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Six Reasons Why it Is Hard for Women to Lose Weight

by
author image Bonnie Crowe
Bonnie Crowe is a mother of two teenagers; a teacher and author of children's books, curriculum and articles on English grammar, literature, technology, art, parenting and career guides for high schoolers. She's a former director of AOL Parenting, a member of SCBWI, and a graduate from the University of California,Berkeley.
Six Reasons Why it Is Hard for Women to Lose Weight
Woman multi tasking while eating bowl of popcorn. Photo Credit Terry Vine/Blend Images/Getty Images

Struggling to lose weight while your husband, brother or boyfriend has no trouble dropping the pounds? If you’re eating right and exercising, there might be something else preventing you from getting in shape. According to trainer, Bob Harper in “Time” magazine, there is a double standard that makes it much harder for a woman to lose weight than her male counterpart.

Metabolism Makes a Difference

Men are made up of more muscle than women, and women’s body mass is composed of 10 percent more fat than men. A man’s metabolism is also faster than a woman’s. With more muscle mass and faster metabolisms combined, a man will burn calories faster and have an easier time losing weight than a woman.

Pitfalls of Emotional Eating

A study published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” claims that men can handle food cravings better than women can because of a theory that women have more emotional issues with eating that are harder to control. Many women eat when they are lonely, depressed and stressed, which makes losing weight challenging.

Hand in the Cookie Jar

Many women are unaware of the extra calories that they consume during the day. Eating in front of the TV or while reading can cause meals to be consumed quickly, without even registering if you’re hungry or not. Often portion sizes are inaccurate, and you might consume more food than you think. Marisa Sherry, a registered dietitian, says, “When you're stressed out or tired, it's very easy to forget when your hand goes into the cookie jar."

Underlying Health Issues

According to CNN Health, one in 10 women have a problem with too many male hormones because of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. PCOS may also be an indicator of issues with blood sugar that cause the storage of fat around the waist and could also lead to Type 2 diabetes. Thyroid hormones can also cause problems. The thyroid gland regulates metabolism and affects the way your body burns calories. If your thyroid gland isn't producing enough hormones, it can cause hypothyroidism and prevent weight loss. An underactive thyroid can be treated with synthetic thyroid hormone pills prescribed by a doctor or a specialist called an endocrinologist.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase appetite and impede weight loss. CBS News claims that women need at least seven hours to function properly. Also, if you’re sleeping, you aren’t able to eat. Women lead busy lives, with many working full time and taking care of a family. Getting enough sleep so you can start the day feeling refreshed and healthy is a challenge for many women

Sabotage on the Home Front

Some women find that their families actually sabotage their weight-loss efforts. Sitting down to big family meals regularly can be fattening. Having to cook meals that the kids will eat can lead to leftovers of macaroni and cheese or corn dogs. If kids leave food on their plates, you may feel a need to pick at the food or to finish your child’s meal. These extra calories add up and pack on pounds. Additionally, a 2013 study in the American Psychology Association's "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" found that some men are insecure and threatened if partner is successful with her weight-loss goals. This insecurity could sabotage a woman's dieting efforts, making it harder for her to lose weight.

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