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How to Lose Weight for Women (this is what it really takes)

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It's not just in your head: Men do lose weight more easily than women. Women's bodies are predisposed to store extra calories as fat, thanks to the effects of female hormones like estrogen. Testosterone, meanwhile, makes it easy for men to pack on muscle.

It's probably no surprise to you that men are more muscular on average than women. But what you might not realize is that muscle burns more calories than fat. The result is that men have a higher metabolism than women and lose weight more easily.

That's not the only way that men's and women's weight loss differ. Hormonal fluctuations caused by women's menstrual cycles also come with bloating, cravings, and temporary weight gain, making it harder for women to stick to a diet regimen. Women are also more likely to have certain health conditions associated with weight gain, like PCOS and hypothyroidism.

3 Challenges for Women's Weight Loss

Women have three significant challenges to overcome when losing weight:

  • Adhering to a weight loss plan.
  • Staying satisfied with fewer calories.  
  • Increasing lean muscle mass.   

Weight Loss Tips and Strategies for Success

For many women, the difficult part isn't knowing how to lose weight. It's adhering to their plan through hormonal changes, energy fluctuations, and cravings.

Realistic expectations and sustainable weight loss techniques are the first steps toward success. Still, women also need strategies for staying on track when willpower wavers. This includes:

  • Streamlining healthy eating with meal prep.
  • Creating healthier versions of favorite foods.
  • Keeping junk food out of the house.
  • Redirecting social gatherings away from food and alcohol.
  • Finding stress management and self-care practices that don't revolve around food.
  • Getting back on track after "cheating" on a diet.

Tech is also a great motivational tool for female weight loss. A variety of apps and fitness trackers provide workout plans, log meals, track steps & sleep, and remind users to get up and move. One of the most popular apps is MyFitnessPal, which simplifies calorie counting and helps dieters set healthy goals based on weight and activity level.

Women who want to go beyond calorie counting and learn the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle can try Pocket Personal Trainer. In addition to fitness tutorials and workout videos, this fitness app helps women eat healthy with meal plans, grocery lists, and how-to cooking videos.

Painless calorie-cutting for women

Cutting calories shouldn't mean pushing through hunger pains. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is making smart food choices that cut calories while still leaving you satisfied, like these:

  • Eat a minimally-processed diet.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Eat more protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
  • Avoid empty calories from alcohol, soda, junk food, and baked goods.
  • Increase the volume of vegetables on your plate.
  • Choose leaner cuts of meat and poultry.
  • Satisfy sweet toothes with fresh fruit.
  • Running
  • Hiking
Calorie cutting for women

These diet changes do more than promote weight loss. A healthy diet also reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease and improves moods and energy levels.

While cutting calories is an essential part of weight loss, women should avoid drastic calorie deficits. These can trigger the body to hold onto fat stores and release hunger hormones. Instead, calculate your maintenance calories and aim for a modest 15–20% calorie deficit.

Why women need more muscle

Building muscle is one of the best ways to lose fat and keep it off long-term. Women may worry about "bulking up" due to strength training, but women aren't designed to put on muscle like men. However, strength training does promote fat loss, build bone density, and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Functional exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and deadlifts are a great place to get started if you're new to strength training. These strengthen the muscles we use every day to improve mobility, stability, and independence.

These are more activities that build women's strength and functional fitness:

Meditation for stress management

Women's hormones and weight loss

Do you struggle to lose weight no matter what you do? If you're following all the weight loss advice but not seeing progress, the reason may be hidden in your hormones.

In addition to regular hormonal changes that come with menopause, hormonal fluctuations can be triggered by poor sleep, stress, or underlying health conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or a thyroid disorder. These fluctuations often result in cravings, fatigue, a slowed metabolism, an increase in belly fat, and other changes that make it difficult to lose weight.

That's why proper sleep and stress management are just as important to weight loss as what you eat. However, some causes of weight gain are beyond self-help's ability to solve. From endocrine disorders to depression, talking to a doctor is the first step when health problems stand in the way of weight loss.

Losing weight can be difficult for women, especially as they age. However, the right weight-loss strategies make a world of difference when it comes to meeting your health and wellness goals. By understanding how women's weight loss works and how it differs from men's, women can finally move past the frustration of failed diets and take health into their own hands. 

About the Author

Sheila Johnson was a success story in the corporate world, but her health was another story. She left the corporate world to start her own business, on her own schedule. She’s seen so much personal success with her health and wellness routine that she wanted to share it. By creating wellsheila.net, she hopes that sharing her story will help others too.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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