The question: Sometimes, it feels like men can lose weight so much more easily than women can—is there any evidence to back that up?
The expert: Dr Mitzi Dulan, author of The Pinterest Diet.
The answer: You're not imagining things. Frustrating as it is, there are a couple of reasons why it's harder for women to drop kilos. For one thing, men tend to have more muscle mass than we do. And since more muscle means a faster resting metabolism, men's bodies naturally burn calories at a faster rate. "We can be working out and changing our diet, but it's going to take a little bit longer to see those results," says Dulan.
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There's also a psychological factor working against women: Research shows that women usually have more of an emotional attachment to food than men do—which makes it that much harder to follow a strict healthy-eating plan. This also gives men the edge if they do have slip-ups: Women are more likely to take an all-or-nothing approach and eat badly for an entire day (or longer) after they make one "mistake" on their diet. Men, on the other hand, are less likely to have this kind of emotional reaction and are more likely to get back on track sooner.
Of course, women can and do successfully lose weight (just check out these inspiring success stories)—it just may take a little more effort on your part. Dulan recommends incorporating regular strength-training workouts into your fitness routine so you can reap the benefits of increased muscle mass, too.
While you can't change your psychological relationship with food overnight, you can make an attempt to deal with stress or other negative emotions in ways that don't involve eating. "Maybe it's going to the gym or reading a book," says Dulan. "Whatever it is, trying to avoid using food as your coping mechanism is a good thing."
And if you do find yourself slipping up, don't use that as an excuse to go hog wild and turn your kitchen into an all-you-can-eat buffet. "It's OK if you have one poor meal," says Dulan. "Just get right back on track the next day."