Men have an Advantage over Women when Losing Weight

by Annie on January 17, 2008 · 1 comment

in Aging & Gender Differences,Healthy Living,Weight Loss & Body Image

A year ago, my husband and I decided to lose some weight together. We ate the same meals and exercised. And you probably guess this — three months later he is down 10 pounds and I loss a measly 3 pounds. So the moral of this story? Do not try to lose weight with your husband! It’s depressing and causes you to eat to ease that depression. Just kidding.

From this little experiment, I notice that men do have an advantage over women when it comes to weight loss. Men have more muscle mass than women do, so their resting metabolic rate is higher. So my husband actually burns more calories than me just sitting in the sofa next to me. How much more? Approximately each pound of muscles mass my husband has, increases his calorie burn by 50 calories per day. Say, if he has 10 pounds of muscle more than me (and the other 30 pounds is just fat – I am trying to feel better here.), then he will burn an extra 500 calories more than me each day. An extra 500 calories a day for not doing anything!

My husband gave me the following tips to try to increase my metabolism:

1. Lifting weights

As written above, having more muscle will increase your metabolism just sitting on the sofa. Most women avoid weight because they are afraid of bulking up. We just do not have the testosterone level in our bodies to bulk up. The average women only gains 2 pounds of muscle a year and that is with a progressive workout program without taking any kind of drugs.

2. Increase the burn of your cardio with interval training

Vary your pace when doing cardio. Intervals consist of bursts of intense aerobic exercise followed by slower paced activity burns more calories. So instead of just walking on your treadmill, try a walk/jog approach.

On that note, breaking up your cardio into two segments also increases your calorie expenditure. For example, if you do cardio for 20 minutes, the take a break (to do dishes for 20 minutes), then come back to continue your cardio for 20 minutes, you will actually end up burning more calories than if you did cardio for 40 minutes straight.

3. Eat protein

When lifting weights, you need at least 46-60grams/day of protein to help build muscle. When women go on diets, they tend to not eat enough protein. When I was dieting with my husband, I was eating mostly salads during lunch at work and we will have the same meals for dinner. I do not know what he was eating for lunch, but I know it was not salads.

4. Sleep

People that do not get enough sleep actually gain weight. I know that I tend to eat sugary food when I am tired. I am purposely trying to give my body that sugar rush to keep from falling asleep. And when you are not alert, you let your guard down so it is easier to eat junk food.

Also, your body is repairing itself when you are sleeping. When you are lifting weights, you are breaking down the muscle during the physical exertion. By not getting enough sleep, you are diminishing all that hard work when you do not allow your body to have enough time to repair and rebuilt stronger muscles.

I have tried some of his advice, but I am still working on it, especially the sleep part. What I wouldn’t give to sleep like my college years again!

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.

Related Posts:


Like what you are reading? How about subscribing? It's free!

Subscribe in a Reader
Enter your email address:

{ 1 trackback }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: