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Why Women Have a Harder Time Losing Weight

Tim Boyer's picture
Losing weight

It’s a fact of physiology and psychology - women unfortunately have a harder time losing weight. Here’s why, and what you can do about it to turn the tables on this sex-biased weight loss battle.


Having someone join you as a weight loss partner can be a great way to motivate yourself to stick with your weight loss efforts. But going coed with those efforts can be discouraging as women have a harder time losing weight than men do. In a recent Chicago-area news report, Sarah Baker, founder of BalancedBabe.com―a women’s wellness and personal growth website―states that this sex bias is one of the most common questions she receives from her female readers.

“One of the main reasons that men can drop fat a lot quicker than women is because of their lean muscle mass.”

However, Ms. Baker also points out that it’s not just a matter of physiology, but one of psychology as well as women are more likely to succumb to emotional eating than men do.

REAL TALK: Why is my boyfriend losing weight faster than me?

Tips for Beating Weight Loss Sex Bias

1. Watch your carbs
―According to Ms. Baker, “Carbs are the number one killer when it comes to women and maintaining healthy weight levels.” Her advice to beat this trap is to practice portion control. As one example she shows that while 2 fistfuls of pasta are about right for a man, women should have only half as much pasta during a meal.

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2. Don’t diet― “Diets definitely lead to failure,” says Ms. Baker who explains that having a mindset of losing weight rather than feeling great and having a healthier lifestyle, eventually leads to failure. Her recommendation for women is to adopt a mindset that is more focused on feeling great within your own body to insure weight loss success while pursuing a healthier lifestyle with reasonable eating and exercise.

3. Get some sleep―“Sleep is a major player when it comes to maintaining health wellness and an allover healthy body appearance,” says Ms. Baker. Lack of sleep, she explains, leads to an increase in feelings of hunger. Her recommendation is to fit in ½ to 1 hour extra of sleep during your nights to prevent sleep-deprived hunger pangs.

4. Lifting weights isn’t just for the guys―Lifting weights is recommended by many health experts as a necessary part of any weight loss plan. Adding strength training to your weight loss efforts will help prevent loss of lean muscle while dieting so that you will burn more calories faster than by doing cardio alone.

5. De-stress!―
Learning to de-stress is one of the most important things you can do while trying to lose weight. Ms. Baker points out that an increase in stress leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, which then leads to an increased appetite—an important cause behind emotional eating for women. Ms. Baker recommends taking 30 minutes out of your day with stress-relieving activities such as meditating. Another option is trying gentle yoga, which can have the same benefit and work those muscles at the same time.

For more about weight loss for women, here is some advice from Dr. Oz nutritionist Haylie Pomroy who talks about her Real Women's Guide to Weight Loss.

Reference: WGN News Chicago― “Female Weight Loss: Why are we slower to shed pounds?”



Yep, weight loss can definitely be trickier for women! Long-term weight loss is especially hard because you need to focus on several areas that altogether contribute to a permanent lifestyle change. Here's a great little article that covers what's needed in a female weight loss plan designed for effective, long-term weight loss: fatfreeme.net/big5