It’s not fair is it?

You and your male partner can eat the same things, exercise equally and the weight melts off of him like butter, and you struggle to lose each and every ounce. Don’t despair - it isn’t your fault.

The reason it is harder for you as a woman to lose weight is three-fold:

1) Estrogen

The first reason is because you are a woman. Women by nature have high levels of the hormone estrogen.

Because of estrogen, it is hardwired into your body to store fat for childbirth reasons.

Estrogen even affects your metabolism; your body burns calories at a slower rate than men so it is more resistant to burning off fat.

In one study, the researchers found that over the course of 24 hours, the group of women in the test group burned 5% to 10% fewer calories than the men. Based on the 5% figure and a 2,000 calorie diet, that is 100 fewer calories in just 1 day.

Multiply that over a month and that is almost 1 pound less of weight lost. If you use the 10% figure, you are talking about almost 2 pounds per month difference.

2) Less Muscle

The second reason is due to the difference of the amount of muscle between the two sexes. Men by nature have more muscle, which makes it easier to burn calories and thus lose weight.

One of the ways women can fight back is to put on more lean muscle through strength training by either lifting weights or doing resistance-type exercises.

The good news is the muscle you gain will be lean muscle, so you don’t have to worry about “bulking up”. More muscle means more calories burned over a given period of time.

One of the other ways you can fight back is to compete only with yourself.

If you keep comparing the amount of weight you lose to what your male partner loses, you will lose that battle every time.

Stop doing that. It only tends to weaken your drive to lose, and succeed.

Eventually many women get so discouraged by the difference of weight lost that they just give up and stop trying to lose weight. As long as the pounds are coming off and you are putting muscle on, you are succeeding.

3) Food Cravings

The last reason has to do with the difference between the two sexes as far as controlling food cravings.

Men have an easier time suppressing cravings. Women don’t, so that can lead to emotional eating instead of eating when hungry.

One of the tricks to controlling emotional eating is to track your mood at the time when you ate and you shouldn’t have. Identify the mood and reason for it, and you can more easily control emotional eating by reducing the effects of that mood.

It is not going to be easy, but by knowing the reasons why you don’t lose weight as fast, and what you can do to spur more weight loss, you can at least remain positive that you are doing all you can do.

Stay the course; you will be successful. Recognize that it will just take more time and work.

Photo: Emilãine Vieira

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