This might be a story you have heard before: a husband and wife go on a diet. They eat the same meals, take in the same calories, exercise at the same time… but then somehow, hubby drops 10 pounds in two weeks while wifey loses maybe half of that. What gives? Well, as it turns out, a recent study shows that there does seem to be a gender component when it comes to weight loss that gives men an edge.
In the study, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, researchers tracked more than 2,000 overweight adults with prediabetes following an 800 calorie mostly liquid diet for eight weeks. The results were pretty fascinating:
- 35 percent of the men and women had normal blood-glucose levels and no longer had prediabetes
- The men lost about 26 lbs., on average, over eight weeks, compared with about 22 lbs., on average, in women
- Men had larger reductions than women on other measures linked with better health, such as a lower heart rate and less body fat as well as a decreased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome
Researchers believe that some gender-specific differences might contribute to these outcomes. For example, male body composition typically includes more muscle and a higher metabolic rate than women. Since men would typically consume more daily calories than women, they would have experienced a higher caloric deficit in this study than women, and would be expected to lose weight faster.
The study also showed different metabolic effects of the diet in men when compared to women, with men typically having more visceral (midsection) fat than women, and women having more subcutaneous (around thighs, rear, and hips) than men. When people lose visceral fat, it improves their metabolic rate, helping them to burn more calories; however, losing subcutaneous fat does not improve their metabolic risk factors because this type of fat is not metabolically active, which explains why the men would have seen a more prominent decreased risk of metabolic syndrome.
Despite some of these gender-specific differences, weight loss in overweight people will always generally be beneficial; however, these sorts of differences in outcomes underscores the importance of losing weight under the guidance of a physician who can assist a patient in monitoring things like cholesterol levels, bone density, and do regular blood work and evaluations. It’s also important for physicians practicing weight loss to keep in mind some of these potential differences by gender, and to remember to individualize the care of their patients as necessary and when possible.
Helping patients with a medically supervised weight loss program does not have to be difficult for providers. Listen to some of the stories of three physicians: John Hernried, MD, FACP, Peter H. Jones, MD, FACP, FNLA, Christopher Case, MD, and Phillip Snider, DO, MS, RD, as they discuss their experience practicing medical weight loss with established, structured medical protocols. By using scientifically designed nutritional products, these physicians make losing weight safe, easy and enjoyable for their patients.
Robard also has some great free resources that can support you and your patients who are experiencing challenges with their weight. If obesity is contributing to other chronic conditions in your patients, and you need some support with starting the conversation, check out our free on-demand webcast: How to Speak with Patients about Obesity. Or, if some of your female patients are experiencing slower weight loss than they hoped and are feeling discouraged, download our free motivational Weight Loss Affirmation cards. Just download, print, and pass on to your patients to encourage them to keep going!
Source: Live Science