Getting Off The Weight Loss Roller Coaster (Women's Edition)
You are a woman who has endured the weight loss roller coaster more than once. You’ve gotten your discipline in order, made the right food choices, added some exercise and hoped for the best. The scale may budge and you declare victory, but sooner or later, you find yourself back on that crazy weight loss roller coaster. Does this sound familiar?
Even that patented "eat less and exercise more" ceases to work effectively over time. As a woman, your body has unique metabolic characteristics and responds differently to exercise than men.
The problem is, most of the exercise information and research gathered over the last 50 years
has been primarily aimed at men. So often, women are training on principles that don’t take
into account their physical differences.
Getting a clearer picture of the factors that YOUR body brings to the fitness table will help you
take a more proactive and informed approach to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Check out these 6 health and fitness facts that all women should know:
1. Women and Men Don’t Burn the Same Fuel at Rest. Women naturally burn more
carbohydrates in the form of glucose. So the more sedentary a woman is, the less fat
The good news is, women actually utilize more fat during exercise than men. So women
who incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyles will make themselves more
Because you're more likely to burn more carbs at rest, cut back on them a bit on days when you won’t be exercising intensely.
2. Women of All Ages Can Build Muscle. A study at the University of Maryland followed
young men and women (20-30) and older men and women (65-75) for 6 months. Researchers discovered that, “Neither age nor gender affects muscle volume response to whole-body ST (strength training).”
However, most women (especially older women) have traditionally been trained to
workout with light to moderately heavy weights in longer rep schemes (8-15 reps). This
type of program is far less likely to build muscle and strength than heavy weights with
3. Women Recover Faster than Men. Research has shown that during heavy sprint
exercise, women have higher maximum heart rate values than men. This is probably due
to the fact that women’s faster recovery rates allow them to workout at high levels with
less of a drop in power and speed.
Remember this the next time you are doing interval training. Thanks to being a woman,
you can work out harder than the guy next to you.
4. Women Don’t Have to Rely on Just Testosterone to Build Muscle. It’s true that more
testosterone means more muscle mass. Women produce lower levels of this hormone
than men but they also have a different boost to muscle building.
Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands discovered that women produce
more of some specific growth hormones (GH) that assist in the development of muscle.
The combination of estrogen and GH enables you to burn more fat and increase muscle
5. Women Can Gain More Strength than Men from Strength Training. You may not
believe it but research at McMaster University in Canada discovered that “…in response
to the same short-term training program, muscle size increases similarly in women and
men but women make greater relative increases in strength.”
6. Lifting Heavy Reduces Your Stress Levels. Just the process of trying to lose weight is
stressful. Most women will fixate on the results and add stress by changing their daily
patterns including taxing self-control to eat less.
This inherently boosts cortisol and reduces fat burning. Yet lifting very heavy weights
changes your perspective. Engaging in an activity where you are more in touch with your
body reduces stress and allows for fat loss without deprivation and struggle.
When you focus on things that you can control, like picking up heavy weights with great form, and making your next meal your best meal, IT IS possible to get off the weight loss roller coaster.
Food is by far the most important component to gaining and maintaining that healthy, ideal physique. By adopting an eating strategy that supports your work in the gym, you’ll be more likely to stay committed to a long term plan. Add to that the enjoyment and confidence you’ll experience when the numbers you are watching aren’t on the scale but on the weights you are lifting.
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