Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Fat loss or losing excess flab in the body is the ultimate goal for many of us males and females. Although it is essentially about consuming fewer calories than the body needs, the results can differ significantly between the two genders.
In this guide, we dig deeper into why the mechanism of fat loss in females can be a complicated rollercoaster. We shall aim to dispel the confusion surrounding the weight loss process and how you can achieve weight loss effectively.
Why is it harder for females to lose weight?
Have you ever wondered why your male partner is losing weight faster? You eat healthy, you workout as much as he does, or even more. And yet, you seemed to have hit a plateau?
It is not just your imagination. And you are not alone. Allow us to explain why this happens. There are many factors that affect weight loss in women and here are some.
1. Psychological Factors.
· Social pressure – All the spoken and unspoken pressures to look a certain way puts immense pressure on all women. It is not uncommon for young teens and adults to fall victim to fad diets and crash diets hoping to knock off the flab. These diets might work for some time but after it, the weight comes back due to not gaining knowledge and habits on how to maintain the weight loss, which results in starting another fad diet and becomes a hamster wheel of fad diets back to back.
· Marketing strategies – The majority of the weight loss marketing and ads are targeted at women, this adds more pressure as well as increase the number of fad diets within the said above “hamster wheel”.
2. Physiological factors.
· Composition of the body – Women are generally smaller than males. Their bodies are predisposed to burn fewer calories due to the muscle percentage and BMR.
· Resistance – At the risk of sounding stereotypical, the female body is inherently meant for producing offspring. As a result, their bodies tend to hold on to weight and fat, the healthy bare minimum fat that a female should carry is more than what a male has to carry.
· Menstrual cycle – Females undergo a lot of hormonal changes during their monthly cycle. And this is a major player that determines the fat loss.
Fluid retention, emotional and physical stress, craving, and lethargy are the common problems associated with periods. And none of these are conducive to a successful weight loss goal.
Understanding the relationship between menstrual cycle, training, and diet.
(A disclaimer before you begin this chapter. We are not doctors. Therefore, consult a medical professional before embarking on any training schedule, especially if you have any health issues.)
During the monthly cycle, there is an increase in the production of two female sex hormones. Let’s see how they are tied directly to your training and weight loss.
Its production increases during the first 1 to 14 days of the cycle called the follicular cycle. Estrogen is responsible for increased fat burning, reduced appetite, and increased energy.
During this cycle, you have increased performance, tolerance for pain, and better endurance. Insulin sensitivity is also at its highest, so your body can burn more calories.
Take advantage of your body and focus on weight training and building resistance. Add more protein and carbs to your diet but keep the amount fat low.
Your protein intake should be anywhere between 0.7 grams and 1 gram per 1lb of your body weight.
You can continue this routine until the second stage of the cycle called the ovulation, which is around day 14 and 15. Your metabolic rate is at its peak, but you will also experience cravings.
However, your body is prone to injuries during this cycle. So, take your training slower and slowly ease off the protein as you go steady with the carbs.
Your carbs consumption should not be less than 150 grams daily.
After day fifteen, the third cycle, called the luteal stage, starts. Progesterone will see a significant increase, and you will experience a craving for carbs, experience lethargy, and mood swings.
Your body will be tender and your mood irritable. Concentrate on stretching and doing light exercises such as yoga and walking.
Your body will burn fat faster during this cycle, but it will experience water retention. So try to go easy on refined carbs during this time and increase the fat intake.
Your daily consumption of fat should not be less than 15% of the total diet.
After this cycle is over, your body will enter the follicular cycle, and you can continue with your normal training schedules. Keep track of your training and weight loss progress as you transition through the monthly cycle.
How to track weight loss.
Keeping track of weight loss is an important step. This is particularly true if you are involved in an active weight loss program. The idea is not to be obsessive about the calories but to be mindful of the diet, your training, and to be consistent.
Remember that you will see fluctuations in the numbers on the weighing scale. However, the majority of it is due to fluid retention, especially during the second and third stages of your monthly cycle. Your weight will stabilize if you are consistent with your diet and training.
Refrain from crash dieting and training extra hard when your weight fluctuates.
you will have more difficulty shedding the extra fat.
Our recommendation is to track your weight every week. Keeping in mind that you have a cycle every month, compare the data with the next month’s data.
With the exception of an extra 0.5 or 1 kg during the luteal stage of the menstrual cycle, if you are losing up 0.5 to 1 kg in a month, that is very good progress.
If you see the same numbers every month or the numbers seem to be increasing, I suggest making changes to your diet and training.
It is no secret that the hormones and the time of the month play a significant role in the fat loss in females. But does it mean that fat burning and weight loss is a farfetched dream?
Absolutely not. As we have explained throughout the article, understanding your body is key. If you know your cycle and where you are at, you can use that knowledge to your advantage and achieve permanent success at fat burning and weight loss.
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