To be successful in your weight loss endeavors, it often takes a variety of changes to nutrition and exercise habits. It often takes time and persistence to reach goals once these changes are adopted. It can also be easier for some people than it is for others to lose unwanted weight. When looking a men verses women, you often hear that it is easier for men to shed pounds than it is for women. Is there any truth to this, or is this just nonsense? The fact is, men do indeed have an easier time losing weight than women. Here are some of the reasons why this is true:
Testosterone Level – Men have more testosterone, which helps their bodies to build more lean muscle mass.
Lean Muscle Mass – Higher levels of lean muscle mass allow the body to burn more calories. Muscle cells are about 8 times more metabolically demanding than fat cells.
Resting Metabolic Rate – The more muscle mass a person has, the higher their resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR is the number of calories a person needs to fuel essential bodily processes and keep our organs and tissues in working order. This typically accounts for 60-75% of all calories consumed. The higher the RMR, the higher number of calories are burned.
Muscle Loss with Aging – Starting at age 35, our bodies lose approximately 5% of our lean muscle mass every 10 years. Once we hit 50, this loss increases to 1-2% yearly. Since women have smaller reserves of lean muscle mass, this loss makes a much bigger impact.
So how much of an advantage do men actually have? Here is an example to show the difference in calorie burn:
For maintaining weight, a man can eat 2200 calories per day, and a women can eat 2000 calories. To lose weight, a man should eat 1,700 calories and a women 1,500 calories. Keep in mind these numbers are showing one calorie level example. Calories needed to lose and maintain differ from one person to the next based on RMR and activity level.
Just because women have a slight disadvantage to men with overall calorie burn, this does not mean they will be unsuccessful with weight loss efforts. One thing that women should make sure to include with weight loss efforts is physical activity. Exercise is essential for anybody wanting to lose weight, and especially helpful for women. It can help women lose weight, but especially helps with building lean muscle mass and maintaining weight loss. Regular exercise will also help with blood pressure, quality of sleep, and depression. The minimum recommendation for exercise is at least 150 minutes weekly of cardio activity and 2-4 days of weekly strength exercises.
Regardless of gender, embarking on a weight loss journey takes time, behavior change, and persistence. Blue Sky MD has a dedicated staff of health professionals ready to assist you with your nutrition, exercise and overall weight loss goals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!