Women and men have a lot of differences between them, and the ability to lose weight at a fast pace is one of them. Think about that time you and your husband decided to make a lifestyle change together – you went to the gym, started eating healthier and dropped your bad habits all at the same time, yet the results popped up much faster for him than you. Why is that? According to endocrinologist Ula Abed Alwahab, MD, genes are most likely to blame.
"We hear this all the time, and it can be frustrating for women," Alwahab told the Cleveland Clinic. "But unfortunately for women, their genetic makeup can make losing weight a little more challenging."
Factors that contribute to the difficulty for women include lowered metabolic rate, affects of pregnancy, menopause and other conditions brought on by hormone imbalance. All of these changes in your life can make losing excess pounds and maintaining a healthy weight seem less attainable when you're following standard tips and tricks.
But that doesn't mean you have to sit around and let the weight gain ensue. There are plenty of changes – specific to women – that you can make to help the pounds shed quicker. Consider the following tips for losing weight:
Avoid Refined Sugars and Refined and Starchy Carbohydrates
According to Healthline, one of the most important factors to losing weight for women is by cutting the sugars and starches out of your diet. Because your body uses carbohydrates for energy, it automatically feeds off of those unhealthy, processed options you eat and will continue to rely on them as they continue to stand in as staples in your diet. If you stop, your body will instead feed off of stored fat and will eventually look to the healthy foods for fuel. Additionally, cutting out carbs can lower your insulin levels, which can keep your blood sugar in check, reduce bloating and help you lose water weight.
If you've eliminated the bad foods from your diet but you still haven't noticed a big difference, think about the beverages you consume. Commercial fruit juices, sodas and alcoholic drinks are all loaded with sugar, and they're some of the most fattening options. Avoiding them completely is one of the easiest ways to start losing weight. Start drinking more water and try concocting your own freshly extracted vegetable juice – it's a great option for mixing things up and getting those essential nutrients into your system quickly!
Prioritize Weight Training
Running on the treadmill and doing lots of cardiovascular activities may seem like the easiest way to shed the pounds. However, this isn't necessarily true for women. Since women naturally have less muscle and more body fat, their metabolic rates are lower. This means burning fat isn't as easy as it is for men, because when you have more muscle mass, burning excess calories can be a piece of cake. To ensure muscle growth as you age, resistance and weight training must be a vital staple in your workout regimen.
"Women should be weight training to gain the benefits of building muscle such as increased metabolic rate and prevention of osteoporosis," registered dietitian Dawn Noe told The Cleveland Clinic.
"Use machines, free weights and resistance bands to grow your muscles."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults spend at least 150 minutes doing moderately-intense aerobic activity and dedicate two days a week to muscle training. It's important that women work hard during weight lifting days, specifically with resistance training. The Cleveland Clinic suggested using machines, free weights or resistance bands to grow your muscles. If you don't have access to these tools, don't worry – your body is the only tool you need to build muscle. You can get away with doing push-ups, squats, lunges and other simple exercises to gain muscle mass.
If you want to try out some muscle-strengthening exercises at the gym but you're not sure where to get started, look into the fitness classes taught at your local gym. Learning from a trainer allows you to gain knowledge and skills to perfect your resistance exercises.
Follow a Plant-based Diet
While making healthier eating choices is important for everyone, women specifically need to pay closer attention to certain vitamins with age. Our Hallelujah Diet experts say that women should prioritize iron-rich foods during menopause, folate during the reproductive years and balance magnesium and calcium at all points in life. Iodine is also important for thyroid health and weight loss. Since women have less muscle and more body fat than men, they must prioritize these essential vitamins through healthy foods that don't overthrow their daily calorie recommendations. By following the Hallelujah Diet, women can ensure they're getting those vitals nutrients without consuming an abundance of calories from unhealthy, saturated fats and refined sugars.
A plant-based lifestyle encourages followers to get all of their fuel from a combination of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and organic whole grains. With these eating habits and an exercise regimen specific to women, you can watch the pounds shed at a faster rate than before. Reaching your goals doesn't have to seem impossible next to the male in your life – just make these adjustments and you'll feel more confident during your weight loss journey. And remember: you didn't gain weight overnight, so you can't expect to lose it that fast either. Take your time and be patient – your new lifestyle choices will make a difference before you know it.
Don't wait to get your life back on track. Join us on the path to better health today!