Fat Loss

Is it Harder for Women to Lose Weight than Men?

By Darisse Kennedy on Jul 9, 2020 10:20:00 AM
3 Minutes Reading Time


Is it harder for women to lose weight than it is for men? Any woman who has gone on a weight loss journey alongside a man has likely asked that question. It often seems like men lose larger amounts of weight in a shorter amount of time when compared to women. Is this perception reality? The science behind losing weight is the same for both women and men but women do have a couple of extra factors to deal with when it comes to shedding those extra pounds.

The science behind losing weight is the same for both women and men

The science behind losing weight is the same for both women and men. On the most basic level, losing weight comes down to having a calorie deficit. But if this is true, why does it seem easier for men to lose weight than women? Why can a man lose ten pounds in one week while a woman on the same plan can struggle just to lose one or two pounds? Many times, the issue is not related to how difficult it is to lose weight but rather how the weight loss is measured. For example, a man who weighs 250 pounds has to lose 12.5 pounds to drop five percent of his body weight. A woman who weighs 150 pounds will lose five percent of her body weight by dropping 7.5 pounds. Who lost more weight? When you look at the numbers it looks like the man, but when you look at percentages you see that they both lost the same amount of weight. Adjusting how you measure weight loss between men and woman can give you a more accurate picture of progress.

A menstrual cycle can temporarily impact weight

Some women experience temporary weight gain during their menstrual cycle each month. This weight gain is related to factors such as hormonal changes, water retention, and bloating. It can be frustrating to see the scale creep up a little for a few days each month. However, weight gain related to a menstrual cycle is not permanent. As long as you drink plenty of water and stick to your eating and workout regimen, you will see your true progress reflected on the scale within a few days. Men do not have to deal with the mental battle that comes with temporarily gaining weight related to a menstrual cycle. Women have to work to maintain the right perspective during that time in order to stay on track with their weight loss efforts.

Pregnancy can lead to quick weight gain

Pregnancy is something that can lead to quick and significant weight gain in women. Some women find it extremely difficult to drop those post-pregnancy pounds. For men, there is not a single event like pregnancy that leads to significant weight gain. The process of putting on weight if often more gradual in the absence of an event like pregnancy. Suddenly facing the reality of needing to lose a lot of weight can make it feel like a daunting process.

Does losing weight feel more difficult for women than it does for men? The difficulty of losing weight can vary from person to person. It is true that women have a couple of extra factors that impact the weight loss process. At the end of the day, any person who wants to lose weight – man or woman – will have barriers to overcome. It is not a question of if you will face difficulties during your weight loss journey but, rather, how will you deal with those difficulties when they arise.

An important part of overcoming weight loss difficulties is having access to resources. You can get expert help with your nutrition by checking out the MAPS nutrition guides developed by experts at Mind Pump Media.  

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Darisse Kennedy

Darisse is a writer and educator who received her formal education in psychology and mental health counseling. Growing up, she was more of a bookworm than a gym rat, but she discovered strength training in adulthood. She learned the true value of strength training as she fought to lose the extra forty pounds that remained after having three kids. In the process, she discovered the significant impact that working out regularly had on her mood, mindset, and energy levels. Experiencing the benefits of exercise firsthand sparked her interest in the connection between movement and mental well-being – particularly in relation to women.

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