Ok ladies, we’ve made it through the temptations of Thanksgiving…barely, and more Holiday dinners are on the horizon. Sometimes those extra pounds seem unavoidable, especially for women. Why is it that women seem to have trouble with losing weight?
What Do The Numbers Say?
According to the Office on Women’s Health, 2 out of 3 women over age 20 years old in the U.S are either obese or overweight. Yikes! If the numbers don’t shock you, this simple fact will: Being born a female makes you more likely to be overweight or obese!
It’s So Hard Because…
1. Metabolism Works Against Us
Naturally, women have more body fat and less muscle. This has a direct impact on the way our bodies burn calories. Muscles require more calories to function and fat requires less.
You and the man in your life can eat exactly the same meal and his body will burn more of those calories. I know, I know, it’s so not fair, but men naturally have more muscle mass than women. Women tend to store excess calories in those hard to shirk areas like the hips, abdomen, and thighs.
2. The Family Tree
There’s some truth to the saying, “If you want to know how a woman is going to look when she gets older, look at her mom.” Studies have shown that the genes you inherited can affect your hunger and how your body utilizes fat as fuel.
The way your mom taught you to fry those chicken legs and put gravy on your mashed potatoes, can have an even bigger impact on your weight than genetics. The way you prepare your meals is just as much a part of your “DNA” as your chromosomes.
3. Diet Here… Diet There… Diet, Diet Everywhere
From the grapefruit diet to the eat-four-pickles-a-day diet, we’ve tried it all! Jumping from one diet to the next can backfire on your metabolism. You may have lost ten pounds on that new cantaloupe diet, but was it ten pounds of fat or ten pounds of muscle?
If you lost muscle, more than likely you will gain those ten pounds back and then some! Why you ask? Just as I said earlier, muscles burn more calories than fat. If you lose your muscle mass, you lower your body’s calorie burning abilities!
4. We Have Babies!
Gaining weight during pregnancy is actually a healthy thing to do! Most obstetricians will encourage you to gain 25 -30 pounds during pregnancy. Weight gain is a sign that your baby is growing properly and that your body is making the necessary changes to accommodate your bundle of joy.
For some women, the postpartum weight comes off without any problems. For others (like me after my second child), the baby weight gives us a run for our money! Hormonal changes that take place during and after pregnancy can make it difficult to shed the extra pounds. Caring for a newborn baby coupled with going back to work can leave you feeling short on time to hit the gym, meal plan, or even get adequate sleep.
Well, What Can You Do To Shed Those Extra Pounds?
Eat a Healthy
You can improve your sluggish metabolism by increasing the protein in your diet and decreasing foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Proteins like meat, nuts, and beans are packed with nutrients that fuel your muscles and help you stay feeling full (satiety) for longer periods.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with this one, but water is so important when it comes to weight loss. Your body needs water to get rid of toxins and waste and for your metabolism to function at it’s best.
Many people make the mistake of confusing thirst with hunger. Drinking eight, 8-ounce-glasses of water daily, will help you avoid getting dehydrated or feeling hungry. Water will help you fight off those cravings to for a chocolate bar.
While taking a brisk walk in the park is a great way to keep your heart healthy, high intensity exercises like jumping jacks and burpees are a great way to lose weight. Working out with weights, even 5-pound dumbbells, is a great way to increase your body’s fat burning capabilities!
Ladies, it may seem that the odds or stacked against us in the weight loss department, but if we make small changes in our daily routines, it can make a big impact on our health! Let’s do this!