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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Men lose weight faster than women - true or false?

I don't even have to think about that question! My husband loses weight easily compared to me. It is like pulling teeth for me to lose weight. I am peri-menopausal and have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. My doctor also thinks my estrogen levels are too high for easy weight loss, but I'm resisting hormone replacement therapy. I feel well at least, and I don't want to mess with that simply to be thinner. Women have some of these particular issues that men don't have, plus not to mention the normal monthly water weight gains (and sometimes real weight due to cravings and overeating) due to PMSing, if you know what I mean.

A recent article by Lesley Beck in the Globe and Mail, details the fact that women often have to "pay attention to every nibble in order to see the scale budge".

This does not seem fair, but it is true that men have more muscle mass and, therefore, since muscle burns more calories than fat... - there you go, there is the answer most likely!

Apparently, women are predisposed to storing more fat because they have high estrogen levels. See, there is my problem. I have an imbalance going on right now with too much estrogen, making it very difficult for me to shed the 7 lbs I would like to. My husband could shed that amount in 3 weeks! It will take me months in comparison and only if I'm extremely diligent.

Leslie says that women are more likely to eat comfort foods than men in response to emotions. Hmm, that is not always true. I think men do that as well - however, they may tend towards eating more at a meal or eating bread rather than reaching for cookies or sweets.

Further gender differences are stated as being:

Men like to exercise more. They like to lose weight primarily for health reasons and for appearance secondly, whereas it is usually the other way around for women. Men usually have a better body image (they see themselves as looking great, despite being overweight and women see themselves as looking awful, when, in fact, oftentimes they are not that overweight.) and higher confidence in their ability to lose weight. That last one is a no-brainer. I think if I lost as well as a guy, I would have more confidence as well. Even although I struggle with weight loss, low-carbing helps me to remain stable in my weight. When I do the opposite, I do start to gain weight after a while.

Another thing is that men like to lift weights and women typically avoid that exercise for fear of looking too "butch". Not all women feel that way, but a great many do. I have my dinky little weights that I use from time to time, because I do worry about looking too big. My shoulders are broad and my arms are not that skinny, so I do think I could bulk up some if I'm not careful. I don't want that!

I am envious of my husband's ability to lose weight faster, but on the bright side, I have always been able to at least maintain my weight quite well, whereas my husband sees big jumps on the scale sometimes. A two-week vacation can see a 10 lb increase on the scale, whereas I might see no increase or only a couple of pounds. Everyone is different... I think one has to focus on one's own progress and forget about competing with a male spouse. Rather encourage each other's successes, big or small.

8 comments:

sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

So true....my husband can easily lose a couple of pounds a week just by doing...nothing actually.
Sometimes he eats a whole bag of chips in one night and doesn't gain a pound....
However, I really started induction last week and lost 15 pounds in one week.....that has never happened before. And I 'only' wanted to lose 40 pounds...
Still, if he were on this diet he would probably lose 25 pounds or so.... But that's ok, I'm pretty happy with my results.

Sylvia

Jennifer said...

Wow, Sylvia! I can hardly believe your success! That is incredible!! I have this feeling if you stick to low-carbing diligently, you'll have the rest of the weight off in no time flat. Expect the weight loss to possibly stabilize for a very short while somewhere along the way - it will all be real fat loss shortly. When I went on induction years ago, I lost 6 lbs in 2 weeks, some of that being water weight, but within about 2 months I had lost a real 10-lbs. I kept it off while writing my first low-carb cookbook, however, towards the end I was testing so many low-carb breads, that I gained a bit of it back, only to lose the weight again with the second book, More Splendid Low-Carbing.

I honestly should do induction again. I've been low-carbing but not low enough for weight loss to occur. I'm such a rebel when it comes to food and don't particularly like to count anything (think these days I'm between 30 and 60 grams of carbs), but your awesome success has inspired me to go lower and do induction levels again.

sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

Are you sure it is necessary for you to lose weight again? I think you look great! Not that I don't like being an inspiration... :p
Yes, the last two days I haven't lost very much...I hope it will go on soon..

Sylvia

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Sylvia. :-) It sounds so nice to hear those words. I'm always hard on myself, but not on others.

I think for my height I should actually be at least 7 lbs lighter and I'm going easy on myself. I don't expect to be the weight I was in my twenties and early thirties. If you look at my body type (slim hips and legs but more weight distribution in the front), I have most of my weight in the upper body. When I lose weight, my "front bib" gets smaller.

My trouble is I'm a rebel when it comes to food (I don't like deprivation and that is one of the reasons when I started low-carbing and there were hardly any recipes or books out there on the subject, that I determined to make all those things I like again, only low-carb!) In this way my personality made me a good person for that job.

The result is, though, that induction levels of low-carbing bring out the rebel and self-sabotager in me. I have huge admiration for all the people that low-carb at strict levels and stick with it. I can low-carb between 30 and 60 grams, no problem, however, at the times that I have done 20 grams successfully for weeks at a time, I have still not lost weight. That is why I think something else is at play. I get so discouraged, but when I figure it out, I'll shout it out from my blog! LOL

I often think I'm an alien living on planet earth. I write all these recipes to help other people lose weight and keep it off (and many people have written to say how much it helped to have the recipes), but I myself struggle to lose a paltry 7 lbs.

I know that cutting calories substantially as well as low-carbing does allow me to lose weight, so I guess that is what it will take (so maybe there is no big secret!). Again, I hate doing that. Still for short term gain or should I say loss, I should simply do it!

Congratulations on your amazing success so far. Don't get discouraged if your weight stabilizes for a little while (15 lbs in one week is almost unheard of), as from all I have read, the weight will drop again if you keep at it.

sylvia said...

Thanks Jennifer!
What about the fat fast, isn't that a possibility for you?
I know I have lost a lot,however, I'm only 20 years old. So that might explain my fast loss. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember,but after having my first child last year it got too bad. I also know that for my height I should lose about 50-55 pounds, however, I have a broad posture...not sure how to say this in english. I am also 1,86 m. which is I believe 6.1 ft? So I will never be superslim, but that's okay with me. I just wanna feel confident about my body again.

Sylvia

PS. By the way; my husband is not in his twenties anymore, but he can still eat a whole bag of chips without gaining.... :p

Jennifer said...

Sylvia, I have done the fat fast before and it does work - you are right. The only trouble with it is, the amount of food is very small, and as well, if I don't count the calories too, I'm in trouble. At 1000 calories, I will lose weight but at 1200 calories, I gain weight on the fat fast. That is not a very big margin of error. Not everyone has this problem. In fact most people who are metabolically resistant to weight loss, can do 1200 calories on the fat fast. Please don't ever try it yourself. It is only for people who struggle to lose weight. You would lose so fast (a lot of water too), that it would actually be very dangerous for you, in that it could cause an electrolyte imbalance.

Anyway, that aside, you are right that being young does help a lot. Keep this up, Sylvia, and I know you will lose what you want to and perhaps yet some. At a very young age, you have found the one way of eating, that will definitely put your overweight years behind you for good. You may enjoy SugarfreeSheila's website. She was also always overweight at school and then in her early twenties found Atkins. She lost weight with ease and keeps it off by staying loyal to this woe.

Interesting about your hubby - it is so true about men, hey? Not fair!

You sound very mature, much like my young sons. My sons complained that we made them 10 years older than what they are. :-) We home-schooled them since the youngest was in the 3rd grade.

Keep visiting, Sylvia! You're a breath of fresh air on an otherwise quiet blog. I am enjoying hearing of your success. Keep me posted. By the way, your English is very good! Don't worry about it. Usually in English we speak of a "broad frame", but I understood perfectly what you meant. :-) I'm learning another language (Spanish) and wish I could say I was anywhere near good.

Twisted Cinderella said...

It is frustrating how men can lose weight so much easier than women. When I start to try to lose weight, Prince Charming loses weight by association. I work hard and he loses by accident!!

http://pitterpatteroflosingpounds.blogspot.com/

Jennifer said...

Cinderella, thank you for your comment. I got such a laugh out of it! Haha..

I had a look at your web site and was very impressed. It is beautiful!! Your family is lovely and the tribute to the little baby you lost through a miscarriage, made me cry.

Thanks for the link to my site. I was surprised to find it. I link back to your site. :-)