Fat Loss, General Health

Is It More Difficult for Women to Lose Weight than Men?

By Darisse Kennedy on Jan 8, 2021 10:30:00 AM
3 Minutes Reading Time


Have you ever talked to a woman who is doing a weight loss program with a husband/boyfriend/brother? If so, you probably heard all about how much easier the man in the pair seemed to lose weight. The woman may be fighting to drop one or two pounds in a week while the man quickly drops five or more. Why is that? Is it more difficult for women to lose weight when compared to men? This is a common question when couples decide to improve their health together. Women can find it frustrating and discouraging to feel like they cannot keep up with the level of weight loss that often seems to come easy for men. If you find yourself wondering about this question – or happen to be in a situation where your partner seems to be losing much faster – the answers below may be just what you need to hear.

You are not comparing results correctly

Comparing your weight loss pound for pound to that of someone else is almost never an accurate way to compare progress. A man who weighs 250 pounds and wants to get down to 185 pounds will have different results than a woman who weighs 145 pounds and wants to get down to 125. In terms of pounds lost in order to reach the goal, the man has much further to go. If he loses 20 pounds that is amazing but does not even get him halfway to his goal. The woman, on the other hand, can be at her goal weight by losing 20 pounds. In order to truly compare the speed at which you are losing weight in relation to someone else, you need to do it on a percentage basis. Looking at percentage of weight lost – instead of actual pounds – will tell you how much each person lost in relation to their overall weight. When you look at the process with percentages, you will likely find that the rate at which women and men lose weight is closer than you previously believed.

The scale is not always the best measurement of progress

Before you start calculating the percentage of weight you have lost in comparison to your partner, it is worth asking if weight is the best measurement of progress. Is your ultimate goal to be at a certain number on the scale or to look a certain way? If the way you look is more important than the number on the scale then it may be time to measure your progress in a different way. You can take measurements of certain areas of your body such as your stomach and hips to quantify your progress. Another option is to have a fitness professional measure your body fat percentage at different points during your journey. You can even decide to measure your progress based on how your clothes fit. Many people assume that looking at the number on the scale is the best or only way to measure progress when trying to lose weight. The reality is that there are a number of different options. If it bothers you to see the number on the scale go down more slowly than it does for your partner, maybe it is time to measure your progress differently.

Weight loss is not necessarily more difficult for women or easier for men. The reality is that the difficulty of the process varies from person to person. Going through the process with someone else can make losing weight easier and more fun. However, comparing your results to someone else can lead to discouragement. If you want to compare results as part of a friendly competition, make sure you are comparing them correctly and using a measurement that shows the entire picture of your progress.

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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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