We have all heard it and many of us believe that we have lived it, it seems easier for men to lose weight than women. There are differences, no doubt, but we can’t use that as an excuse to be overweight and unhealthy. We will suffer the consequences of overweight/obesity if we allow ourselves to be that way. We will also reap the benefits of extreme health if we work for it. Again, it’s merely a choice.
Men have more muscle than women and this gives them a higher resting metabolism. Women burn fewer calories at baseline. Since we are usually smaller, we burn fewer calories doing the same exercise. Our bodies also hold onto fat stores more efficiently than men’s to assist with pregnancy. In order to offset some of this make sure that you stay away from extremely low calorie diets that cause you to burn even fewer calories by getting your metabolism off balance. With your doctor’s permission include strength training in your exercise regimen to hold onto the muscle that you have and build more. It will stoke your metabolism to burn more calories.
As women age and estrogen levels plummet, metabolism slows down. As a result, women lose muscle and gain fat, especially around the midsection. Research also indicates that as women approach menopause, they tend to exercise less. Offset this tendency to put on this sneaky fat by getting more active. Amp it up to the degree that your doctor will allow and prevent the muffin top.
There is evidence that women are more likely to be an emotional eater than men. When a woman eats her emotions, she is more likely to reach for high calorie, sugar laden foods than men. To curb some of these cravings, avoid sugar which causes intense cravings for more sugar and stay full of good, nutritionally dense whole foods. We don’t usually want to eat when we are full and our nutritional needs are met. The worst time for cravings is when we allow ourselves to get empty and our blood sugar falls. Then we crave sugar and simple carbs to give us a quick lift. This is 100% controllable with minimal effort. Eat well and often and always remember that women cannot eat the same portion size as a man normally. They are bigger and require more calories. If you eat like your much larger husband, you will be his size.
And for Heaven’s Sake ditch the all or nothing thinking! Emotional creatures that we are, if we “mess up” one time, sometimes we want to just give up. Remember, a “diet” will not help you. That’s temporary. You are in this for the long haul, it’s a lifestyle and there will be ups and downs. Get up and keep going.
Eat more protein. A high protein diet can decrease cravings and boost metabolism. There is a study that indicated that increasing protein intake by just 15% decreased daily caloric intake by an average of 441 calories resulting in an 11 pound weight loss. (1) Make sure to get enough fiber. Fiber binds with protein to keep you full longer. A favorite snack of mine is a cheese stick with an apple. That combination keeps me from being hungry for a couple of hours.
Keep a food journal to be accountable for what you eat. It’s easy to forget the extra bites if we don’t keep an honest record. Every bite counts.
At David’s Way we encourage Intermittent Fasting. Read David’s article 16:8 Intermittent Fasting for some good information concerning IF. It helps almost everyone lose weight. With your doctor’s permission, give it a try. When we allow our blood sugar levels to stabilize, our insulin levels subside and we release stored sugar from our fat cells to use for energy. I promote IF, especially for women who have difficulty losing weight, because it worked for me when nothing else did.
Although women have unique challenges with weight loss, there are ways to lose the weight and keep it off. Read our articles, avoid sugar, work out with your doctor’s permission and commit to IF, again with your doctor’s permission. IF may not be suitable for everyone, especially diabetics. Whatever you do, don’t use being female as an excuse to be unhealthy. You deserve better. Get up and pursue excellence. We have given you the tools.