I had a conversation with a friend the other day where she was justifying her lack of weight-loss because of her hormones.
“Men just lose weight easier than females,” she said.
I hear this excuse all of the time — so I decided it was time to research it.
Sick -> Well -> Fit
I’ve talked extensively about this theory we call “Sick to Well to Fit.” The theory states that just about any health parameter sits on a continuum. That continuum is a measurement of your health beginning at sickness (far left), moves through wellness (middle of the curve), and ends with fitness (far right).
For example, let’s take a look at blood pressure: If you have a blood pressure reading of 195/115 mm HG, you have a problem. Your doctor is going to prescribe you medication and have you check in with him/her regularly. If you’re sitting at 120/70 mm Hg, your doctor’s not going to say anything because you’re average. But, if your blood pressure is around 105/55 mm Hg, your doctor’s going to take out a notepad and start asking you questions about what you’re doing for diet and exercise.
The same goes for HDL, LDL, HbA1c, triglycerides, muscle mass, bone density, and body fat percentage.
Body Fat Percentage
Women carry roughly 7% more body fat on their bodies than men do. 7% is a rough estimate, as there are a few factors to consider.
Regardless of the exact number, if men naturally have less body fat than women, the continuum therefore must have different values for men and women.
For example: A male at 32% is sick, 21% is well, and 10% is fit. A female, however, is sick at 40%, well at 28%, and fit at 20%.
Just as it is unhealthy for a male to drop below 6% body fat, it is also unhealthy for a female to drop below 14%.
So, if a male and female are both sitting at 30%, males are going to lose weight faster. The reason here is because they have more fat to lose.
But, if a male were at 30% and a female at 38% body fat, they are going to lose weight at the same rate.
Now I’m obviously oversimplifying this, but there’s beauty in simplicity. There is no need for me to say much more than this.
I will add, however, that losing weight is a personal challenge — not something that should be compared to others (especially opposing genders). The fact is if you’re a male with a body fat percentage above 15% or a female above 22%, you can lose weight. Justifying your lack of weight-loss because of middle-age, hormone-imbalances, or anything else is an excuse and (in my opinion) the main reason you aren’t losing the weight.
Men lose weight faster than females when they are at the same body fat percentage. However, don’t confuse “faster” with “easier” — they still require a good diet. Additionally, most research has supported that once males have 7% less body fat than females, the rate at which they lose weight is the same.
But, weight-loss is never a competition between males and females. Weight-loss is a personal challenge in your pursuit to becoming a happier, healthier human being.
“We don’t have to discipline ourselves. We need to work on making the things we want start to become non-negotiable for ourselves” (Michael Bernoff).
Refuse to whine, complain, or make excuses. If you fix your mindset, you fix the weight.