We’ve had this hunch for years. Women have a harder time losing weight than men do. Now, a great piece in the Washington Post explains why:
1. Men, in general, have a higher muscle to fat ratio compared to women. Muscles burn more energy (calories) than fat.
2. Post workout, women’s ghrelin spikes. This is the hunger hormone that says “feed me”. In men, it rises as well, but not to the same extent.
3. Men have a faster metabolism than women, burning 3-10% more calories just by being alive.
4. Women’s brains are wired to crave food more than men’s brains. A potential explanation is to make sure there will always be enough sustenance for pregnancy.
5. Women that get into a new relationship with a man, start eating as much and as often as their partner, which in most cases means more calories per day than they should.
6. Women tend to take more extreme measures when dieting as compared to men. These methods are usually unsustainable.
On the bright side, women tend to diet with friends and provide a support system that is usually unavailable to men. And women tend to be much more knowledgeable about nutrition compared to men, which does have an advantage.
At the end of the day, dieting is hard for everyone. But if you think about weight loss as a long-term journey of lifestyle adaptations, it may take more time to shed the pounds, but you will keep them off too.