“Weight loss is harder for women” is one of those oft-cited claims in the weight-loss and fitness world. But is it really true? Today we’re examining 4 key reasons why it’s probably spot-on, and what you can do to level the playing field.
1) Women’s monthly cycles wreak havoc on the scale
Men have an inherent advantage when it comes to tracking progress, since we don’t deal with monthly hormone cycles and monthly water retention cycles, our weight loss charts often appear as slow, steady downward progress with very few bumps.
However, if we could chart fat loss alone, women’s charts would basically look the same. But since we can’t, and we have to go by the scale, women deal with tougher emotional battles as they go through these cycles and watch the scale go up and down for seemingly no reason. They assume they’re not losing fat.. (they are).. and it really gets into their head. The net result is often cycles of feeling like a failure (the water-weight is hiding their progress), caused by short-term cheating (“hey, if it’s not working, why even try?”), and then getting back on the wagon again once their body settles down.
In other words, their monthly cycles often cause unnecessary emotional setbacks.
The best solution? Relax, and trust the system. If you’re doing everything right, you are losing fat, even if the scale isn’t showing you the results. Once your cycle moves on, the water weight will clear, and you’ll see the results of your hard work, and then some!
Trust the system, even when the scale is lying to you!!
2) Women often spend more time in the kitchen
For better or for worse, statistically speaking, women are often the ones preparing the meals and doing the cooking. This means they spend more time in the kitchen, and more time around temptation. The BLTs (bites, licks, and tastes) can sabotage any weight less routine!
To make matters worse, women tend to be tempted more by carbs and sugar. (Chocolate? Ice cream? most men can take it or leave it.)
3) Men tend to approach weight-loss with less emotion
Men see the numbers on the scale creeping upward and make a decision to correct it. Plain and simple, they decide to increase their activity and decrease their food intake.
Women, on the other hand, have been known to sabotage themselves and beat themselves up over setbacks, or unrelated scale movements (see above). Ladies — berating yourself and destroying your own sense of self-worth isn’t a healthy motivational tactic. Focus more on the plan, the protocol, and the discipline. And just like above, trust that if you’re sticking perfectly to the plan, the results WILL come!
You can have the body you want if you’re willing to work for it. And if you’re putting in the work, you WILL get the results. (But sometimes the scale hides progress in very frustrating ways!)
4) Women tend to avoid strength training
While it’s true that men have more muscle in general, this doesn’t give men any inherent advantage in terms of their ability to lose weight. It does mean that their metabolism is a little faster. Or, put another way, it means they can eat slightly more calories than a female of the same height and weight.
So while the added muscle means men can eat more calories, it doesn’t mean the fat burns any easier (contrary to popular belief).
The answer for women? Strength training can even the playing field. Add muscle to your body to increase your own metabolism to match!
At the end of the day, men have no fundamental physiological advantage over women when it comes to weight loss (at least nothing women can’t solve). However, for reasons mentioned above, they may have some mental advantages. Ladies, if you can recognize that the scale is lying to you for 7 to 12 days every month, add strength training to your routine, and avoid the temptations, you’ll find that your ability to succeed can mirror, or even exceed, most men!