While it can seem unfair, it’s a fact that men have an easier time losing weight than women. There are physiological and psychological reasons that make it harder for women to lose weight. Women tend to have lower metabolic rates compared to men and use less energy for basic functions. They also have different preferences in nutrition and exercise routines that make weight loss more difficult. However, knowledge of these differences can allow you to plan a better nutrition and exercise routine.
As men tend to have a higher muscle mass than women, they also burn energy at a higher rate — a difference of between 3 and 10%. Men also focus on lifting heavier weights to bulk up, which increases muscle mass and creates higher metabolic rates. Women, in fear of bulking up too much, often avoid this type of exercise. This can hinder progress toward their desired weight. Both aerobic exercise and strength training are essential for weight loss, so it’s best not to focus too heavily on one or the other.
The differences in nutritional choices for men and women are psychological as well as physical. One difference is that women crave carbohydrates while men tend to have a preference for meat. This lower carbohydrate intake can help men avoid weight gain. However, it’s not all bad news. When men gain weight, fat has a higher chance of collecting around the abdomen, while women gain weight on their thighs and hips, which is less unhealthy. Fat that accumulates beneath the muscles and around the organs increases the chances that diabetes and heart disease develop.
Cutting down on refined carbs and increasing protein is the best nutritional advice most women can receive. Keeping a food journal and practicing mindfulness while eating can also help women create better habits in their nutrition. Mindful eating means sitting down and focusing on the sensation of eating, which means no more eating in front of the television. This can help prevent overeating. Keeping a food journal can highlight trouble areas in your nutrition.
Something else to consider when it comes to the difference between weight gains between men and women is the stress women experience when they want to shed those pounds. Women tend to beat themselves up more easily when they miss targets, whereas men rarely worry when they eat a few extra portions in the week.
Stress creates excesses in the hormone cortisol, and this can make it much more difficult to lose weight. As important as nutrition and exercise are, it’s just as important to focus on alleviating stress. Even small changes in a person’s environment can help decrease stress levels and aid weight loss. This can mean creating spaces full of natural light, getting outside more frequently, decorating the space with pleasing artwork and plants, and reducing clutter in the home. Additionally there are natural supplementation options that have been proven to lower cortisol levels like Rooibos Tea, GABA and Ashwagandha.
If you’re not sleeping well, this will only increase your stress levels. Turn your bedroom into a haven for relaxation. Invest in room-darkening curtains, avoid watching TV before bed, and repaint your room in a calming color. Then pick up some comfortable clothing like pajamas or a flattering nightgown to promote good sleep. Some supplements can also help improve sleep quality.
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