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The Difference Between Weight Loss for Men & Women

This article explains why men tend to lose weight faster than women, citing factors such as body composition, hormones, and muscle mass. However, the author emphasizes that patience and healthy lifestyle changes are important for consistent weight loss for all genders.

Alexander Singh
June 6, 2022

Men lose weight faster than women and there’s scientific proof for that now! The mental image of women working out tirelessly and sweating non-stop only to shed a pound or two in a couple of weeks compared to men eating a healthy diet, hitting a gym, and losing more than expected weight seems natural. But is it true?

This post talks about the dispute over weight loss progress between men vs. women. Why is there a difference in the rate of weight loss between men and women? Scientific data shows that men lose weight more quickly than women due to various physical and physiological reasons. Let's dive a little deeper!

A Brief Overview

Weight loss is an individual experience; everyone says it for themselves. But when it comes to the men vs. women weight loss debate, we know that this typical tug of war almost always ends in favor of men.

Losing weight is relatively easy for men, thanks to the difference in hormone levels, body fat percentage, and lean muscle tissue buildup. Overall, men are generally fitter than women. Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply women are any less at losing weight.

The only problem is that where it takes a couple of months for women to shed a few pounds, men are way ahead on the weight scale! The seemingly “unfair” difference in weight loss progress is due to several physiological and psychological reasons.

The body composition is different for both sexes. We all know that losing weight is easier for an individual if they already have a low body fat percentage. Conversely, it would be tough for someone with a higher body fat percentage. Scientific studies show that women have 6%-11% more body fat than men! 

Why Do Men Lose Weight Easier Than Women?

It starts with muscle mass being the most critical factor in the process. Men have more of it (lean muscles) compared to women, and that's what primarily enhances weight loss in the former sex, according to NCBI research.

Men also have more metabolically active muscle tissue, which increases the calorie-burning process, the Health Harvard study supports. They also have higher testosterone levels, significantly improving men's weight loss journey. Testosterone (hormones) amplifies the calories-burning process by sustaining lean muscle tissue growth, even when men are resting!

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that an individual's metabolic needs are directly proportional to their muscularity. That's why men can burn calories and melt fat quicker than women. Thus, men lose weight faster than women. 

On the other spectrum of the “men vs. women” weight loss debate, women find it challenging to eliminate unwanted body fat. In fact, they even find it difficult to build up lean muscle mass, and that's because women are hardwired to like sugary treats, which build fat storage!

According to NCBI research, women crave more sugary treats. Moreover, a woman’s body is programmed to store more fatty tissues, especially around regions like the buttocks, waist, and thighs. That makes them look fatter, and the results are hardly noticeable even if they're losing weight consistently.

Understanding Hormones and Weight Loss

Hormone changes have the most considerable influence on the weight loss progress of men. We previously established that men have higher testosterone levels than women, amplifying caloric burning.

Women experience considerable hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, which takes their appetite and food cravings to a whole new level. According to research, the metabolic rate can be higher for women in the pre-menstrual cycle.

That encourages them to jumpstart exercises and weight loss plans. Soon, the plans end because women experience appetite stimulation due to Ghrelin production, another hormone! Some scientists claim that men could have ten times higher testosterone levels than women.

Doesn’t that explain why they can be more physically active and have higher libidos? Even when sleeping, men keep burning fat because testosterone jumpstarts caloric burning and lean muscle buildup throughout the body.

For women, a natural hormonal phenomenon slows their weight loss progress. The production of estrogen, a female hormone, increases fatty deposits across the body, mainly in the following areas:

  • Breasts 
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Pelvis

The Impact of Muscle Mass

A study shows that men have more muscle mass, which makes them more active (physically) compared to women. It specifically stated that out of 468 people (both sexes), men had 36% more muscle mass on average. The more muscle you have, the higher your movement intensity is, which burns more calories even when resting!

What about Medical Weight Loss?

Do you know that nearly 1 in 3 US adults are at risk of medical obesity? Obesity introduces a wide variety of health issues and diseases. To overcome obesity risks and speed up the weight loss process, some people, mainly women, opt for medical weight loss.

It involves numerous medications, medical procedures, and even surgeries to reach the desired weight goals. Typically, medical weight loss begins with multiple physical exams and consultation with a health specialist. 

Does a Certain Gender Get Better Results?

Yes, men have the upper hand in achieving better results in losing weight. But men don't keep a stronghold! Women can achieve identical results within a few months of losing weight because men usually overachieve for the first few months, after which the weight loss rate drops notably.

Men mostly have a fat mass around their bellies, and that's relatively easy to lose. Due to more metabolically active muscle tissue can engage in high-intensity workouts and resistance training compared to women.

That leads to enhanced caloric burning and better lean muscle buildup. Fat concentrated around the belly is also a significant reason why weight loss results are more noticeable among men. Conversely, women’s fat mass is spread out quite evenly, leading to slower weight loss. 

Key Takeaways

Be mindful of an important fact: weight loss is an individual experience. Multiple factors influence your weight loss journey. That means while it’s true that men lose weight faster than women, you may still lose to a woman in the weight loss journey if you don’t utilize the natural factors in your favor.

Regardless of your weight goals, hormone levels, fat mass percentage, and even your gender, patience is influential in losing weight consistently. You can't control the process of losing weight in your body. However, what you can control is your relationship with food.

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes, nutritious diet plans, and exercising habits with the help of a fitness program could be instrumental to your weight loss journey. After all, scientific studies outline that men are overachievers, and that's why they achieve the best results in the first few months of losing weight. Within a short time, men and women even out the weight loss results. 

Despite men having the upper hand in the weight loss field, women can remain committed and lose fat consistently without seeing unusual fluctuations.