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"Is it easier for men to lose weight?"


My husband and I are both in our mid 30s, and we're both just started trying to lose weight. He's already making much better progress than me, even though we're doing the same exercise and diet. Why? Is it easier for men to lose weight?


Congratulations on trying to lose weight. As I am sure you are aware, maintaining a healthy weight can be one of the best things you can do for your health. I encourage you to continue to work at your goal and involve your primary care doctor to help you.

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As for weight loss, men generally can have quicker success with weight loss for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is that weight maintenance is a balance of energy, that is, "energy in" versus "energy out." "Energy in" is the food we eat (calories). "Energy out" is how much energy our body expends during exercise PLUS the energy it expends to maintain normal processes (like breathing and circulation). The energy your body expends to maintain normal processes is known as the Basal Metabolic Rate. We know that the Basal Metabolic Rate depends heavily on muscle mass, that is, people with more muscle often burn more energy. As most men have more muscle mass then women, their Basal Metabolic Rate is higher and they burn more energy at rest. Therefore, if you both are eating the same food and exercising the same, your husband is burning more calories even at rest so will lose weight faster. Talk to your doctor about your weight loss goals. He or she can put you in touch with a nutritionist or a dietitian who can help you calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and give you a ballpark of how many calories you should being eating in a given day. Good Luck!

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