As much as pregnancy prepared you for every insane food craving (poor pickles and ice cream), you may not be prepared for the reality: those cravings were there the entire time, and they’re not going anywhere — they just get a little less bizarre. That’s why the geniuses behind The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine guessed there might be a medical explanation for this and reviewed not one, but all the studies — or at least the ones smart enough to get into Yale — to figure out why.
According to the report (and Valentine’s Day), chocolate is way more important to women than men, and some studies attribute up to 92 percent of all chocolate cravings to women. Men tend to crave more savory foods because meat, while women opt for sweet because they can be as long as you don’t eat the last of their chocolate. The biggest difference is that 50 percent of men reported being able to resist cravings, compared to 20 percent of women. And no, experts don’t think it’s just because you’re really strong.
It’s actually because hormones are kind of a bitch (they’re disproportionately mean to women). While men typically have higher levels of testosterone, which is associated with a lower risk of obesity and diabetes, women have higher levels of estrogen. And that sucks for them, because lower levels of estrogen are associated with increase appetite, while higher levels can lead to increase body fat. This is without taking into account the hormonal upheaval that occurs when “Aunt Flo” comes to town, which can add another 238 calories per day on top of your wife’s lose-lose situation.
Experts concluded that if these differences in cravings cause men and women gain weight differently, then they likely lose weight differently as well. Going on a diet together might seem like a simple gesture of support, but that could quickly backfire into a competition she can’t win. But if you’re spouse insists, you’re gonna have to sneak a few burgers in the car to be truly supportive.