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Why is It Harder for Women to Lose Weight?

It often takes longer for women to lose weight.While losing weight can be a challenging feat for both sexes, women have a few additional physiological hurdles from the start that men simply don’t. For women, it may take more of an initial lifestyle change to accomplish weight loss than it would for men.

Don’t worry though. All hope is not lost.

Staying focused on hitting your first health related goals can be empowering and keep you on the right track to shedding unwanted pounds down the line.

You may not come out of the gate dropping pounds left and right like your male counterparts, but in most cases weight loss will even out over time.

Physiological Reasons Initial Weight Loss is Harder for Women

Initially, it can be discouraging for women who decide to lose weight with male friends, family, or partners. It may seem as if you’re male weight loss partner is losing weight with little or no effort while you’re struggling to drop that first couple pounds.

Well, it turns out there’s a reason.

Let’s take a look at some of the biological reasons women have a tougher time getting rid of excess weight and looking slimmer at first.

  • Men have a height and weight advantage over women. Performing even simple tasks requires the body to burn more energy the larger the person is.
  • Men typically have a faster metabolism than women due to testosterone levels. Lean muscle tissue can burn more calories than fat even when resting.
  • Women’s fat stores are often spread throughout the body. It’s more difficult to lose weight when fat stores are spread over the entire body rather than held in one place such as the belly like it often is in men.
  • Women have larger fat stores to help during pregnancy. A perfectly fit woman will hold and extra 6-11% more body fat than a perfectly fit man simply due to biology.
  • Post-workout cravings. After a workout women’s ghrelin levels (the hormone that tells us we’re hungry) increase. Meanwhile, our leptin (the hormone that tells us we’re full) drop significantly. This hormonal fluctuation isn’t as prominent in men after exercise.

Don’t despair. Women have some advantages over men too. For example, women tend to burn more body fat when they exercise than men do.

Pushing Through Physiological Obstacles

Whether you want to commit to dropping a significant amount of weight, restore your optimal body weight after a pregnancy, or just live a healthier lifestyle overall, there are several things you can do to expedite the process.

  • Incorporate strength training exercises into your workout and benefit from more muscle mass too.
  • Focus on healthier post-workout snacks to tame cravings.
  • Banish negative thoughts and focus on the positive to nix emotional eating.
  • Have a balanced workout that includes plenty of cardio (at least 20 minutes a day).

Getting your mind in the right place can be helpful during your weight loss journey as well. One thing you can do immediately is to stop thinking of it as a competition. Celebrate and encourage both parties weight loss achievements equally.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t lose weight as quickly as the men around you. Remember, weight loss isn’t a race. It’s a slow and steady process to regaining your optimal well-being and taking control of your life.

Although guys may have an initial head start, your partner’s weight loss will eventually plateau and you should be on the same page over time.

Losing weight doesn’t need to be daunting. Talk to your health care provider for guidance on how to accomplish weight loss and other health-related goals. Feel free to give us a call regarding any questions you may have through your weight loss journey. We’d be happy to schedule an appointment with your doctor for a consultation.

You’ll soon be on the road to feeling great!

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“Dr. Litrel was a fantastic doctor. I had my first exam with him, although at first I was skeptical about a male doctor for my GYN. But after I met him I’m glad I kept an open mind, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better doctor. He cares about you as a person and not just a patient. The front desk ladies and nurses were very friendly and it’s a great office, very clean and not intimidating. I highly recommend Cherokee Women’s Health.”
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