Here at Slim and Save, our male customers frequently report that they are losing weight faster than their female counterparts. This can be demotivating for women, especially where members are following the diet together with their partners who are losing weight quicker.
Is there any truth in this observation? Do men lose weight more easily than women? This article will provide an explanation around this, and offer some pointers to couples who are on the plan together.
Do men lose weight more easily than women?
One major study (published in 2018) followed 2500 overweight men and women who were following a very low calorie diet (VLCD) similar to Slim & Save for 8-weeks. They found that on average, the men lost more weight than the women (men lost 11.8kg whilst the women only lost 10.2kg).
So why is this? The most reasonable explanation as to why men lose weight easier (or faster) than women is because men naturally have a higher metabolic rate than women. This is due to the fact that men have a higher muscle mass than women (this is due to the effect of sex hormones on body fat mass as well as fat distribution).
Also, since men generally require more calories each day than women (and the men in the study were on average bigger to begin with), the calorie depletion experienced whilst following a VLCD tends to be more pronounced in men.
Whilst most studies would suggest that men lose weight faster initially, differences tend to even out over time.
Top tips for couples on the diet:
- Build some regular resistance exercise into your routine. Whilst we do not recommend high impact work out on a VLCD due to the low level of calories consumed per day, we would encourage both men and women to do some light resistance exercises, in order to help decrease the fat stores and increase the muscle mass.
- Try exercising together – whether that’s at the gym, or at home, for example walking up and down the stairs, doing seated dips using the sofa, or doing an online aerobics class in the lounge.
- Set up regular treats for each other, when you achieve certain weight loss milestones. Rather than a race to see who can lose the first stone first, agree treats or rewards (non-food based!) in advance for each of you when you reach your milestones.
- Encourage each other and remember than everyone loses weight at different speeds and everyone experiences ‘plateaus’ (weight loss is rarely ever linear!)