How Women Differ from Men When It Comes to Weight Loss

Apr 02, 2024
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If you suspect that men and women lose weight differently, you’re not imagining it. Here’s why weight loss is more challenging for women and how to overcome those obstacles.

Nothing is quite as frustrating as eating right, exercising regularly, and realizing the scale isn’t budging. It’s even more frustrating if the men in your life don’t struggle to shed unwanted pounds.

“My husband and I eat the same thing, yet he’s losing weight, and I’m not. Why?” Our team at Premiere Medical Center often hears this question from our female patients. Here, we explain how men and women differ regarding weight loss and how our medical weight loss program can break through your gender-specific roadblocks.

Why losing weight is harder for women

Many women report that the men in their lives lose weight more easily. It’s not just anecdotal; here are a few of the many factors that influence how men and women lose weight. 


Women need at least 22% body fat to menstruate normally, so evolutionarily, women's bodies have developed mechanisms (like holding on to body fat) to defend against factors 一 such as severe calorie restriction 一 that jeopardize menstruation and, therefore, reproductive capabilities. 

Hormonal factors

Women typically have higher estrogen levels. Estrogen promotes subcutaneous fat storage and can even influence where you store your fat, which means you may carry excess fat in your hips, thighs, and buttocks.

Hormonal fluctuations 一 specifically the rise and fall of estrogen 一 throughout your menstrual cycle and perimenopause can also make it hard to lose weight. Estrogen helps curb your appetite, so low estrogen eliminates that regulator and could cause you to eat more). Low estrogen also slows down lipid metabolism and increases water retention. 

On average, women gain about one pound per year after menopause but as many as 10 pounds during the transition into menopause because of the decline in estrogen.

The natural hormonal shifts during menstrual cycles or perimenopause aren’t the only hormonal factors affecting your weight. Imbalances, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), can affect your insulin sensitivity, which also makes it hard to lose weight.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding 

During pregnancy, women can expect to gain about 25-35 pounds, but many women gain more if they’re expecting twins or have gestational diabetes. Dieting isn’t advised during pregnancy because your body needs extra nutrients to support you and your growing baby. 

Breastfeeding women may struggle to lose weight due to the increased need for calories during breastfeeding and the impact of erratic sleep on their metabolism. 

Metabolic differences 

Men tend to lose weight faster than women because their bodies respond more quickly to diets due to their higher metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate refers to the number of calories your body burns simply to function. Since men are larger (on average) than women, they need more to burn more energy for their body to complete basic functions. 

How much muscle you have also affects your metabolic rate because muscles burn more calories than fat. Because men tend to have more lean muscle mass than women, they tend to have faster metabolisms. 

Therefore, strength training and resistance exercises are essential to your weight loss plan. They can help you build lean muscle mass and boost metabolism.


You’re more likely to crave carbohydrates and sweets during the days before your menstrual cycle. Because foods like chocolate and pastries are high in calories, cravings can quickly sabotage weight loss goals.

How semaglutide is changing the way women lose weight

Losing weight isn’t always easy, but your hormones and metabolic differences don’t have to hold you back. Our Premiere Medical Center team understands all the complexities of weight loss, including how your gender impacts your weight strategies.

That’s why we offer semaglutide injections 一 you may also know this by the brand names Ozempic® or Wegovy®. Ozempic is only FDA-approved for type 2 diabetes and is used off-label for weight loss, while Wegovy is approved for weight loss.

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, meaning it mimics the action of the natural hormone GLP-1 by binding to and activating its receptors, which, in turn:

  • Improves your insulin resistance 
  • Suppresses glucagon secretion
  • Slows gastric emptying
  • Promotes  satiety

In short, because semaglutide mimics GLP-1, it helps you lose weight. 

According to research published in JAMA Network Open, overweight people who received the weekly injection lost as much as 5.9% of their body weight at three months and about 10.9% at six months.

Semaglutide injections can even help women with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that made weight loss difficult in the past. Researchers found that 80% of overweight women with PCOS lost significant weight with semaglutide injections. 

Getting started with semaglutide injections 

Are you ready to shed unwanted pounds? The Premiere Medical Center team makes the process easy. Our team can see you in person in Toluca Lake, California, or virtually after you’ve completed our intake form.  

Here’s what you can expect in terms of costs:

  • Initial consultation: $100
  • Quarterly telehealth visits: $100
  • Monthly medication costs: $560 

For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards. 

Once you’ve completed your intake form and your initial consultation, you receive your medication directly at your home. Our pharmacy sends you four syringes (to use one per week). Although your medication is stable at room temperature for 30 days, we recommend keeping the vial refrigerated. 

Schedule your weight loss consultation

The bottom line: Even if nothing you’ve tried helps you lose weight, there’s still hope. Clinically proven, medically sound weight loss is just a call or click away. Schedule your weight loss consultation in our Toluca Lake, California, office, and find out what weight loss injections can do for you.