Doing a diet with your partner can be comforting. You have support, friendship and someone to hold you accountable. However, if you’ve tried losing weight as a heterosexual couple, you may have noticed a frustrating trend for women. When it comes to weight loss in men vs. women, men seem to lose weight more easily, even if they’re eating more food.
Starting a weight loss program with your partner can be beneficial and may help you succeed. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that men and women “are more likely to make a positive health behavior change if their partner does too.”
Despite the benefits of doing a diet with your partner, women still may be frustrated when they don’t seem to be dropping pounds at the same rate. You’re not imagining it. It really is easier for men to lose weight. According to Healthline, a study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism about this topic. In this study, scientists gave more than 2,000 overweight individuals identical diets for eight weeks. Men in the study lost 16 percent more weight than women.
We may not be able to change the fact that men lose faster. However, understanding the reasons why may put your mind at ease and help focus on the positives of your personal progress.
Keep reading to better understand the differences of weight loss in men vs. women:
1. Men have higher resting metabolism.
According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, women burn five to 10 percent fewer calories than men while sedentary, even when you account for differences in body composition and weight. So, if a man and woman of the same height and weight sit on a couch, the man is likely burning more calories.
But don’t lose sleep over it: Really, don’t. Just four nights of bad sleep can increase fatty acid concentrations in the blood, according to a study published in the journal Diabetologia. This may lead to an increased risk of insulin resistance (a precursor to Type 2 diabetes) and metabolic diseases. So, make sure you get enough shuteye to keep yourself healthy and happy.
2. Men carry more fat around their middles.
Visceral fat, the rock-hard kind that makes up a “beer gut,” is dangerous stuff. Extra belly fat around the middle can increase the risk of early death by 87 percent in men, according to a 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The midsection is where many men tend to carry their extra weight.
When they start to lose weight, that dangerous belly fat turns into an advantage in weight loss statistics. Losing visceral fat increases your metabolic rate says Live Science. Women have more subcutaneous fat found around their thighs and hips. According to Live Science, the loss of subcutaneous fat does not have the same metabolism boosting effect as losing visceral fat.
3. Men tend to have more muscle mass.
This is another metabolism advantage: Men have more skeletal muscle than women do. In one study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the skeletal muscle mass of 468 men and women of various ages and sizes was measured. The men averaged 38.4 percent muscle, while the women were 30.6 percent muscle.
This difference is important to note as muscle burns more calories. According to the American Journal of Human Biology, each pound of muscle burns about 13 calories every day while at rest. This means that a man with 25 extra pounds of muscle mass could be burning 325 extra calories per day—even if he’s not exercising.
One way to battle this difference is to build some muscle of your own. Strength training will help you stave off fat, burn more calories and reduce your overall cardiovascular risk—and you don’t need to lift heavy weights to do it. Click for more information on strength training >
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