Health and Weight Management Tips for Women
It’s a frustrating reality many women have discovered, especially when they enter middle age: women simply don’t drop pounds as rapidly as men do. What works for men’s weight loss and health management, in general, may not have the same effect, for women. For women who are attempting to lose weight in order to improve their health, then, it’s important to have a clear idea of what will be genuinely helpful – and not to be hard on themselves if they can’t seem to shed weight or build muscle as quickly as the men in their lives seem to.
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Factors influencing Women’s Weight Gain
First of all, be aware that difficulty with weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it wrong or not trying hard enough. Venus Treatments explains the factors that can contribute to weight gain for women, and make it really hard to lose pounds once you’ve added them, no matter how disciplined you are.
For one thing, metabolically, women’s bodies tend simply to carry more body fat and less muscle mass than men’s bodies do. Since muscles burn calories, that means men are often using more calories than women are, even if they’re doing exactly the same things. Women who have experienced pregnancy have also likely experienced the weight gain that usually accompanies it, as well as the difficulty of losing weight and inches postpartum. Then when menopause comes along, women have a whole new set of challenges to deal with, including hormone loss and metabolic slow-down. This can result in added weight around the waist and belly, which may feel almost impossible to burn away.
Shifting Your Focus
If you’re thinking only about losing pounds, you may lose sight of some of the gains you make when you pursue a holistically healthful lifestyle. Yes, if you are carrying more weight than is healthy, you should make losing that weight part of your plan, but don’t neglect other considerations such as improving your muscle tone and flexibility, increasing your stamina, and achieving a less stressful lifestyle. So, if you’ve taken up running, for instance, and haven’t seen a change in your weight, you may nonetheless be feeling stronger, less anxious, and more energized.
Need some extra motivation? A smartwatch can keep you progressing toward your fitness goals by measuring all kinds of metrics such as heart rate, distance traveled, and calories burned. Add a couple accessories like a stylish band and screen protector and you’ll be ready to go.
Managing Your Eating habits
If you’re feeling sluggish, anxious, or blue, you may be inclined to turn to food for comfort, otherwise known as stress eating or emotional eating. This can lead to problems if your comfort food isn’t doing your health any favors. So, think about how you can replace those less healthy choices with better ones. This could mean snacking differently, on foods that are higher in nutrients and lower in sugar or carbs.
One strategy to avoid stress eating at all is to nip the stressors in the bud. First look at your living space and determine what you can do to boost the positive energy in your home. You’d be surprised what may be causing stress, such as clutter and disorganization. Simple steps like decluttering, incorporating more houseplants, and letting in more natural light work wonders. Also have a strategy for reducing stress in your life outside the home, like at work, by recognizing that stress is part of life and being confident that you can overcome it. Bringing in a little more humor doesn’t hurt either!
When it comes to snacking, look for healthy foods you can enjoy, and which also will boost your metabolism or improve your health. Or whatever your favorite indulgence is, limit it in quantity and save it as a reward for yourself, after you have completed something on your holistic health to-do list. Save the sugary drink for after your exercise routine, perhaps.
Finding Self-care Rituals That Help
Managing your eating habits could also mean finding methods of self-care to fill in for emotional eating. Taking time to meditate or journal could help you feel better. You could even create a calming space in your home to help you meditate, read a book, practice tea meditation or just take a moment to breathe and be present with yourself.
Or you might benefit from getting out in nature and taking a walk. Since exercise can help you feel better emotionally as well as physically, look for types of workouts you enjoy, so you’ll look forward to doing them.
Also, remember to stay hydrated, since persistent mild dehydration can make you feel physically unwell and mentally down on yourself. Perhaps consider checking in with a friend you can count on to listen and empathize if you’re struggling with making healthy choices.
The Importance of Weight Training for Weight Loss
One important fact to keep in mind, when it comes to women’s weight loss, is that building muscle is key. Yes, doing cardio is important, too, but if you’ve been doing a lot of running or aerobic exercise and aren’t seeing a lot of difference, this might be because you need to add resistance or weight training components to your overall fitness regimen.
Remember, too, that when you build muscle and burn more calories, this can help decrease insulin resistance, which is key if you are at risk for diabetes. Ideally, aim for at least three weight training sessions per week, and focus on compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts that involve large muscles and multiple muscle groups.
Warning Signs of Diabetes
One reason weight management is important for health is that if you are carrying a lot of weight, this increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Women’s Health notes that symptoms to be aware of, if you’re concerned about this form of diabetes, include increased urination, excessive thirst, bad breath, exhaustion, dizziness, and blurred vision. If you are having some of these symptoms, along with difficulty losing weight, you should talk to your health care provider right away.
Health Management Tips for Diabetics
Those who have Type 1 diabetes need to have daily insulin shots, while routinely checking their glucose levels. If you have or are at risk for Type 2 diabetes, however, you may be able to manage it successfully via exercise and good nutrition. Work with a health care provider or nutritionist to come up with a diabetes meal plan.
Focus on eating foods with less sugar, salt, and trans fats, and with more fiber. You can also look for clinical trials that will give diabetics access to potentially life-changing new treatments, while also contributing to the development of health care techniques that will help others as well.
There can be a lot of pressure placed on women to lose weight and conform to a physical ideal. Instead of thinking only about being thinner, adjust your goals so you are focused on being healthier and feeling more confident. This will yield better lifestyle habits which will make it easier and easier for you to continue making good choices, in terms of how you eat and exercise, and how you deal with stress in your life.
Article by Emma Grace Brown.