Is it the Battle of the Bulge or the Battle of the Sexes? When it comes to weight loss, there are physiological and psychological differences between men and women. Let’s talk about the WHY and the HOW of weight loss strategies for men and women.
1) The Fairness Factor: Men can lose weight more easily. Yes, this is true and there is nothing that we can do to change it so women need to accept it and move on. The reason that men can lose the weight more quickly is because men have a greater percentage of muscle mass, which burns more calories and also requires more calories. This means that men can eat more calories and lose weight compared to women.
2) The Simple Truth: Men don’t require as much food variety as women. Because men have a much different relationship with food, they can eat the same foods over and over again. For women, there is a need or desire to have something new and different. This can be beneficial in that women can have more variety within the food groups and provide different nutrients. It can also be challenging because in the era of Pinterest, women feel the need to prepare more elaborate meals. Most of the women that I work with feel like it is too overwhelming to work or care for kids and come up with a plan for dinner that includes something new and exciting. But what they have to realize is that most men don’t really care about variety and are fine with eating the same simple meals over and over again.
3) Feelings about Food: Women have a more emotional relationship with food. It is very interesting when counseling men and women for weight loss. If a man is drinking a lot of soda, then I can recommend that they either reduce their consumption or cut it out completely. Most men will easily agree and be compliant while women will try to negotiate and want more of a gray area. Women will use food or beverages as a treat from a bad day, reward for a good day, companion when feeling down or lonely. When working with females, we work on changing the way that they view food and looking at food as more of fuel for their body than anything else emotional.
Despite these differences, the weight loss strategy is the same regardless of if you are a man or a woman-decreased total calories and increased physical activity. The difference is the rate of weight loss and the relationship with food is very different with men and women. By being aware of and addressing these differences in your daily efforts, you can set yourself up for success!
April 16, 2015 on the FOX 8 News, Christie Hunter, RD, talks about “The Battle of the Bulge or the Battle of the Sexes”. http://myfox8.com/2015/04/16/why-men-can-lose-weight-faster-than-women/