Is it More Difficult for Women to Lose Weight?

Not only is obesity higher in women than men, males have inherent advantages when it comes to losing weight. As frustrating as it is, there are various reasons why it’s more challenging for women to lose weight. Weight loss programs that take these differences into consideration can help women slim down and reach their weight loss goals. Knowing the challenges you face as a woman helps you strategize for successful weight loss.

To help you understand potential obstacles, we’ve compiled five reasons it’s harder for women to lose weight than it is for men.

1. There’s a difference in food cravings

You can likely think of women in your life that declare their love of chocolate, but you’re less likely to know a man addicted to sweets. It turns out, women are more inclined than men to crave sugary, higher-carbohydrate foods. Clinical research points out gender differences in food preference that make it harder for women to lose weight. Sex hormones are the likely culprits as women are especially prone to craving sweet foods during certain phases of their menstrual cycle.

Our doctors at Pure Medicine are experts in weight loss and offer individualized weight loss programs that take challenges like food cravings into consideration. After a thorough evaluation, they offer strategies -- like stabilizing your blood sugar -- to help curb cravings.

2. Women usually have less muscle

Women have less muscle mass than men, and since muscle increases resting metabolic rate, this means that men naturally burn more calories throughout the day. It takes more energy for your body to maintain muscle than it does fat. Even at rest, you burn a certain number of calories carrying out physiological activities like breathing and digesting food.

When you have more lean mass, you burn more calories even when you’re not doing anything. Since most women have less lean mass, they must work harder to adjust their calories appropriately to promote weight loss.

3. Emotional eating affects women differently

While emotional eating isn’t just a female issue, there are gender differences in stress management, and women are more prone to dive into a pint of ice cream to buffer stress than men are. When women experience stress at work, for instance, they’re more likely to crave and eat sugary snacks to feel better. This makes it more challenging to stick to a healthy low-calorie diet to shed extra weight.

4. Yo-yo dieting is more common

Yo-yo dieting is losing weight, then gaining it back, then trying another diet to lose again. This pattern messes with your hormones and metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight each time you try dieting.

Gender differences in the approach to weight loss mean that women are more prone to the yo-yo effect, and may try extreme fad diets that call for cutting out several food groups or eating only a homemade soup concoction for weeks at a time. These diets do much more harm than good, as they cause your metabolism to crash, resulting in gaining the weight back once you return to normal eating.

Good news though -- our team at Pure Medicine checks your hormones to identify any underlying issues that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

5. Women have lower testosterone

When it comes to body fat, testosterone is a major player in how many calories you burn, how your body utilizes energy, and how your body distributes fat. Men have much higher testosterone levels than women, making it naturally easier to lose body fat, especially in problems areas like the belly.

Dr. Jordan Pastorek and Dr. Daniel Mijares can guide you through the unique obstacles women face on their weight loss journeys. For effective weight loss solutions, call either our Dallas or Frisco office, or use our convenient online booking form to schedule a consultation.

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