Ask the Coach

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Why do men lose weight faster than women?

It seems so unfair, right? Men are genetically awarded more muscle mass than females. Muscle is metabolically more active or burns more calories than fat cells. Females genetically carry more body fat (stored fuel) to sustain life during times of famine, to perpetuate the species.

Muscle mass is part of your internal furnace or basic metabolic rate (BMR). This is the rate your body burns calories at rest. More muscle means your furnace burns more fuel. So, ladies hit the gym and lift twice a week to boost your BMR. Men naturally weigh more, have more muscle and burn calories at a faster rate. When you put more muscle to work (physical activity), you have a larger workforce (muscle mass) to burn the food you eat and unwanted body fat for fuel. To lose weight, you must move more than you consume. Over time, this creates a calorie deficit and fat loss.

Men tend to pay little attention to diet and nutrition. When they do, combined with more physical activity, they get quick results. Women know more about nutrition but are drawn to higher carbohydrate diets. Women may encounter more emotional eating than their male counterparts. Women are still primarily responsible for shopping and meals. This may encourage women to do more tasting or snacking than males. Get the family involved with meal prep and go for a walk after dinner!

We are all after the same goal, weight management. Some of us just have an easier time of it.

I’m finally at my goal weight. Should I keep the same regime to maintain it?

You don’t have to stick to the same diet and exercise plan, mix it up, add variety. You will not have to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. You will have to move enough to burn what you are eating in order to maintain the new weight. That means not returning to old habits and starting to regain the weight you just worked so hard to lose. If you begin to gain, adjust early so as not to rebound. Weight management is a delicate balance of calories in and calories burned. Creating this balance is key to long-term health!

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Carla Gray, BSES, HFS, CPT is a personal trainer and can be reached at
info@fitnessconnection.net or (504) 885-7855.

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