Colette's Blog

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

March 31, 2022
  • 4 Metabolic Differences Between Men and Women and How It Affects Weight Loss
  • 1)Differences in body composition.
  • 2) Differences in body fat.
  • 3) Differences in hormones.
  • 4) Differences in fat storage.
    • Men vs. Women: What Comes Around Goes Around When It Comes to Weight Loss
      • Men May Lose Weight Initially, But Women Catch Up
      • While Weight Loss is Slower at First, Women Win the Race on Initial Health Benefits
    • How to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss on a Low Carb Lifestyle
      • Find Your Best Weight Loss Strategy
        • TIP: Low carb meals for everyone.
        • TIP: Planning is your secret to low carb success.
        • TIP: 7 Ways to Bust Through a Weight-Loss Plateau

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

4 Key metabolic differences may account for why men lose weight faster than women.

Why men lose weight faster than women is an age-old question. It is frustrating if you and your significant other have taken your relationship to the next level by committing to a low carb lifestyle, only to find him losing weight almost effortlessly after just a week of cutting out the pizza and beer, while you’re battling for every hard-lost pound. Here’s why men may lose weight faster than women:

4 Metabolic Differences Between Men and Women and How It Affects Weight Loss

1) Differences in body composition.

Men tend to have more muscle than women, and muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means that even at rest, men may burn more calories.

2) Differences in body fat.

On average, women have 6 to 11 percent more body fat than men, thanks to evolution. This extra fat is designed to help prepare women for pregnancy.

3) Differences in hormones.

Men naturally have more muscle-building testosterone, while women have more fat-storing estrogen.

4) Differences in fat storage.

Men tend to carry their fat around their abdomen, while, due to estrogen and progesterone, women tend to retain and store fat in that familiar pear shape, most likely around breasts, hips, thighs and buttocks.  It’s more noticeable when men start losing belly fat, since women’s weight is more spread out throughout your body. But, that belly fat, also known as visceral fat, gives men a distinct disadvantage as it puts them at more risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

Men versus Women: What Comes Around Goes Around When It Comes to Weight Loss

While initially men may have the advantage when it comes to weight loss, eventually women can catch up.

Men May Lose Weight Initially, But Women Catch Up

In a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, men and women were put on some popular weight-loss programs: Atkins, Slim-Fast and Weight Watchers. After two months, the men had lost twice as much weight as the women, and three times as much body fat. But by six months, the rate of weight loss between the men and women had evened out.

While Weight Loss is Slower at First, Women Win the Race on Initial Health Benefits

In a study that I co-authored in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine gave 20 middle-aged pre-diabetic men and women low carb meals (some provided by Atkins) for two weeks, and then gave them additional guidance for planning and preparing low carb meals for the next two weeks. And the end of four weeks, the men lost 6.3 percent of their body weight, while the women lost 4.4 percent. But, in addition to tracking weight loss, we also measured something called arterial stiffness. As women age, their blood vessels stiffen more than men’s blood vessels. Obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome also increase this. When your blood vessels are stiff, it makes it more difficult for blood to flow through them, increasing your risk of heart disease. After four weeks on a low carb diet, arterial and aortic stiffness decreased for the women, while there was no change for the men. “Previous research has shown that as women age, their blood vessels stiffen more so than men, putting them at an increased risk of heart disease,” said Elizabeth Parks, Ph.D., study co-author and professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU. “Contrary to what you may think, you actually don’t want stiff blood vessels. Rather, you want flexible vessels that expand slowly as the blood flows through them. Our study found that low-carb diets helped reduce the stiffness of arteries in women, which can, in turn, reduce their risk of developing serious heart conditions.”

So, while you may be losing weight at slower pace than the men in your life, the good news is that you may be decreasing your risk for heart disease while you wait for that scale to budge.

How to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss on a Low Carb Lifestyle

Patience is key, even if the men in your life may appear to be making more progress at first. This isn’t a short-term quick fix but a wonderfully healthy way that can benefit you physically and mentally. When you give it the effort, you will reap the rewards. You can manage your low carb lifestyle with these suggestions for fine-tuning your weight loss strategy and working through any potential weight loss plateaus:

Find Your Best Weight Loss Strategy 

TIP:Low carb meals for everyone.

The Atkins 100 Eating Solution features meal plans that are easily customized for Atkins 20, Atkins 40 and Atkins 100, so even if you are eating fewer Net Carbs per day than your partner or your family, you can both enjoy the same meals with a few modifications.

TIP: Planning is your secret to low carb success.

You can simplify your low carb lifestyle with these foolproof and delicious low carb meal plans. You can take your pick depending on how many Net Carbs you want to eat a day, your cooking style, budget or dietary preferences.

TIP: 7 Ways to Bust Through a Weight-Loss Plateau

More From Colette

Food is Medicine

Why a low carb diet could be your prescription for good health. Many of our country’s top health problems, like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes are linked to what we eat. These diet-related health issues also come at a monetary cost to our economy in the billions. While research shows how important good nutrition

Read More »

Low Carb on a Budget: Grocery Shopping

Your low-carb diet doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some budget-friendly tips for grocery shopping that don’t break the bank. Budge-Friendly Grocery Shopping Tips Plan and prep your meals. Meal planning and prepping can reduce waste and unnecessary purchases. Stick to your list. Once you’ve planned your meals for the week, make a

Read More »

Heart Smart: A Low Carb Diet’s Role in Heart Health

Nutrition is the heart of a healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to the health of your heart. A low carb diet is associated with weight loss and significantly benefits your cardiovascular well-being, and following a low carb diet for just four weeks may reduce predictors for heart disease risk factors. Keep reading for more

Read More »