Two elderly adults ride bikes together.
Weight loss by gender… it makes a difference. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Is it just a myth that men can lose weight faster than women? Sadly for the ladies, no. It’s true.

The reason your boyfriend, husband or brother can drop weight faster is two-fold:

  1. He has the testosterone and doesn’t have the extra estrogen that you have.
  2. Thanks to that whole baby-carrying ability, women start out with more body fat than a man from the get-go. According to a 2014 CNN story on the subject, women average between 6 and 11 percent more body fat than men. That doesn’t mean it’s “extra” fat–it’s what the female body needs. A perfectly fit woman will still have up to 11 percent more body fat than a perfectly fit man.

So, if you’re a woman, what does this mean? Only that you should not be discouraged if a male fitness partner drops pounds faster. On the plus side, the female body does offer the advantage of burning more body fat during exercise than a male’s.

In addition, guys, know that your weight is more likely to accumulate as a spare tire around the middle. This can be a precursor to serious heart stress and health risks. Yes, you’re an apple. Deal with it.

Stick with your plan and in the end, your goal can be reached just as successfully as his.