It Really Is Harder for Women to Lose Weight

The Washington Post looks at why it really is harder for women to lose weight.

Some of the differences stem from biology; other differences are behavioral.But the information that researchers are unearthing about the differences in the way that men and women lose weight inspires hope that the next generation of weight-loss advice will be more tailored and effective than the generic tips that have gotten Americans no closer to sliding into their dream jeans. (More than a quarter of Americans are obese, according to a May Gallup poll, a number that has been ticking upward for years). Although experts have long insisted that losing weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume, they now say that it’s much more complicated than that.

How much weight we lose is really not just about calories in and calories burned. Much of what we think about food and how our bodies use the food we eat is attributed to what’s going on in our head.

Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian and cauthor of “S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim,” says she has seen many women gain weight as soon as they get into a relationship with men because they start eating as much and as often as their male partners. “That turns out to be too much,” she says.

And then there’s the question of what drives men and women to eat: hunger for food, or some more profound craving. A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition established that women are more commonly emotional eaters than men.

And some emotional eaters, in an effort to feel better, are prone to reach for foods that will ignite the reward center of the brain, which tend to be the sugary, fatty, salty, hyper-palatable foods that can lead to weight gain, says Pamela Peeke, author of the “The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction.”

Häagen-Dazs at 2 AM? Sign me up.

In addition to all the normal things people do to lose weight, one thing many should examine is the mental stressors that are present in their life. Clear those up, and weight loss could become much easier.

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