Lose Fat

Diet 911: Male and Female Nutrition Differences

How different are the dieting needs of men vs. women who want to lost fat and build muscle?


Everyone knows crushing weights won't get you anywhere if you don't have the right diet to match. Even if you think you're eating all the right things, taking all the right supplements and getting all the right nutrients at the right time, there might be some adjustments you can make to reach your goals faster. That's where we come in.

This week, Eric Falstrault, founder of BODHI Fit in Montreal, Canada, takes a look at a meal plan from Muscle & Fitness reader Toni Lesatz. Want help with your diet? Submit it to Diet911@muscleandfitness.com and one of our nutrition experts will take a look. 

"I'm trying to lose 15 pounds and gain muscle with strength training at the same time."

Although I’m missing some basic information, what you sent gave me a good idea that you’re making one of the most common mistakes by women trying to gain lean muscle. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to gain lean mass and lose fat at the same time. Women aren’t that different from men, but there are some small differences when it comes to training and dieting down to the perfect body fat percentage. For example, an ideal body fat range for females is 15 percent and for males 10 percent when tested with a 12-fold-site caliper test.

Why is body fat so important? Let’s say you lose 10 pounds. You could lose 10 pounds of fat or muscle mass, but on the scale, it still comes out to 10 pounds, but with very different health consequences. Losing 10 pounds of lean mass means inflammation and higher cortisol, lowered metabolism rate and, most probably, fat gain. This is only the start of a cascade of unhealthy consequences. Although some people will say we still need fat to be healthy, if you stay within the range of 10 to 15 percent, you won’t have any problem gaining lean mass and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In these ranges, the body functions optimally, I see it and prove it all the time with client’s blood work. 


  • 1/2 cup (dry) Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 8 oz. Starbucks Coffee with 1/2 oz. cream and 1 tsp. sugar


  • Homemade Garden Salad w/ Vinaigrette
  • 1 oz. Chicken Breast - Boneless, Skinless, Broiled
  • 1 packet Crystal Light Fruit Punch


  • 1 slice Food.Com Moist Turkey Meatloaf
  • 1/2 cup Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn, 
  • 1/2 cup Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 oz. Shiitake and White Button Mushrooms Sauteed In Olive Oil
  • 1 cup 2% Milk


  • 43 g Wonderful Pistachios Roasted and Salted in shell

How Did Our Expert Fix This Diet? >>

For access to exclusive fitness advice, interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!