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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Weight Loss for Women is Different Than Men

Apr 28, 2023 09:31AM ● By Drew Acklin
Women lose weight differently than men. One primary way they vary lies in their physiology. A statistical fact is that women have less muscle mass than men. Muscle mass increases how many calories are burned at rest because they require more energy—therefore, before men even set out to lose weight, resistance train or monitor their nutrition, they are dealt a favorable hand. Not only do men naturally have more muscle mass, but they typically have more testosterone which results in more muscle mass gained as a response to resistance training.


Women have more body fat—about 6 to 11 percent more, according to studies at the University of New South Whales. This additional body fat is thought to be from an evolutionary adaption to benefit women while they’re pregnant. During pregnancy, women are also likely to add additional fat and can have complications through menopause and perhaps PCOS (a condition characterized by a hormonal imbalance that makes weight loss more difficult and causes menstrual irregularity).


Because of these differences, women often lose weight slower. This is why it is important for them to remain patient, consistent and full of self-love through their process. Women may be reading this and saying to themselves, “It’s not fair!” But, not to fear, here are three ways women can achieve their weight-loss goals:


Resistance Training: Men may have more muscle mass naturally and respond to weight training differently, but women can still add lean muscle mass to their bodies through resistance training. In doing so, they can burn upwards of 40 additional calories per day per pound of lean muscle mass gained. It’s also not a problem that women don’t have as much testosterone as men. That is the very thing that ensures they won’t get too bulky because of resistance training.


Balance Hormones: Many women don’t think about turning to food as a remedy for hormonal issues that often lead to weight gain. Often, it is thought that medication is the only solution. However, it is diet that is integral to hormone health, especially by regulating gut health, which pharmaceutical drugs often disturb. Begin viewing food as medicine and learn to harness the power of women’s intuition; listen to the body, focus on organic, whole foods and eat quality protein, which reduces hunger and cravings.


Do Nothing, Properly: High levels of stress can lead to chronically elevated cortisol, a stress hormone. When cortisol is high, cravings for carbohydrates are increased because the body intuitively knows carbohydrates combat cortisol. But if carbohydrates are eaten, insulin is spiked. When excess insulin and cortisol are released together, they create lipoprotein lipase (LPL) which is a fat-storing enzyme.  The more of this enzyme women have, the more belly fat is stored. So, although it is tempting to give in to the fast pace of society and believe the only way to lose weight is by doing, often it is doing nothing properly that facilitates weight loss. Consider meditation, reducing caffeine, walks, quality sleep and unbound play.


Drew Acklin is the owner of Be Here Now, located at 701 N. Mountain Rd., in Harrisburg. He holds certifications as a NASM corrective exercise specialist and ACE personal trainer specializing in holistic barbell training, lifestyle coaching, pain, posture and weight loss. For more information, call 717-514-5630, email [email protected] or visit