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Why is it harder for women to lose weight?

This probably has already happened to you. You start a diet with your husband, boyfriend, or brother, and you are both eating the same way, exercising together, and making the same sacrifices. After a couple of months, he already begins to show off a six-pack and you, on the other hand, barely lost a few pounds. How could this be! How is it possible? Truth is life can sometimes be unfair. But everything happens for a reason. The trick is to learn how to develop long-term strategies to have better results than them.

 

What do studies show?

Studies reveal that how women deal with overweight and obesity and how it affects their self-esteem is different from men. In 2016, Men's Health (1) published studies that showed men were more likely to lose more weight and maintain at least 10 pounds off in a year. On the other hand, it showed that women achieved better results when following weight loss programs and specific diets. 

Another study led by the University of Copenhagen put 2,500 overweight, pre-diabetic people on a rigorous 810-calorie-a-day diet for 8 weeks. The results showed that men lost an average of 26 pounds and women 22. Keep in mind that the difference in size and weight plays a role because the larger and heavier a person is, the more weight they have to lose. And usually, men are larger. (2)

 

What are other reasons why men lose more weight than women?

  • Hormones

Men have more testosterone than women, which helps maintain fat distribution. Furthermore, when women have excess estrogen, fat can’t be processed and usually accumulates in the thighs and hips. But, when it drops drastically during perimenopause and menopause, it also causes weight problems because it increases cholesterol levels, depression, and anxiety, which impulses overeating. Additionally, it increases fatigue, making physical activity difficult, thus accumulating more fat.

Dr. Juan talks about all of this in detail in his book “Santo Remedio para Mujeres.” He suggests, among other things, asking your doctor about hormonal therapy (3) and vitamin B complex, which promotes serotonin production and supports metabolism during these periods. You can also add maca, which helps decrease menopausal symptoms and increase energy. (4, 5)

  • Muscle vs fat

Due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, women accumulate more fat in their bodies and less lean muscle. Men have the opposite proportion, and it is why they are always using more energy because they need to maintain it. In fact, they can stay still and keep burning energy. A benefit that women do not have (6). That is why exercising and eating protein daily is important, even more so as we age. Plus, proteins help extend the feeling of satiety and support metabolism. (7)

  • Metabolism

Men are designed with a higher muscle percentage than fat and have a more active and faster metabolism than women. This means, men burn fat faster to convert it into energy, even if they do not exercise. This affects women even more after turning 30 when metabolism slows down. That is why it is crucial to exercise and nourish yourself to maintain muscle mass. Also, a vitamin B supplement can help reduce weight gain and lipid levels by improving energy metabolism. (8)

  • Fluid retention

Women tend to retain more water in the body due to hormones and other factors, such as exercise and the amount of protein consumed. A good alternative is to drink natural diuretics, such as green tea or Hibiscus tea, which helps eliminate excess fluid.

  • Emotions

Whether we admit it or not, women, in general, are more emotional, and sometimes, we handle our emotions by eating. Therefore, when we eat something we like, it makes us feel good as it releases dopamine in the brain. One option to avoid emotional eating is replacing it with other activities, such as exercise, a hobby, listening to music, or eating healthier foods, like pure cocoa or dark chocolate. Another healthy alternative is a cup of Super Slim Café, which, in addition to cocoa, contains green tea and other thermogenic that support fat burning. And Will Pow(d)er is another great option that supports hydration, helps control the central nervous system, and balances your mood.

 

Something most experts agree on, including Dr. Juan and our nutritionist Sabrina Hernández-Cano is that regardless of our gender, the key for weight loss success is to combine a personalized nutrition plan, that is realistic and sustainable in the long run, with lifestyle changes. For example, our Entalla system incorporates daily menus, supplements to maintain your focus, and a support group to help you reach your ideal weight.

Remember, even though it may seem like a disadvantage, women still have the best tool at their disposal: an incredible power of resilience and will, which makes us capable to achieve everything we set out to do. You can do it!

Let's be healthier together.

Your Santo Remedio team.

 

 

 

References

1.Sandra A TsaiNan LvLan XiaoJun Ma. Gender Differences in Weight-Related Attitudes and Behaviors Among Overweight and Obese Adults in the United States. Am J Mens Health. 2016 Sep;10(5):389-98. doi: 10.1177/1557988314567223. Epub 2015 Jan 15.          PMID: 25595019 DOI: 10.1177/1557988314567223 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25595019/

2. Pia Christensen, PhD,Thomas Meinert Larsen, PhD, Margriet WesterterpPlantenga, PhD, Ian Macdonald, PhD,  J. Alfredo Martinez, PhD, Svetoslav Handjiev, PhD,  Sally Poppitt, PhD,  Sylvia Hansen, MSc, Christian Ritz, PhD, Arne Astrup, DMSc, Laura PastorSanz, PhD, 1 Finn SandøPedersen, MSc, 1 Kirsi H. Pietiläinen, PhD,  Jouko Sundvall, MSc, Mathijs Drummen, MSc,  Moira A. Taylor, PhD, Santiago NavasCarretero, PhD, Teodora HandjievaDarlenska, PhD,  Shannon Brodie, APD, Marta P. Silvestre, PhD,  Maija HuttunenLenz, PhD,  Jennie BrandMiller, PhD, Mikael Fogelholm, ScD,  Anne Raben, PhD Men and women respond differently to rapid weight loss: Metabolic outcomes of a multi‐centre intervention study after a low‐energy diet in 2500 overweight, individuals with pre‐diabetes Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Dec; 20(12): 2840–2851. Published online 2018 Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/dom.13466 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282840/

3.S R DavisC Castelo-BrancoP ChedrauiM A LumsdenR E NappiD ShahP Villaseca. Understanding weight gain at menopause. Writing Group of the International Menopause Society for World Menopause Day 2012. Review Climacteric. 2012 Oct;15(5):419-29. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2012.707385. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22978257/ 

4.Paweł Milart, Ewa Woźniakowska, Wojciech Wrona. Selected vitamins and quality of life in menopausal women. Prz Menopauzalny. 2018 Dec; 17(4): 175–179. Published online 2018 Dec 31. doi: 10.5114/pm.2018.81742 PMCID: PMC6372850 PMID: 30766465 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6372850/

5.Myeong Soo Lee  1 Byung-Cheul ShinEun Jin YangHyun-Ja LimEdzard Ernst. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) for treatment of menopausal symptoms: A systematic review Review Maturitas. 2011 Nov;70(3):227-33. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.07.017. Epub 2011 Aug 15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21840656/

6.I JanssenS B HeymsfieldZ M WangR Ross. Skeletal muscle mass and distribution in 468 men and women aged 18-88 yr. J App Physiol (1985). 2000 Jul;89(1):81-8. doi: 10.1152/jappl.2000.89.1.81. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10904038/

7.John W. Carbone1,* and Stefan M. Pasiakos. Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1136. Published online 2019 May 22. doi: 10.3390/nu11051136 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566799/

8.Ying ZhengAi-Guo MaMing-Ci ZhengQiu-Zhen WangHui LiangXiu-Xia HanEvert G Schouten. B Vitamins Can Reduce Body Weight Gain by Increasing Metabolism-related Enzyme Activities in Rats Fed on a High-Fat Diet. Curr Med Sci. 2018 Feb;38(1):174-183. doi: 10.1007/s11596-018-1862-9. Epub 2018 Mar 15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30074168/

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