3 (Annoying) Reasons Why Men Lose Weight More Easily Than Women

posted: 07/07/15
by: Mara Betsch

Most women can attest to the fact that their husband, boyfriend, son, etc. can simply hit the gym a few times a week and drop a pant size while she eats rabbit food and can't drop a single pound. Obesity rates, however, are relatively even, so are men really better at losing weight, or is it all in our heads?

So though it's not exactly fair to say that men lose weight more easily than women, they do have certain genetic and hormonal advantages that allow them to lose it faster. Here are just a few of the reasons why the man in your life may win at the weight loss game.

1. Men are sometimes new to healthy eating. From an early age, a lot of women are taught to watch their weight. And whether they want to or not, there's a lot of pressure on ladies to maintain a certain body type, so a lot of women learn about calories, nutrition and exercise early on in their lives. Men, especially those that played team sports when they were younger, may not be used to counting calories and choosing salads over steaks. So if a man begins changing his diet, even a little bit, he's more likely to see results, while a woman who's been eating relatively healthfully for her whole life may have to be more creative when cutting calories.

2. Men are bigger, have more muscle and more testosterone. When it comes to dropping a few pounds, men have the distinct genetic advantage. Men are usually larger, typically have more lean muscle mass, and more testosterone. Women usually have between 6 and 11 percent more body fat than men, an adaption meant to help with pregnancy. So how does that help men? Lean muscle mass burns more calories that body fat -- a pound of lean body mass burns 14 calories -- so even if a man and woman are the exact same height and weight, the guy will burn more calories. For ladies who really want to take off weight, strength training twice a week could help build lean muscles.

3. Men lose weight from their belly first. While men typically carry extra weight in their stomachs, women tend to carry more in their thighs, hips and butt. When a man loses 10 pounds, it can often appear that he has slimmed down more than a woman who's lost the same amount of weight in less noticeable areas.

But there is a sliver lining to all of this health information. A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition looked at weight loss in obese and overweight men and women. Though the men lost twice as much weight as women did at the two-month mark, by the six-month weigh in, both the men and women lost similar amounts of weight and percentages of body fat. So if you notice that your husband is slimming down while the scale has stalled for you, just remember the story of the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the (weight loss) race.