Men Lose More Weight Than Women On Diets. -Really?:
Nutrition and weight-loss are two big topics that come up when anyone talks health.
In-fact, if you look at any of the Top 10 lists on how to keep yourself healthy,
Many of them cook down to good-nutrition and exercise.
But in that quest to avoid the hormone-apocalypse that excess fat can get us,
Interesting differences come up between individual results.
And a team from the University of Copenhagen just found another strange twist in the weight-loss differences between men and women…
Whether it’s from a metabolism-pill ad on TV,
Or a set of friends’ progress reports,
Or just old wives’ tales,
A common urban-legend is that Women lose weight and fat slower than men.
Well Dr. Pia Christensen’s team found out that it’s not just a rumor.
It’s not just a Rumor:
Over the course of 8 weeks, a group of 2,200 subjects,
Who were overweight to the point of pre-diabetes,
Were studied on a specific plan that was Low-Calorie in design.
Low-Calorie, as-in 40% of what a normal adult male eats in one day.
And sure-enough, even though they all got about 85g of protein each day,
The men lost more weight than the women. However,…
The Exercise-Nutrition Paradox:
A while back we told you about this other weird Danish study,
That showed not only that people who exercised 30 minutes a day instead of 60,
Lost the same amount of weight; but it showed another thing:
People who exercise to lose weight can get to the point they lose exclusively-fat and no muscle.
Guess what other problem women-dieters on the program had?
They also lost muscle! -Even more than the men.
Women’s Weight Loss Vs. Men’s The Numbers & Body-Fat Composition:
In-total, men lost 16% more total-weight than women on the exact same program.
They also lost 25% of their initial fat-mass, where women only lost 17% of their initial body-fat.
This was on super-low-calorie diets of 810 Calories, which as-stated before included 85g of protein per day.
But Wait, It’s Not All Bad News!:
Women did have a few things going for them if it wasn’t fat-loss.
1) They improved their cholesterol-profile much better than men.
2) For what it’s worth, they decreased the size of their hips & thighs more (but that’s where they store fat, so meh.)
Ok, so there are a few issues-outstanding with this study.
Your “Mileage” May Vary, And That’s The Problem:
1) The average weight of women was 209 lbs.
2) The average weight of men was 241 lbs.
3) Everyone was given the same amount of calories.
So, this study then accidentally demonstrates the differences everyone whose talked weight-loss has heard-of,
Even different individuals of the same gender end up with slight-variances in metabolism, etc.
But here’s another important fact:
4) Women carry 30% less muscle-mass than men on-average.
-So their metabolisms will always be lower.
And contrary to this study, which seems like kind-of a crash-diet,
Use The Right TDEE Calorie Calcs!:
I’ve never seen calorie-calculators that give the same TDEE calorie-allowance for men as women.
As a matter-of-fact, the most basic rule-of-thumb I have from way back is:
5) Approx 12 Cal/lb. of bodyweight for men
6) Approx 10 Cal/lb. of bodyweight for women
(You would then add on some percent extra, depending on how Active the person is.)
Even at the most basic online calorie-counters you can look at,
They would prescribe roughly:
1700 Calories/day for the average 5’4″ tall, 209lb. sedentary woman in the study.
And 2100 Calories/day for the average 5’9″ tall, 240lb. sedentary man in the study.
“Mileage” Does Vary, But Let’s Look At It Correctly:
So depending on how you count, one group or another in this study was either under-fed or over-fed,
By 14-20%, depending on what math you use.
Now it’s true women do carry less muscle-mass than men, and that’s one of the reasons their allowances are always lower.
But if you’re going to run a study that shows the Real difference between them, and how much more difficult it is for women to lose weight & fat.
-You Have to feed them according to their actual needs based on the Age, Height, Weight, Gender, & Activity-Level numbers you plug into the TDEE formula.
Either you give the study-women about 690 Calories a day and the men 810.
Or the women 810 and the men about 930. Then you record the results.
An Interesting Takeaway Nevertheless:
Despite the fact that women were over-fed relative to men,
They still lost less fat and more muscle than men.
And that telling-fact is something women should pay attention to in their own fitness & nutrition efforts.
Because one of the recent trends in exercise that is actually great,
Is women lifting weights.
And it might even keep fat from making them fatter…
Women Should Increase Protein Intake & Lift Weights:
Now, this doesn’t have to be to excess, like any of the insane gym-rats on Instagram.
Who are clearly trying to look like either like GI-Jane in some cases, or Arnold-Schwarzenegger in others,
But if we can all do a Little weight-lifting,
And Women perhaps a bit more than they ever considered,
That extra muscle mass will hold your frame, & your health together much better as you age.
-And it may also make any future fat-loss a bit easier due to a little bit higher metabolism.
-Regardless of whether you get 14-20% more calories than you’re supposed-to, on a crazy crash-diet where men lose more weight, or not.
Photo Credits: “DSCF5086”, by Darren Milligan and Brad Ireland
• Source Study: Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism – 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 (PREVIEW)