It’s not in your head.
If you’re a woman, then you honestly face weight loss problems that your gender opposites don’t. Sometimes it can feel like you’re doing everything right and if you even consider having that extra bite you gain a pound. Don’t feel bad – you’re not alone. Because this seems to be an age-old problem, and one we’re sure everyone has encountered, let’s see what some of the facts regarding the issue of women versus men in weight loss really are.
Being Hungry Just Isn’t In Your Head
As women, we’re pretty much trained to pretend that we have an aversion to food, as if it would be shameful to want that beautiful chocolate drizzled desert sitting on the dessert cart. Well, apparently we can’t fool ourselves. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, even when women subject said they weren’t hungry when looking at, smelling or tasting sweets, like cinnamon rolls, or chocolate cake, their brains registered the desire to eat them. Men, on the other hand, did not have this problem.
Another problem women have to deal with, that men do not, is a large increase in a hormone that tells us we are hungry right after a workout. Therefore, that urge you have to go right from the gym to your fridge isn’t in your imagination. Research suggests that this might be an evolutionary problem. Women are designed to make sure they remain fertile, and one of the ways our bodies try to do this is by making sure we don’t run out of calories to burn. For example, female athletes and fitness enthusiasts who exercise “too much” may stop having their cycle, so that nagging desire you have to eat after exercise just may be your body trying to keep your reproductive system at its peak.
What You Like Matters
Another thing that seems to fight against us is the very types of food we desire, specifically, steak for men and carbs for the women. Unfortunately, just changing what you eat in this manner won’t fix the problem, and there isn’t anything to suggest that one is better than the other, it just seems women really do prefer carbohydrates.
Muscles, Muscles, Muscles
Men naturally have more muscle mass than women have. In the same ways women are designed to protect their reproductive systems, men are designed to have less body fat and more muscle, in part due to their primary hormone, testosterone.
However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Building muscle takes work but it can be done, try to stick to a rule of doing strength training at least three times a week and you’ll start to burn more calories and fat, even while you are at rest, just like the men do.
Women also face more difficult emotional issues that are intricately connected to their relationship with food. When it comes to being emotional eaters women are more likely than men to eat based off their emotional state. For example, some women will gain weight when they are in a relationship or after a breakup because of emotional stress. Depression, anger, sadness, and loneliness are all feelings that emotional eaters stuff with food. This affliction is predominantly seen in women and it can be a difficult thing to overcome.
Emotional eating tends to come from a desire to feel better, and because it is typically sweet and fatty foods that do so, it leads to weight gain and poor self-esteem. It is important to identify the emotional issues and deal with them in healthy ways, even if it means reaching out for help.
Women Typically Do The Cooking And Shopping
As much as women have become equals in the business world, more often than not we’re still the ones that are doing the cooking and food shopping. By spending so much time around food, it can be easy to get off track, with tasting, and choosing impulse foods at the store.
One way you can start to combat this problem is by getting the family involved and taking that extra time to plan healthy meals, rather than going for the faster or easier alternatives.
Overall, there are some serious differences between the way men and women lose weight. It doesn’t have to mean that just because you’re a woman you can’t reach your personal goals, you might just have to work a little harder at it, and be happy with slightly slower results.
Keep focused and remember that crash dieting won’t last, the only thing that will really help is making sustainable healthy lifestyle changes for the long term.