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Dear Cassey: Why does my boyfriend lose weight so much faster than me?!

Hey Cassey,

I have taken to committing to my health both mentally and physically. I definitely feel guilty about one cheat meal or snack even though 90% of my diet is healthy. The problem is my partner can eat whatever he wants and he never seems to have a problem with weight. He puts on 5 pounds he loses 12, it’s so frustrating when I am fighting tooth and nail for the 1lb mark. And his diet won’t be as healthy as mine, and his mindset is, I can eat what I want when I want and burn it off later. What can I do so that I don’t resent him, and also so that I’m not so hard on myself?

Sincerely,

Resentful

Hey Resentful,

So funny story. Sam and I have actually been through this EXACT same thing. A few years back, we decided to do the Whole30 challenge together. It was basically just an elimination diet for 30 days, so we ate the same things and worked out together. We were literally doing the same thing. And at first, it was fun!

And then we started tracking our results, and it wasn’t so fun anymore.

He saw results pretty much immediately, while I was just over here looking the same. Sure, we both felt great! But that didn’t make it easier to see him getting those physical results that I wasn’t seeing. After the 30 days, Sam lost TEN pounds. I mayyyyybe lost a few. It made me feel like I was doing something wrong, or there was just something wrong with my body. Even though we were doing the same thing! It was so discouraging. I did some digging to find answers.

And guess what?

Men DO lose weight faster than women. It’s an actual scientific fact! Here are some reasons why:

  • They have more muscle mass, so they burn more calories at rest. Why do they have more muscle mass? Testosterone. They have about 10x more than women!
  • Women have estrogen, which makes it a little harder to lose weight. Why? This hormone literally reduces our ability to burn energy after eating.
  • Women have boobs, butts, and overall more body fat. About 6-11% more, to be exact. We need extra fat to bear children, so that’s just how our bodies were designed!
  • Women are more likely to emotionally eat. Annnnd I can totally relate. According to some research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, men are just more capable of “turning off” their cravings.

So take that right there and understand that you are not doing anything wrong. There is nothing wrong with your body, or my body or any woman’s body! It just doesn’t make sense to compare ourselves to men when it comes to weight loss.

But how long do men win the “weight loss race?” 

Well, there was a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition that put groups of men and women on popular diets like Atkins, Slimfast and Weight Watchers. The men actually lost 3x as much body fat and TWICE as much weight as women.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

Men were really losing weight at a faster rate for the first couple of months. However, at the 6 month mark, the results started to even out!

SO, stay consistent and know that men might have an edge in the beginning. But over time, you’ll get your results!

So now that you understand the science behind why men lose weight differently than women, maybe you won’t feel quite as resentful towards your partner.

At the end of the day, your journey is a separate personal experience. Even if you embark on that journey “together!” Comparing your results to his is just all around unfair, especially if it makes you feel bad. It’s much better to:

  • Be consistent
  • Find the joy in your journey
  • Root each other on!

You’ll feel less stressed, you’ll both have more fun, and you’ll get to your goals. Just give yourself time and HAVE FUN! 

I hope these tips help you!

If you have advice for Resentful, leave ’em in the comments!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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