Both males and females may look to maintain a moderate weight for aesthetic reasons or to improve overall health. Indeed, maintaining a moderate weight can reduce a person’s risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
However, weight loss can be challenging for many people. Individuals of all sexes may face different challenges and benefit from different approaches.
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.
Do males and females lose weight differently?
The amount of weight a person loses and the speed at which they lose it varies from person to person and can involve various factors. However, generally, males tend to lose weight differently from females.
Males typically lose weight faster than females. One possible reason for this involves the amount of lean muscle mass in males compared with females. The more muscle a person has, the more calories they burn. Since males typically have more lean muscle, they burn more calories than females and tend to lose weight faster.
For example, a 2018 study of over 2,000 adults investigated differences in rapid weight loss between men and women who were overweight and had prediabetes. The participants followed an 810-calorie daily diet for 8 weeks. By the end of the study, weight loss was 16% greater in the men than in the women.
When considering weight loss for males, there is no one specific diet that works best for all. However, the following diets may be helpful.
High protein foods include:
Research from 2017Trusted Source indicated that male participants who followed a high protein diet were more likely to maintain their weight loss compared with those on a lower protein diet.
A vegan diet involves avoiding all animal products and consuming only plant-based foods.
Foods to avoid when following a vegan diet include:
Foods to consume when following a vegan diet include:
- nuts and seeds
- whole grains
- plant-based proteins, such as soy and tofu
- plant-based milk
A 2015 study found that adults who were overweight and followed a vegan diet for 6 months experienced greater weight loss compared with those who followed a semivegetarian or omnivorous diet for the same amount of time.
The Mediterranean diet generally consists of the following:
- a large proportion of plant-based foods, such as:
- whole grains
- nuts and seeds
- the following foods in moderation:
Additionally, the diet only recommends the occasional consumption of red meat and sweets.
A 2018 review investigated the optimal diet for safe, effective, and sustainable weight loss among adults who were overweight or obese. The researchers noted that a Mediterranean diet is as effective as a low carbohydrate diet in maintaining weight loss and boosting overall health.
Exercise helps promote and maintain weight loss, and some of the most suitable exercises for maintaining a moderate weight are below.
Strength training or resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to work against an external weight or force. Examples include:
- exercises involving the use of resistance bands
- exercises that require a person to use their own body weight
A 2021 meta-analysis investigated the effect of resistance training on body composition in healthy adults. It found that resistance training alone led to a reduction in the following:
High intensity interval training (HIIT)
High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts involve alternating between short, intense spurts of exercise and low intensity exercise. It is an alternative to moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT).
However, a 2021 study compared the effectiveness of HIIT and MICT among adults with obesity. The researchers found that the two methods induced similar levels of weight loss. However, the HIIT had links to a greater increase in cardiovascular fitness over a shorter time period. As such, HIIT may be the better option for people looking to maintain a moderate weight and improve overall health.
Do supplements and pills help?
There are many pills and supplements on the market that claim to help with weight loss. However, according to The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, most supplements do not help with weight loss and some may even be harmful to health.
While some vitamins may have a modest effect on weight loss, further study is necessary to form a definitive conclusion. For example, a 2019 meta-analysis reviewed the use of vitamin D supplements for weight loss. The results indicated that vitamin D supplementation may help lower body mass index, but further studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
Other weight loss tips for males
Some additional methods that may help with weight loss include:
- Getting enough sleep: Insufficient sleep may stimulate the hormones that affect hunger, encourage overeating, and affect overall weight loss. The Sleep Foundation says that getting quality sleep is an important part of a weight loss plan.
- Staying well hydrated: Sometimes, a person may mistake thirst for hunger and consume food instead of drinks. Staying well hydrated can help individuals avoid overeating.
- Getting enough fiber: Fiber-rich foods take longer to digest and can help a person feel fuller for longer. This, in turn, may cause them to consume fewer calories. High fiber foods include berries, whole grains, and legumes.
- Eating a variety of foods: People should aim to eat a rich variety of nutritious foods. Limiting a diet to only a few food choices is hard to sustain and may eventually lead to overeating.
Males and females may lose weight differently, in part because males tend to have more muscle mass and therefore burn more calories. However, weight loss can sometimes be a challenge for people of any sex.
The best method for maintaining moderate weight is to focus on making appropriate diet and exercise changes. The most effective eating programs comprise high protein, Mediterranean, or vegan diets. The most effective exercise routines incorporate strength training to increase muscle mass and boost metabolism.
There is no supplement or pill that scientists have proven effective in inducing weight loss. However, factors that can help a person achieve their weight loss goals include getting enough sleep, eating plenty of fiber, and staying well-hydrated.