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Women experience more intense pressure from society to be a certain size. Everything from ads to pop culture tells us we should be thin and beautiful. This can be a hard standard no matter what your body type and genetics are. It makes weight loss that much harder, whether you want to lose five pounds or 50.
It's not just an aesthetics issue; extra weight puts you at risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. If you feel that your health is suffering because of excessive weight, it's time to make a change.
Being overweight isn't just about poor lifestyle choices and conformity to body ideals. There are many other factors involved besides diet and exercise.
Women have different hormonal make-up from men. Women carry more fat around their hips and thighs as a result of estrogen which helps them process the hormones needed during pregnancy. Estrogen also encourages blood flow near the skin's surface, making it harder for fat deposits deep within the body to reach the heart. This is why women are at greater risk of metabolic syndrome, a combination of factors that increases your chance of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
It takes longer for women to burn off less healthy food choices because they're metabolically designed to hold onto calories. This means making small changes like drinking regular green tea instead of diet beverages or opting for fresh fruit over a bag of chips can have a greater impact on your health.
For some women, this doesn't matter as much because their metabolisms are naturally faster than men's. However, even if you're one of these women who have a fast metabolism, it still slows down as you age and at the rate set by your genes.
Women have less muscle mass than men, so they burn fewer calories throughout the day - not just at the gym. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat so having more of it helps speed up your weight loss. It also boosts your calorie-burning potential after exercise and throughout the course of your day, even while at rest! That's like getting two workouts in one.
Proportionately, you'll also gain more weight than men due to muscle mass instead of fat storage if you're inactive. If this pattern continues for years, it leads to weight gain around the stomach area. This is more of a risk for women who are over age 40 because they naturally lose muscle mass as part of the aging process.
These factors make it harder for women to lose weight than men, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible or that you should give up trying. Here are some tips on how to overcome these challenges and finally start losing those extra pounds:
Don't make any drastic changes to your diet and do the opposite of what you've always done. What worked for other people may not work for you. Start by keeping a food journal to help you identify what's really holding you back from losing weight. Once you have it all out in the open, go online or buy a cookbook with recipes specifically designed for women who are trying to lose weight.
You need 8 hours of sleep every night but most women don't get enough due to their hectic lifestyles. Lack of sleep makes your body crave more calories which leads to overeating and weight gain.
Your workout doesn't have to be an hour-long at the gym or a multi-day campout. Just moving around for 30 minutes a day can make a big difference in your weight loss efforts and self-confidence, and it doesn't have to be all at once.
It can be hard to find motivation. Moreover, you might experience discomfort and even pain with exercise. It's important for women to wear the right kind of clothing when they exercise. There are sports bras for sale designed for every body type. Good support can encourage you to work out more often.
For some, the idea of working out at a normal gym is intimidating because they're too focused on their image. They might want to look for alternative workouts that are less social and therefore less judgmental. Yoga, Pilates, dancing, or strength training are great alternatives if you aren't comfortable in a typical fitness class.
It can be harder for women to lose weight than men. This is due to many factors such as hormones, body composition, and metabolism. However, there are things that women can do to help make the weight loss process easier.
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