Healthspan News

Why do men lose weight faster than women?

Posted 26 March 2015 12:00 AM by Dr Sarah Brewer
Men Women Weight Loss

A study that compared male and female participants following a variety of diets, including Atkin’s, SlimFast, Rosemary Conley and Weight-Watchers, showed that men beat women hands-down for weight loss. At two months, men had lost twice as much weight as women – however, their weight loss slowed over the following months. A recent review of 49 studies on the subject found only a small difference in weight loss between the sexes – but it was in favour of the men. So why do men lose weight more easily than women?

There are a variety of reasons for this. Men, on the whole are bigger than women, and the bigger you are the more energy you burn just by moving around. They also tend to have more muscle mass, which also burns more energy. But what is perhaps surprising, is that women are more likely to be ‘emotional eaters’ and are more likely to comfort eat, snack out of boredom or frustration or eat for many reasons other than hunger. Many men, in contrast, seem to just over-indulge in pints and portions.

So what are some tactics to help women tackle those extra pounds:

1. Food Swap

If you find it difficult to give up your favourite food then why not try to find a low-fat alternative instead of denying yourself completely. Struggling to give up chocolate? Then look out for low-fat chocolate mousse desserts or switch from milk chocolate to luscious dark chocolate – which is not only lower in fat, but, with it’s high magnesium content, has some great health-boosting properties too!

2. Portion Size

When dieting, ‘seconds’ are obviously a real no-no but if you are really looking to cut down on your calorie intake without changing which foods you eat, one of the simplest ways of doing this is through portion size. A really easy way to cut-down is to eat meals off a smaller plate. If you often find yourself carrying-on eating after you are full, this is a fantastic way to stop this over-eating cycle. And if you’re partial to the odd gin and tonic, then make sure you use proper pub measures as we often are a bit eager to pour out a double when we’re making our own drinks which all adds up to extra calories.

3. Drink more water

When feeling a bit bloated, people’s first reaction can often be to stop drinking water but this is the last thing you should do! Bloating is one of the first signs of being dehydrated so if anything you need to up you water intake.

Also, the parts of the brain that control hunger and thirst often create the same feelings, so that hunger pang could actually be a sign of thirst rather than hunger, so try having a glass of water before opening the fridge and see if you still need that sandwich.

4. With a little help from your ´friends´

Everyone’s always talking about ‘friendly’ bacteria and the good it can do but what’s its role in weight loss? Well, eating sugary or salty foods can change the bacterial balance in your tummy. The good bacteria get driven out and the bad bacteria takes charge, which can slow your digestive system down and cause a swollen stomach. Research has found probiotics – best taken in supplement form – can prevent the destructive bacteria from flourishing.

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