Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster?

We’ve heard from so many couples doing the Fast Metabolism Diet together — which is awesome! There’s no better way to support each other than a shared goal. In most cases, men just lose weight faster than women, and their wives and girlfriends want to know why! Well, it’s not just some sick joke — it’s in their DNA — both physical and cultural.


5 Reasons Men Lose Weight Faster

1. Men have more muscle

Men typically have between 40% and 60% more muscle structure than women. And because muscles burn more fuel than your other parts (organs, bone, stored fat), men have a built-in ability to burn fat more quickly than women. That’s one reason weight exercises are so important on Phase 2, especially for women. Build more muscle, burn more fat.

2. Men are conditioned to be better at stress relief

Men seem to be better able to shake off stress. Socially, they are conditioned to burn it off physically, to fix it and move on. My 14-year-old son even commented to me the other day that “guys can get into a fight in the morning, then go shoot hoops in the afternoon because they are over it and don’t hold on to things like girls do.” That means men generally produce fewer stress hormones that can inhibit weight loss and contribute to excess fat storage, especially in the belly.

So if you or your man has a pony keg where a six pack should be, stress and inactivity are definitely a problem! That’s why in Phase 3, the Fast Metabolism Diet emphasizes relaxation activities like yoga, walking and massage. They lower stress hormones and enhance circulation to help wash out cortisol and usher in fat-blasting endorphins.

3. Men are better able to metabolize dairy and soy

Because women produce more estrogen than men (yes, men do produce estrogen), women are more affected by the estrogen-mimicking properties of soy and dairy, which can contribute to weight gain. (Read more on soy and plant estrogens.) Because of their very hormonal makeup, men are just better able to metabolize these and avoid their effects.

Keep in mind, though, that if men have an imbalance in testosterone (T), SHBG (sex hormone binding globules) or they are not using their T receptor sites efficiently, their bodies can convert testosterone into estrogen, making it virtually impossible to get that cut, muscular look.

4. Men don’t diet as early or as often

It’s said that women start their first diet at 14 while men start theirs at 40. For many women, dieting during adolescence wreaks havoc during this fragile time of hormonal development. So men’s metabolisms aren’t usually as broken down in the first place.

Most men just haven’t been through the endless cycle of crash diets, yo-yo dieting, fasting and eating disorders that do a number on women’s metabolisms.  I find that my female clients are often on some type of diet all year long while men will give a diet hell two to four times a year. Sound familiar? In my clinic, I see it taking longer for women’s metabolisms to rehab or heal.

There some men, however, that share a long history of dieting woes. In those cases, I find that they respond in a very interesting way: They can lose weight aggressively, but they gain it back with a vengeance. Remember, we are not out for weight loss alone; we want a fast metabolism when all is said and done, and we want true repair.

5. Doctors are more likely to address weight issues with men than with their female patients

I have spoken to so many of my doctor friends about this. I get many referrals from doctors for their male patients, with strict instructions to drop 20, 40 or even 60 pounds right away.  I even got an actual prescription written to me with a referral on it. It said “I want him down 30 lbs. before follow-up visit.”

In contrast, my female referrals typically come with the prescription for “nutritional counseling.”  It’s as if some doctors think women need food therapy and men have got to get the weight off for health reasons.  I think doctors find it easier to tell male patients to lose weight for cholesterol reasons, or diabetes, or stroke, or knees, or libido, energy, sleep apnea, etc.  So men are getting a stronger message from their physicians: Lose weight, not so society thinks you look hot, but to save your life. I find women are less likely to get this type of serious counseling from their doctors.

Despite all this, weight gain and a slow metabolism are endangering the men we love at an alarming rate. The metabolism effects every aspect of you — physiologically, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Having a supportive partner can make a huge difference. Repair and rehabilitate your metabolisms together.  Grab a partner, a friend, a co-worker, a fellow sports freak. Share some chili and eat more food to lose more weight.