Is it Easier for Men to Lose Weight?

Sadly, I have gained a few pounds during this quarantine. Like so many others, we started baking bread, plus creating numerous weekly gourmet meals and lots of comfort food. Even DTD has been eating bread more often, but he hasn’t gained weight. I have a theory on why this is. He does not agree, and he is the one with the medical degree, but hear me out.

A few months ago, long before the pandemic, we had a delicious Filipino dinner, hosted by some lovely and generous friends of ours. Filipinos are similar to Italians, in that they felt it was necessary to cook for an army even though there were only six adults. There must have been 10 different main courses and 50 side dishes. It was a true feast and of course we had to try some of everything, because we are extremely polite dinner guests as well as hearty eaters.

While we were enjoying our meal, naturally the topic of weight loss came up. The women at the table opined the difficulty of losing weight as we age and the men had the attitude that is was “easy if you put your mind to it.” The idea that men lose weight much more easily than women was vehemently debated. DTD tried to be a neutral, but it was clear he thought the women were reaching a bit.

If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser or Naked and Afraid, you KNOW the women were right! (After reading that sentence, you are one of two types of people: either you’re thinking, “Naked and Afraid? Is that really a thing and who on earth would watch that?” Or you’re thinking “That is one of the best shows ever created!” and you’re someone I would be friends with.) On both programs, the men lose a ton of weight and the women lose maybe 3 pounds after spending months practically starving themselves and exercising like fiends, or literally living weeks naked and afraid in the wilderness with little to no food! If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. DTD being a professional doctor, doesn’t base his opinions on reality shows. The argument was moot.

Fast forward a few months to our son being at the dinner table and mentioning a pharmacology class he was taking in college. The professor, an expert in his field, explained that everyone reacts differently to medications/drugs. One reason is that men’s mitochondria are less efficient than women’s, which is why it can be more difficult for women to lose weight!

My head spun towards DTD so fast! With wide and crazy eyes I loudly declared “I KNEW IT!” I demanded a detailed explanation from my son. To sum it up, apparently mitochondria are the end step for turning food into energy and men’s are less efficient. So a woman might have to burn say one pound of fat to power through the day, but a man might have to burn two pounds during his day.

DTD’s added that there is much we don’t understand about weight loss. Why is it harder for some more than others? There are so many variables. We know for sure if you exercise regularly and limit calories, particularly sugar and carbs, you are healthier and probably will lose weight. He added that in the US men (75%) are more overweight than women (65%). Yada, yada, yada. My response was that those women are working twice as hard as the men. I don’t need a medical degree to see the truth. I have my 21-year-old son’s vague explanation AND I have watched MANY episodes of Naked and Afraid!

Readers, I welcome your thoughts on the matter – even though I know I’m right!

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