It is frustrating 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!


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 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.

Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist