Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass and Gastric Band
One woman tried to lose weight with her boyfriend—and just about lost her mind. Here, experts explain why men lose weight so much faster than women, plus the best ways to try to slim down with your S.O.
After a year spent flirting over candlelit dinners and skipping the gym for between-the-sheets sweat sessions, my boyfriend and I decided we really needed to lose the 15-plus pounds we had each packed on since our first date.
He cut his soda habit to just one bottle a day. I sipped water and green tea like it was my job. He ate takeout every day for lunch. I made all of my meals from scratch. On road trips, I noshed on almonds and carrots. He bought beef jerky, a bag of doughnuts, and an energy drink from a gas station. I ran about 20 miles a week; he said he’d get around to it. And he’s still losing weight faster than I am.
Yes, it’s infuriating. But it’s also biology. Between their higher levels of testosterone and increased muscle mass, guys are designed to make weight loss look easy. “Women will lose less weight, compared to men, even if they cut the same number of calories,” says Brian Quebbemann, MD, a bariatric surgeon with the Chapman Medical Center in California and president of The N.E.W. Program. “Men need more calories to supply energy to their muscles and other organs, which are larger, on average, than those of women.” Even if you and your BF are the same height, he’ll have more lean muscle mass, requiring the consumption of more calories, says Quebbemann. “What’s more, men have seven times the testosterone as women, which increases their metabolism independently from the muscle mass factor.” And women? We’re bathing in estrogen, which causes our bodies to glob on fat, especially around the hips, thighs, and butt.
But if you’re like me and trying to lose weight with your S.O., getting hung up on how much easier weight loss is for him won’t do you any favors. Follow these five strategies to lose weight with your boyfriend, without giving up in the name of genetics.
If there’s any weight-loss lesson women should take from men, it’s that muscle revs your metabolism, says Wayne Andersen, MD, co-founder and medical director of the Take Shape For Life online health community. Plus, regular resistance training can actually increase women’s levels of testosterone and influence how the body hangs on to fat, says research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. (Don’t worry, you won’t sprout a mustache!)
If your plate is as big as his, you might actually gain weight. After all, even if they’re the same height, weight, and age, women typically need fewer calories per day than do their male counterparts, says dietitian Tori Holthaus, RDN, LD, founder of YES! Nutrition. Listen to your own body to guide how much you need. Likewise, what foods he decides to eat shouldn’t determine your menu, she says. Even if you’re trying to lose weight together, it’s important to do it in a way that fits your tastes and preferences. That’s the only way it’s sustainable.
When his weight drops off faster than yours, it’s easy things to get competitive. Instead, consider his success your success, Holthaus says. In the end, the healthier he is, the longer he’ll be around (and the sexier he’ll look when he crawls in bed with you every night). “Cheer each other on for the small daily wins in your efforts to be healthier, and encourage each other if things get a little off-track,” she says.
When it comes to weight loss, fast isn’t always a good thing. Remember that the faster you lose weight, the greater the chances that you’re burning not only fat but calorie-torching muscle as well. So instead of trying to catch up to your guy’s weight-loss totals, aim to lose a maximum of about one to two pounds per week. That will guarantee that your weight loss is both healthy and sustainable. Do that, and after about six months, most women will find that they’ve actually lost a similar amount of weight to most guys, Andersen says.
You don’t need to be—and shouldn’t be—as lean as a guy! For optimum health, 12 to 18 percent of a man’s weight should come from fat. For women, that target balloons to 18 to 24 percent, Quebbemann says. Try to achieve the same body fat percentage as your boyfriend, and your health will suffer. “Women with less than 12 to 14 percent body fat content will often have irregular menstrual cycles,” he says. “Plus, body fat seems to have a substantial effect on emotional health, with women often suffering from depression when they ‘achieve’ extremely low body fat percentages.” You do you, ladies.
New year. NEW Fit. New YOU.
When most people hear of medical weight loss and The NEW Program, they automatically think of one word: surgery.
That word can carry a lot of weight for some people. Maybe it’s a word that has fear associated to it or it is one that someone may want to avoid at all costs. Or maybe for some, it’s a word they want to pursue, but because of certain factors, they are not candidates for it. But whatever that word may mean to you, surgery is not the only option for weight loss with The NEW Program.
Our NEW Fit program is a non-surgical, high impact weight loss program designed by our doctors for patients to lose a substantial amount of weight over a 12 week period and to build healthy relationships with food to ensure success after completion of the program. If you’re tired of dieting with little results or no long lasting changes, and ready to develop healthy eating habits that stick, then this program is for you!
Starting The NEW Fit program is simple– schedule an appointment to have a medical nutrition consult! In fact it is so simple, that many of our patients begin the program that same day. The program consists of weekly visits with one of our nutritionists, to track your progress and keep you accountable. These visits will help tailor the program specific to your health, lifestyle and weight loss goals,
Instead of handing you a list full of suggestions on food you can or cannot eat, the NEW Fit program starts out as a complete high protein, low carb meal replacement package. That’s right– COMPLETE. There’s no wondering over certain items at the grocery store or feeling directionless with NEW Fit, which has been a giant relief for our program participants. At each weekly visit, you will receive your “groceries” for the week and a menu to help you sort through the assortment of healthy and tasty meal replacements we give to you. How much easier could it get?
While going through the NEW Fit program, you can rest assured that this isn’t your average cookie-cutter diet plan, made up of rules and steps for people to follow that may not be the best for each person individually. Some programs may offer promising results, but they don’t factor in individuality and the fact that not all patients are exactly alike. At the end of each six week segment, you and the nutritionist will evaluate what the best next step for you will be. Whether that be starting a new phase of the program or possibly repeating the same one to maximize your weight loss goals, it will be a decision based on what’s best for you individually. Eventually, you will finish the NEW Fit Program with the “transition phase,” where you will learn how to design your own healthy meal plan. In this phase, you will receive 50% meal replacements and and start to incorporate two meals each day of your own.
Are you ready to finally start off a new year with goals you don’t only make but can actually keep? Call us today about our NEW Fit program and say hello to the new you! 949-722-7662
1. Eat Chewable Food—Not “Mush”
-Chewing food provides more satisfaction when eating. Eating soft mushy foods that don’t require chewing will decrease your satisfaction after a meal and result in less satiety.
2. Eat 2-3 meals per day and 2-3 snacks per day. (eat 5-6 times/day)
-Eating regularly during the day will maintain a higher metabolism. Skipping meals will also result in fluctuations of your blood sugar and energy level and may cause cravings and headaches. Always eat breakfast!
3. At least three of the meals should be high protein meals.
-Remember, “protein first.” Protein causes more satiety than carbohydrates. When eating smaller portions, following a pattern of starting with protein-based foods (meat, fish, eggs, etc…) will also ensure better nutrition.
4. Drink at least 2 quarts of calorie-free beverage per day, and drink 1 glass (8oz) of water, 30 minutes prior to regular meals. Do not drink during meals.
-Dehydration will often be mistaken as hunger, resulting in a need to eat more. Drinking a thirst-quenching liquid prior to meals will also eliminate the feeling of a need to drink during the meal.
5. Eat good tasting, flavorful food; chew well and eat slowly.
-This is very important. You will be eating slowly and chewing for a longer time, and therefore you need to make sure that you have good tasting food that you enjoy. This is an important part of feeling satisfied after a meal.
Dr. Quebbemann is a renown weight loss expert and he often receives interview requests and invitations to speak on a variety of topics related to weight loss. One topic that is often addressed by Dr. Quebbemann is metabolism. He recently spent some time responding to some questions about it. Here are some of his responses:
1. Medically speaking, what is “metabolism”? What role does it play in weight loss?
Metabolism is the way our body takes in, modifies and uses the calories we eat and drink. Our bodies carefully regulate our metabolism through hormones and other mechanisms to ensure that we have enough energy to survive and to be physically active.
Experts in metabolism distinguish two general types of metabolism, resting metabolism, also called resting metabolic rate, or RMR, and active metabolic rate. Your resting metabolic rate represents the calories your body burns when you’re at rest during the day, where your active metabolic rate, AMR, includes the calories you burn while active, whether brushing your teeth, doing housework or weight lifting.
Since your weight depends on the balance between calories taken in by eating and drinking, and calories burned throughout the day, your active and resting metabolic rate will affect your weight.
If your overall metabolism is higher, you will burn more calories throughout the day, and tend to accumulate less body fat. If your total daily energy expenditure is greater than the calories in the food you eat, then you will lose weight.
2. What are some of the things that people/patients often don’t know about metabolism?
A common misconception is that many people are overweight due to a low metabolism; this just isn’t true. Experts in weight loss know that excess weight and obesity is caused mainly by eating too many calories and getting too little physical exercise.
However, metabolism is affected by muscle tone and by the amount of excess body fat a person has. People with excess body fat generally have hormone imbalances that affect their metabolism, slowing it down, and making it more likely that they will gain even more weight.
3. What can cause metabolism to slow down?
The most common cause of a slower metabolism in America today is lack of exercise.
4. How does aging affect metabolism?
Age tends to result in a decrease in growth hormones as well as a change in your sex hormones, all of which will decrease your metabolism. The effect of aging on your metabolism varies from person to person and is determined to a large extent by your genetics. However, remaining active, and maintaining your muscle tone and aerobic conditioning will do a lot to decrease the effects of aging on your metabolism, allowing you to keep your metabolism high well into your older years.
5. What are some medical conditions that can cause metabolism to slow or speed up?
The most commonly recognized disease that causes your metabolism to slow down is hypothyroidism. However, many other conditions will cause your metabolism to slow, including decreased testosterone or “low-T”, menopause, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome and even stress.
6. What are some foods that can affect metabolism?
The type of food you eat has only a small effect on your metabolism, but some food requires a lot more energy to digest and absorb into your system. Food that takes more calories to digest results in less calories being available for your muscles to use, but also less calories that cause weight gain.
Foods that digest easily, such as high glycemic index foods like sugar and processed carbs, cause a sudden spike in blood sugar and a subsequent spike in production of insulin. If you’re burning off these calories at a rapid pace, such as during a triathlon, your body will rapidly metabolize sugar in your muscles and liver, generating energy. If you’re not actively burning up these calories, the increase in the hormone insulin in your body will result in accumulation of calories in the form of fat, even within your muscles
A “double whammy” occurs when you eat high glycemic index food, like frosted corn flakes, when you’re sitting around, resting, because high blood sugar levels cause a decrease in growth hormone. Decreased growth hormone further drives down your metabolism, limits your “energy level” and decreases your ability to maintain lean muscle mass.
7. Can the manner in which you eat affect your metabolism (eating regularly throughout the day vs. starving and gorging, for example)?
The way a person eats does have some effect on metabolism, but it’s a small effect in general. Fasting for long periods will result in a decrease in a person’s basal metabolic rate, but this is not a common problem.
Short term fasting, on a daily basis, such as skipping meals, will also result in an intermittent decrease in resting metabolic rate.
8. Can exercise affect metabolism – for example, can your overall metabolism be elevated by exercising regularly?
Mild, easy activity, such as relaxed walking, has little effect on your hormones. More strenuous exercise, the kind that makes you sweat, causes an increase in the levels of many hormones in your body, including Growth Hormone and Testosterone, both in men and in women. This results in increased calories being burned, not only during exercise, but also afterwards as your muscles repair themselves and grow stronger and bigger. As a result, not only does your metabolism dramatically increase during strenuous exercise, but your basal metabolic rate increases, meaning you burn more calories in between workouts as well.
A little known, but very important fact, is that excess body fat causes your overall metabolism to decrease. Your muscles lose their normal ability to metabolize the calories that you eat, and instead your those calories get stored in your body as fat. So, as people lose muscle tone, and become more overweight, their tendency to accumulate fat increases.
9. Is gender a factor in metabolism?
Gender is a definite factor in metabolism, but not much of a factor in energy balance. Men have more testosterone which results in an increased energy level and helps to build muscle, resulting in increased basal metabolic rate, and increased calorie burning during exercise. This simply means that men need more energy intake to balance out calories burned. However, men are just as likely to consume more calories than they need, resulting in an imbalance that causes weight gain.
10. Can hormonal issues affect metabolism, and how?
Hormones are molecules produced by our body that control everything from when we sleep, to energy level, sex drive, hunger and also metabolism. Diseases such as hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) and Cushing’s syndrome (too much cortisol) change your metabolism causing weight gain. But, more commonly, hormone levels are changed slightly by how we live; in other words our lifestyle and physical health significantly changes our hormones. Increase stress, lack of exercise, poor muscle tone and obesity will all cause an imbalance in testosterone, cortisol, insulin and growth hormone resulting in abnormal mood swings, decreased sex drive, low energy, and weight gain. Keeping fit, helps maintain a normal hormone balance, preventing many of these problems.
If you are having difficulty achieving permanent weight loss, The N.E.W. Program team is here to help! Our team of physicians are experts in weight loss and have experience working through all obstacles to help you lose weight. We have helped thousands of patients who thought they had lost their battle with weight, regain the upper-hand and conquer it! If you would like us to join your weight loss team, call us! 949-722-7662