It’s not a myth. Losing weight is, in fact, harder for women.
Women often get discouraged because they try to do everything right – eat healthy, watch calories, and exercise – and yet the scale doesn’t move. There are several different reasons why it’s more difficult; some are biological and some are behavioral. Here are three of the main causes:
- Men have more muscle mass. As a general rule, men have more muscle than women do. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so men also tend to have a higher metabolism.
- Women are more attached to food. Research studies have shown that women have a greater emotional attachment to food than men. When women get stressed or depressed, they tend to turn to food for comfort.
According to Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine, “Emotional eaters typically eat food they enjoyed during childhood as well as high-fat or high-sugar snacks, which trigger a serotonin response in the brain, causing the emotional eater to experience pleasure while eating.”
- The hormone struggle is real. Ghrelin, which is known as the “hunger hormone,” spikes after women are done exercising. Leptin, the hormone that signals to the body “I’m full!” drops after a workout. This hormonal fluctuation is another added difficulty that men don’t have.
Despite all of these things, women can successfully lose weight – it just may take a little more time and effort. Knowing how your body works and using that knowledge to tailor your dieting and workouts can make a big difference.
For example, don’t just focus on cardio and trying to burn calories. Focus on building muscle and strength training, too.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, make an appointment with a women’s health doctor at All About Women to discuss how we can help you get on the road to better health.