Embarking on a weight loss journey can be both exciting and daunting, especially when you’re not alone in your endeavor. Picture this: a couple decides to shed those extra pounds together, motivated and committed. However, it often becomes apparent that the man is making faster progress than his female partner. Why does this happen? Some experts suggest that genetics might play a role.

Dr. Ula Abed Alwahab, an endocrinologist, empathizes with the frustration many women encounter on their weight loss journey. She states, “Unfortunately for women, their genetic makeup can make losing weight a bit more challenging.” So, what factors contribute to this uphill battle?

Metabolic Hurdles:

One significant factor is metabolism. Women typically have a higher percentage of body fat and less muscle compared to men, which directly impacts their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – the number of calories burned while at rest. Dawn Noe, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, elaborates, “Metabolic rate is partly determined by muscle mass, and women naturally have less muscle and more fat than men.”

Pregnancy Effects:

Pregnancy often leads to weight gain and increased body fat. Additionally, new mothers often grapple with finding time for exercise and adequate sleep, both critical elements for shedding those extra pounds. Nonetheless, breastfeeding can assist in burning calories and facilitating post-pregnancy weight loss.


Menopause introduces a fresh set of challenges for women, including weight gain around the abdomen due to hormonal fluctuations and a slower metabolism. Some women even humorously refer to this as the “meno-pot.”

PCOS Battle:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10% of women and can make weight loss more challenging due to hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities. Some theories state that one of the reason behind this syndrome might be lack of physical exercise and there is a chance of it getting improved with regular workouts too.

Despite these inherent hurdles, there are effective strategies to tackle weight gain and achieve your goals. Here are three essential approaches:

Incorporate Resistance and Weight Training:

Building muscle mass is vital for both men and women to boost metabolism. Engaging in resistance training at least twice a week for 20-30 minutes per session is particularly beneficial as you age. Dispelling the misconception that weight training will make women look excessively masculine is important because it’s instrumental in increasing metabolic rate and preventing osteoporosis.

Discover Your Ideal Eating Pattern:

Caloric needs differ between men and women, with women typically requiring fewer calories. It’s essential to find a balanced eating plan that suits you, such as the Mediterranean diet. For women with conditions like PCOS or diabetes, lower carbohydrate and ketogenic diets may be more suitable. The key is to tailor your eating pattern to your unique health needs and preferences.

Embrace Patience and Persistence:

Weight loss is a journey that requires patience. Research indicates that successful weight loss plans usually result in a 5-10% reduction in body weight within a year of consistent effort. If progress seems slow, consulting with a healthcare team to explore alternative plans that align better with your lifestyle is a wise approach. Regardless of your chosen diet, maintaining balanced and nutritious meals, including lean proteins, healthy fats, limited simple carbs, and an array of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, is crucial. For women over 50, ensuring adequate calcium and Vitamin D intake, either through food or supplements, is also recommended.

In conclusion, while women may face unique genetic and physiological challenges in their weight loss journey, with the right strategies, determination, and a personalized approach, success is well within reach. Remember, your path to a healthier you is distinct, and the key lies in recognizing and embracing your individual needs and circumstances. So, lace up those sneakers and embark on your journey to a healthier and happier you!