How Fat Loss is Different For Women…

By Krista Harris | 4 October 2022
3 Minute Read

As women, it can sometimes feel like the world is against us when we are trying to lose weight, no matter how hard we try – the weight on the scales keeps fluctuating up and down. But what if we told you that is normal and for women it can be harder to lose weight in a linear way – but it is very much still possible!

Things change for women throughout the month and our trainer, Sam, has been doing some research…

By Sam Rigg

Due to the biology of women, taking measurements and weighing yourself within certain timescales may not resemble what is truly going on. Hormones and water retention levels will fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle  – causing your weight and circumference to fluctuate too. So try not to be disheartened if you do not see the results you are expecting straight away, these may just take longer to show.

Mid-way through your 28 day cycle, just before ovulation, you have a spike in testosterone. This is where your best performances occur, the hormone can allow you to lift heavier and feel stronger. Try using this to your advantage and get those PB’s in!

Towards the end of your cycle, you may find yourself suffering from PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) which can cause: sleep disruption, mood swings, tiredness, stomach pains and headaches. In turn, this can make sticking to a healthy diet harder as well as keeping up your exercise.

Research has shown that the effects of PMS can cause you to only lift around 60% of your normal weight! However, this doesn’t apply to everyone – some people experience this more than others. If you find that you experience this, why not try getting your cardio sessions in rather than weights around this time in your cycle?

During the second half of your cycle, known as the Luteal Phase, the average woman will burn between 100 and 300 MORE calories per day! Hence why women often feel the need for extra snacking and can crave unhealthy food – see, it’s all explained by science!

In knowing this, you can try and work your diet and exercise schedule around your cycle, by paying attention to how you feel in each stage. For example, when you know you may be craving extra food – make sure there are lower calorie healthy options to hand to avoid making unhealthy choices.

Women will respond differently to the physiological changes during menstruation, but everybody can benefit from starting to take notice and understand their cycle. This way you can equip yourself with the correct knowledge to manipulate your own weight management and fat-loss.

As well as the hormones and complications encountered during the monthly cycle, Menopause can also cause weight fluctuations in women. The lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight. To tackle this, it is important to stick to a regular exercise regimen, focusing on weight training.

Weight training at this time is particularly important as muscle mass begins to decrease which means your body will burn less calories day-to-day. Having a higher muscle mass allows your body to burn more calories and increase your metabolism which can help to tackle weight gain.

This is to be ‘useful’ and not ‘excuseful’.

Despite the physiological differences between men and women, the men and women at Instinct have all found success in their weight-loss journeys. Especially after the Instinct/6 or Kickstart programmes, we have had some amazing results…

These results show that it is possible, even if it sometimes feels like it is not! Remember not to be disheartened if those numbers on the scale fluctuate, try to measure each month rather than every week throughout your cycle to give yourself a steady view of how things are going.

If you would like to learn more and discuss this with a trainer, do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our trainers.

Click here to watch the full TED Talk with Coach James Smith.


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