Wasim H. Raja, MD

Why It's More Difficult for Women to Lose Weight Than Men

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Is it just your imagination, or do men seem to shed pounds at will while you struggle to lose mere ounces? Find out here.

If it seems that men have an unfair advantage in the battle of the bulge, you’re onto something — and we have the science to back it up.

Dr. Wasim Raja and our team at Orange County Healthcare Center in Fountain Valley, California, specialize in medically supervised weight loss and know a thing or two about how men and women lose weight differently.

The very characteristics that differentiate men from women also factor into their weight loss experiences. To help you understand the issues at play, Dr. Raja explains the biology behind fat storage and loss.

Men have more lean muscle

Whether you’re a man or a woman, lean muscle burns calories. It just so happens that men tend to have more lean muscle than women, so they burn calories more quickly, even at rest. Of course, that’s a generalization. Women with higher levels of lean muscle will lose weight faster than men without it. 

Men lose weight quickly — at first

Men tend to lose weight quickly after starting a new diet. In fact, one study showed that men lost twice as much weight and three times as much body fat as their female counterparts on the same diet during the first two months. However, when they reached the half-year mark, the playing field leveled and both genders lost weight at the same rate. 

Hormones affect everything

Hormones keep all your systems running smoothly, but when they’re out of balance, they mess with nearly every bodily function, including your ability to lose weight. 

Since women have more frequent hormone fluctuations than men — hello puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and menopause — they have a tougher time overcoming the imbalances that lead to weight gain and make weight loss difficult.

Testosterone also contributes to calorie burning, fat storage and distribution, and energy utilization. Since men have more testosterone than women, they have an advantage in weight loss. 

You can't change genetics

Men and women are different in countless delightful ways. One of those ways happens to be fat storage. On average, women — even physically fit women — hang onto 11% more body fat than men. 

Your body needs fat to insulate you, protect your organs, give you energy, and assist proteins and hormones as they do their jobs. So fat, in and of itself, isn’t unhealthy; having too much fat is. Women’s bodies store more fat to aid pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Men lose weight where it shows

When men gain weight, it’s typically in their bellies, so when they lose weight, the abdominal fat shrinks, and you notice the loss immediately. Women, on the other hand, store fat all around their bodies, so the weight loss is distributed and less noticeable. However, with a little patience, sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine will produce all-over results.

How women can even the weight-loss playing field

Dieting is restrictive, frustrating, slow, and sometimes unsafe. Too many variables impact your weight loss efforts, so navigating the journey on your own is tough. That’s why Dr. Raja and our Orange County Healthcare Center team offer supervised medical weight loss

This isn’t a national marketing program where you join and count points; it’s an individualized health plan based on your unique body and needs. We work with you to discover the best way to help your body shed pounds and stay safe and healthy. 

As you follow our personalized plan of reducing your calorie intake and increasing exercise to burn stored fat, Dr. Raja may also recommend weight loss injections. Wegovy®, an FDA-approved medication that helps diabetes patients lose weight, can help you too. 

Weight loss injections aren’t a quick fix, but they can help you curb your cravings and hunger and feel full longer, so you can stick with your diet.

Don’t try to overcome all the obstacles to weight loss alone. Partner with Dr. Raja so you know you’re losing weight the best way possible for your body — male or female. Contact us online or call our office today to schedule a consultation.