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Is It True that Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women? Yes and here's Why

Most people say the men have an edge when it comes to weight loss.


Most people say the men have an edge when it comes to weight loss. Anecdotal women's stories sweating and struggling to lose one or two pounds compared to men 's tales cutting back on the junk, hitting the gym, and watching the weight fall off. But which is the true truth?

The verdict: men, at least at first, lose weight faster than women

Men tend to have more lean muscle tissue which even during rest burns more calories than body fat. So when men and women eat the same amount of calories, men usually lose more weight — but it's for the short term. "The playing field should be more balanced in the long term," says dietician David Grotto, RDN, a self-proclaimed "guyatician" and author of The Best Foods You Can Eat. "It's not a race to see who loses weight first. What is crucial is that both of you are going in the same direction.

Weight-loss programs often make the difference bigger. When both sedentary men and women begin exercise programs, men tend to lose body fat while a lot of women do not. For one England trial, men and women were both put on common weight-loss plans like Atkins, Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers. The men had lost twice as much weight as the women two months in — and three times as much body fat. But the rate of weight-loss between the genders had evened out by six months.

If you're a guy, you can thank your weight-loss edge for the testosterone you have — and the extra estrogen you don't have. Women have between six and 11 percent more body fat on average than males, a presumed evolutionary adaptation to assist during pregnancy. Women maintain more average body fat than men from puberty to menopause — even when they take fewer calories.

But understanding that "fat" doesn't mean "unhealthy" is crucial. Yes, women have greater fat reserves, but it's part of their biology, meaning it's not extra weight. So if a woman has 11 percent more body fat than a man, that doesn't mean she's "fatter" 11 percent. A perfectly fit woman will still hold six to 11 percent more body fat than a perfectly fit man.

Men often prefer to lose weight when they need it most (read: belly), and it's often more instantly visible when men start trimming overweight than when women do because women's fat stores are usually more spread around, which is partially why they tend to lose weight at a slower rate than guys. Also easy, daily exercise — preferably 30 to 60 minutes a day — appears to reduce abdominal obesity, even if the guys are not losing weight technically.

Naturally, ladies easily lose abdominal weight as well — they just seem to have less of it."Women with extra fat around the center can lose it more or less as readily as men," says upwave review member of the board David Katz, MD, MPH, Yale-Griffin research institute's founding director at the Yale University School of Medicine. "In the middle, men are more likely to gain weight."

That said, carrying extra weight around the middle is also associated with increased heart risks, making it arguably more unhealthy to be an overweight man than a female of a plus-size. Big bellies, it turns out, are a kind of double-edged sword when it comes to weight loss: they are an extra men's health risk, but when it comes to dropping pounds, they give guys the edge.

Ladies, don't despair: Women also have advantages related to weight. They appear to bear more body fat (the so-called "pear" shape) on their thighs and backsides, which are much safer places to keep weight than around the middle. Plus, although women tend to store fat better, they also tend to burn more body fat during exercise than men do. "The obese people find it hard to lose in general the least poor for well-being," Katz says.

Dropping pounds in the end of the day is hard work for both men and women. And, really, everything boils down to this: anyone can lose weight — no matter what your gender is. You just have to commit yourself to that.

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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: Is It True that Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women? Yes and here's Why
Is It True that Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women? Yes and here's Why
Most people say the men have an edge when it comes to weight loss.
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