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Paige Waehner

Why Men Lose Weight Faster than Women

By March 16, 2011

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When it comes to exercise and weight loss, the same rules apply whether you're a man or a woman - you have to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. How we exercise is often the same as well, although women tend to prefer more cardio then men and they sometimes shy away from heavy weights (even though they shouldn't).

However, there are differences in how our bodies store and lose body fat and differences in how are bodies respond to exercise. Many of my clients have noticed this. In fact, I was training one couple together and, at one point, the wife informed said, "I workout with you for 3 weeks, I eat grass and tree bark and I lose 2 pounds. My husband does a few pushups, jogs around the block, eats an entire pizza in one sitting and loses 10 pounds."

She was exaggerating (mostly), but she's right that men tend to lose weight faster than women. Men have more muscle, which helps them lose weight more quickly, and they often respond to their workouts faster then women do. Experts have even found that women have a different heart rate response to exercise than men. All of this means that women have to work harder to get the same results as their male counterparts.

For these reasons, it's a good idea to avoid comparing results if you're losing weight as a couple. This means that a husband shouldn't say, "Na-nanny-boo-boo, I lost 4 more pounds than you," when getting his weight measured during a training session. Similarly, a wife shouldn't threaten to sneak extra butter and fat into her husband's meals in revenge (both things I've heard clients say to one another).

What about you? Have you gone through this with your spouse, friend or loved one? How do you handle it if one of you loses faster than the other? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.

March 16, 2011 at 10:36 am
(1) MikeG says:

My wife and I eat the same foods and work out about the same amount but I have had an easier time shedding weight. I think part of it is that I work out more intensely than my wife and I lift weights as part of my regular routine. The other issue however is that I was closer to my ideal weight although you might think this would make it harder to lose weight.

March 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm
(2) Rich says:

Weight lifting/streangth training are key. But am I the only one that thinks that women tend to eat more sweets(chocolate)then men?

March 17, 2011 at 10:47 am
(3) Julie says:

In my house, it’s been the opposite, although maybe it’s because our history’s have been different: my boyfriend was a high school athlete who started putting on weight and excercises very rarely after graduating, while I’ve been overweight almost all my life, but have repeatedly tried to lose and have always incorporated exercise routines to help. For instance, during my last year of high school, I wanted to go to college looking fit and trim, so I started doing crunches almost every day. Ten years ago, I had a jag where I was rock climbing 6 days a week and took up yoga to help with flexibility (I stopped climbing but have always returned to yoga). Seven years ago, I was addicted to running 3 miles 6 days a week (also didn’t last after I subsequent ankle injury). Five years ago, I studied a lot of common, consistently successful weight loss exercise models and started combining heavy weight circuits with cardio workouts and threw in a day-of-rest yoga routine on my rest day, and that was the most effective for me. As a joke, I call it Me90X. Frankly, the only thing that’s ever failed my weight-loss attempts has been me–either too lazy, injury-induced-depression, and/or depression-induced eating binges. Last month, I climbed back on the wagon again after a 2-week fall where I gained 5 lbs, and since then, I’ve done the best I’ve ever done, losing 18 lbs in a month through eating healthy (protein, fats, and carbs at around 1,400 cal/day) and exercising for at least an hour every day. I lost more than 8.5 lbs my first week, then 3.6 my second, and am now averaging just more than 2 lbs a week (granted, I’m still obese, which seems to be the only reason that kind of weight loss is possible).

March 17, 2011 at 10:48 am
(4) Julie says:

(part 2) My boyfriend decided to start trying to lose weight last week by using the P90X program. He needs to lose at least 100 lbs. He’s almost through his second week, and his weight hasn’t budged. I know he’s sweating his butt off, and he’s following the nutritiot plan for weight loss, so I just don’t know what’s going on. He’d lost almost 20 lbs in the fall by changing his diet and just going on walks every day, but he wanted to try to ramp it up after it plateaued. I wish I knew of a way to help him.

March 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(5) beginners workout says:

I tend to believe everyone is so different that it’s hard to make a generalization like that. All of us (men and women) will do better by raising our metabolism as much as possible.

March 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm
(6) sgm says:

Really? Wow! I had no idea that men lost weight faster! I know my husband never seems to gain a pound in all the years we have been together LOL! We do eat lots of whole foods, I drink my green tea and take my Vidazorb probiotic to help with digestion and I have heard that probiotics can help with weight. I just want to do things healthy so that my body feels and looks great too! This is wild!

March 19, 2011 at 8:30 am
(7) pooja says:

I dont think that men lose their weight faster than women.. According to me, due to some busy schedules like household chores and due to children, women dont concentrate on their diet and regular exercise..If women take diet properly and exercise regularly they can also lose their weight like men..

March 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm
(8) IronMom says:

All about lean body mass and strength training. Bunny weights and ‘cardio” aren’t going to make a strong, lean body for most women.

March 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm
(9) KadenceGrace says:

My husband and I are losing weight together. We concentrate on celebrating personal “new lows” when we weigh in. We don’t compare the amount of weight we’ve lost from week to week. We use the concept of WeightWatchers’ activity points to set goals for exercising. Sometimes, we’ll compare the amount of exercise points and push each other to rack up more of them but we appreciate that different activities involve different levels of exersion; he plays hockey and I do a variety of things (cross-country skiing, walking, biking and strength training). Long term, we’ve selected a BMI of 24 as a goal. I have a lot more weight to lose than he does so any other comparisons aren’t really productive or supportive.

March 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm
(10) Ruth says:

My husband definately loses weight easier than me. We were both at a BMI just over 23 (so not overweight), we have 3 children and I wanted to lose the last 8 kgs since having my third. I have been eating right, 1000-1200 calories per day and exercising, weights and cardio for 1 hr plus daily. He has lost just about as much as I have and only because I have stopped buying buscuits and chocolate. He has done no extra exercise, he hunts a couple days a week and is a policeman (currently doing more of a desk job), still has takeout often at work and eats every 2 hours. It doesn’t seem fair.

March 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm
(11) Jill says:

My boyfriend switched from having fries with his meal at work to having salads and dropped 10 lbs. No exercise change, no other change in diet.

It’s not fair!!!!

March 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm
(12) dharmesh says:

i also want to know about gaining weight by men & women, is it true that women faster gain weight as compare to men or not .
please answer it thanks 4 giving such analysis.

March 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm
(13) Puva says:

It’s true! my husband lose weight faster than me. he is doing short duration cardiovascular, intensively. i think most of the woman after marriage give priority to her family than weight loss!

March 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm
(14) Jessica says:

My dad and I did Weight Watchers together last year. He lost 50 pounds and I only lost 15! We both took walks together each day.

May 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm
(15) Cynthia says:

I joined a business opp in September 2010 that sells a super food blend powder – NatraBurst. I love the powder and have incorporated it into my diet on a daily basis. My husband joined under me in December of 2010. Although we along with many people are receiving great health benefit we are also losing weight. This wasn’t really planned although we both could stand to lose about 20 to 25 pounds.

Well, in just a few months (5 – since December) my husband has lost 25 pounds and I haven’t lost any! I work online doing internet marketing so sit most of the day (BAD, I know). My husband, basically does what he has always done, eats the same (mostly — we’ve both lost the craving for so many sweets and junk food). Anyway he is somewhat active I suppose that would be the only difference between us.

I do agree that men do lose weight easier than women, but I do think if I would apply myself and do even a little exercise I would lose weight too, I don’t think it would be as fast or easy as my husband though.

August 25, 2011 at 6:31 am
(16) boikobo makoba says:

whats the difference in weight of male and female as your observation in any of your experiments.

May 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm
(17) Josh says:

My fiancee and I are dieting and working out together. We’ve been doing it for 2 years now and still have a ways to go. The main issue from my observations are that I tend to be more active than she. Men are about trying to be show offs, so I want to see if this next time I can run at 7.0 for 30 seconds or can I lift this much weight in this many reps. For her, she is more focused on time on the machine. She does weight training but will not pick up a dumbbell. It took her long enough to get her on a weight machine using the YMCA kiosk trainer program but she doesn’t like the weight room scene with all those guys “judging” her. She’s also lost more than me but that could be because she was heavier than me. I’m still proud regardless.

January 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm
(18) Marylin says:

My boyfriend and i have been working out for 2 months now and yes i get upset that hes loosing more weight then i am. Lately i have not lost any weight, but feel like i have, he says that im toneing up instead of loosing weight. I dont know if that is true or possible. My goal is to only loose 20 pounds i have put on due to surgary and not being able to move. In 2 months i have only lost 7 pounds. I drink lots of water with lemon juice, we have been eating healthy meals( Grilled veggies) using olive oil , cutting out all the so called crap we used to eat. i just dont get it. I leave the gym soaked with sweat but the weight is not changing. Any info would help PLEASE.

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