Healthy Weight Loss Strategies for Women
It should come as no surprise that women gain and lose weight differently from men. And yet health and fitness industries often lump everyone together, despite the many differences in our physiology, hormones, metabolism, and recovery. Diet and exercise programs designed for men may not always be effective for women. If you’re interested in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, read on for strategies that are tailored to the needs of women.
Ditch the diet
Before you start blindly cutting calories or outlawing your favorite treats, take an inventory of where you currently stand. Do you already have pretty healthy eating habits? If so, what other factors might be contributing to your body composition? If you have a sedentary lifestyle, a hormonal imbalance, or take medications that can cause weight gain, address these concerns with your healthcare provider before jumping onto a diet bandwagon.
Then, if you think you do need a bit of help adjusting your eating habits, talk to a registered dietician or an intuitive eating coach. Research shows that dieting is unlikely to lead to lasting weight loss, so it’s important to think about the big picture, not just the number of calories you consume. The road to weight loss isn’t always well-marked or easy to follow, but personalized guidance on how to maintain healthy eating habits can help get you there.
Find your exercise sweet spot
With exercise geared toward weight loss goals, more isn’t always more. The type of exercise you do (and how your body responds to it) is just as important as the frequency or duration. However, it can be hard to know where to start.
It’s important to remember that there is no ‘best’ type of exercise for everyone. The best exercise for you isn’t necessarily the kind that burns the most calories, but rather, the type that you enjoy and gives you the results that you want.
When you look for your exercise sweet spot, aim to feel both challenged and successful. For example, if you’re a runner, consider using an app that helps you plan enjoyable routes for your runs, as well as tracks your mileage and pace. You can also use a smartwatch to help motivate you to improve on your previous results, as well as keep it fun, but make sure you also purchase a screen protector to shield your device from potential damage.
Stress is public enemy number one for women pursuing weight loss goals. Left unchecked, stress also can contribute to several health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, menstrual problems, poor mental health, and autoimmune disorders. While it’s unlikely that you can avoid stress altogether, there is a lot you can do to minimize its impact and cope effectively.
Consider making personal or lifestyle changes that will reduce your overall stress levels. Are you overworked? Is there tension in any of your relationships? Addressing any stress-inducing issues directly will have a big impact on both your overall health and your weight loss goals. Yoga, meditation, and healthy sleep habits are also proven ways to manage feelings of stress.
Every individual has a unique journey toward the weight that is healthiest for them. No two people who eat the same diet and perform the same workouts will have the same results. Our physiology, genetics, psychology, gender, and age all impact how we respond to health and fitness programs. By ditching one-size-fits-all solutions and using a personalized approach, you’ll be more likely to find a lasting weight loss strategy that works for you.
Guest article written by Natalie Jones from http://homeownerbliss.info/blog/
Photography: Debby Hudson, Ella Olsson, Morgan Sarkissian, Patrick Malleret, S-Migaj Wesley, Tingey Simon Rae