By Jason Lewis
Have you ever wondered why women lose weight differently than men? There are scientific reasons for this. Men have more muscle and less body fat while women naturally have a higher percentage of body fat and a slightly slower metabolism overall. This means that when men start dieting and working out, they'll almost certainly show success sooner than their female counterparts.
What can women do to lose weight anyway? Here are some key tips:
1. Reduce Stress
Stress can contribute to weight gain, and at the very least, it can demotivate you to stick with your diet and exercise plan. Get rid of clutter in your home to create a more visually pleasing space (especially if you work from home!). Add small houseplants and get rid of heavy curtains to let in more light.
If you work from home, it may be time to make your home office feel like a real workspace. You might have begun a temporary remote job while working on a laptop, and perhaps you transitioned to a full-time remote role because it worked better for your schedule or your family responsibilities. Rework your office to make it brighter and more organized. Consider investing in a storage system for papers or hiring an electrician to install task lighting over your desk to increase your productivity and reduce stress.
2. Consider the Role PMS Cravings May Play in Weight Gain
It's no secret that your period can mess with your mood, your sleep, and your tendency to eat more carbs and sugar during certain times of the month. If you're noticing a pattern (maybe your diet is derailed by your craving for chocolate milkshakes for a few days before your period), try to substitute healthy alternatives instead of high-calorie treats.
3. Get More Sleep
A lack of sleep, or not getting quality sleep every night, can make you moody, irrational, and impulsive. According to Healthline, it can also be a contributing factor to you gaining weight or not being able to lose it: Having a higher body mass index is associated with poor sleep, not enough sleep every night, or changing the amount of sleep you get every night. Get at least seven hours a night, but make time for more if needed.
4. Revamp Your Diet
Focusing on the basics of healthy eating (lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) may not be enough to help you shed a few pounds, but it's a good start. Don't eat if you're not hungry, and focus on eating more protein to build muscle mass instead of storing fat. If you can't find the right diet for you and your body type, consider working with a nutritionist. Nutrition coaching can help you assess your dietary strengths and weaknesses and assist you in making a list of appropriate meals, snacks, and drinks you enjoy.
5. Focus on Strength Training
Strength training, along with eating extra protein, will help you build muscle and lose weight faster than if you were just doing cardio exercise. Use your body weight or a light set of dumbbells to start. You can find many workouts online if you don't have time to go to the gym.
It might be discouraging to start a diet at the same time as your male partner or friend and experience completely different results. Now that you know why women may lose weight differently (and often slower) than men, use these tips to combat disappointment and structure your weight loss plan for success.
Jason Lewis is a personal trainer and the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.