose weight than women.

Losing weight for women (and men) can be very frustrating. So women, when you are frustrated that your man is losing weight faster than you, remember that you have many odds against you.

It is important to remember that it is not a competition. Losing weight is about lifestyle choices and not how fast you get there. Don't compare yourself to others and remember that everybody loses weight at a different rate.


Harms, Craig; Rosenkranz, Sara. Sex Differences in Pulmonary Function during Exercise. Med Sci Sports & Exerc. 40(4):664-668, April 2008. Tarnopolsky, Mark A. Sex Differences in Exercise Metabolism and the Role of 17-Beta Estradiol. Med Sci Sports & Exerc. 40(4):648-654, April 2008.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with this. Me and my husband we have started a weight loss Toronto program and after 7 months, I've lost 44 lbs and he 50 lbs. And we do the same things, but of course that it has a different metabolism that mine. However, we will continue with this journey... We really want to have healthy bodies.