We women have been fighting for equality with men for over a century. We’ve been battling tooth and manicured nail to prove that we deserve equal treatment, equal rights and equal rewards. And we’ve done pretty well for ourselves so far (give or take a few engineering jobs and the cost of a haircut).
However, no amount of bra burning can equalize one unfortunate fact of nature: that when it comes to women’s weight loss, we have a heck of a harder time of it than men.
And here’s the one instance we wouldn’t have minded an inequitable distribution of resources.
To many of you who have already done some double dieting or a couple’s exercise program, this may come as no surprise to you – and perhaps it comes with a bit of relief. For the confusion, horror and self-blame that comes from watching his scale dip down faster than yours – even while on the exact same program – is unnecessary. There’s a simple explanation for the difficulty behind women’s weight loss and, armed with the right approach, we can still come out on top in the end.
Women’s Weight Loss War
There are a few reasons why women’s weight loss often seems to take the slow road in comparison to men’s.
One of the major contributors to this annoying phenomenon has to do with body composition. Men’s bodies tend to carry more muscle than ours, which gives them a significant advantage when it comes to weight loss. Muscle tissue burns up to five times more energy than fat tissue does. This means that you and your man could be doing the exact same activity at exactly the same rate – or you could both be doing nothing at all – only his body will be burning far more calories than yours while doing it, leading to greater weight loss results for him.
Also, the type of fat that men and women carry is also often different. Women tend to carry more subcutaneous fat in their bodies, which lies just under the skin (and explains why more women struggle with cellulite). Men tend to carry more visceral fat, which lies deeper in the body, surrounding vital organs. While visceral fat is more dangerous for your health, it is easier to lose than stubborn subcutaneous fat, which metabolizes more slowly. So not only do we women tend to average ten percent more body fat than men, but the type of fat we have is also harder to shake off.
Women’s weight loss efforts also tend to get stunted because of the types of foods we’re drawn to. Research shows that women tend to crave more carbohydrate-rich foods than men do. Carb heavy foods – especially refined sugars and processed foods – cause your body to produce more insulin, a hormone that encourages fat storage.
Add that to the fact that women are statistically more prone to “emotional eating” (using food for comfort and to fulfill emotional needs), and the odds are pretty much stacked against us in the weight loss tug-of-war between the sexes.
Find Your Inner Weight Loss Warrior Princess
But have no fear – we can still win this war, and have the last laugh by achieving the lean, beautiful bodies of our dreams. Here are a few weight loss tips for women that will give you the advantage you need to succeed:
- Strength Training. Exercises that involve resistance, like weight lifting and body weight exercises, cause the amount of muscle in your body to increase and the amount of fat in your body to decrease. Not only does this allow you to burn more calories while exercising, but it also increases your metabolism and keeps your body burning calories even while you’re resting.
- Limit carbohydrates. Reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet by cutting back on processed foods and refined sugars. Instead, get your daily dose of carbs from vegetables and whole, high fiber and unrefined grains. At the same time, try including more lean protein and healthy fats in your diet.
- End Emotional Eating. Emotional eating is one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to women’s weight loss. Do you find yourself reaching for comfort foods when you’re down, or stressed, or simply out of habit rather than hunger? Then seek out new emotional outlets, hobbies, and satisfying activities that don’t involve eating. Keep nosh out of the house, and if you find that your bad food habits and addictions are too difficult to break on your own, talk to someone and seek out help.
- A safe, natural supplement program. A regimen of safe, natural supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet can help ensure that your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs, and can also help with women’s weight loss programs.
So armor up ladies, the weight loss war is on. Put on your game face and your yoga pants, because the time has come to kick some bubbly butt…