Battle of the Sexes: The Difference Between Weight Loss Success in Men & Women

From the Show: HER
Summary: Research confirms that it's harder for women to reach weight goals.
Air Date: 1/29/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Harland Holman, MD
Harland HolmanHarland Holman, MD, is board certified in family medicine. Dr. Holman received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He received his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan, and completed his residency at Michigan Department of Family Medicine, where he was chief resident.

Dr. Holman is an assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and a core faculty member of the Family Medicine Residency Program. His special interests include cardiology, dermatology, and preventative medicine.
Battle of the Sexes: The Difference Between Weight Loss Success in Men & Women
If you and a male friend/partner/relative have both been trying to lose weight, you may notice he is able to lose weight faster than you.

You cut out carbs, dessert, and sugars, while your male companion only watches his portion sizes and increases his protein. You both are exercising consistently, but you begin to notice you're not losing as much weight as you'd like, or as much as he is.

No, you're not crazy, your male companion IS losing more weight than you and at a faster rate.

What gives?

Yes, it's completely unfair. There really is a difference in the way diets, exercise, and weight loss affect men and women. This may happen due to the fact men have more muscle mass and less estrogen than women. It also may occur because women are more likely to turn to food for comfort when upset, stressed, and anxious.

Is there a way women can boost their weight loss efforts?

Easy steps women can take to help lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight include:
  • Get more sleep. Aim for at least seven hours, if possible.
  • Think before you eat. Don't let your emotions guide you. Try for a more plant-based diet.
  • Add a little "extra" exercise to each day, even if that's just parking farther away from work or choosing the stairs over the elevator.
  • Lift weights to maintain muscle, which helps burn calories.
  • Identify non-food rewards – and then make sure to reward yourself after that long day.
  • Add stress-reducing activities to your day, every day.

Harland Holman, MD, discusses why women and men respond differently to exercise, dieting and overall weight loss and how women can boost their weight loss efforts with just a few simple steps.