Losing weight is a hot topic and always will be. Whether you have a lot or a little to lose, you want to know the best way to shed those unwanted pounds. There's a lot of one-size-fits-all advice making the rounds, and it's just not working for women.
The reason that it's not working is because men and women don't lose weight the same way – even when using the same methods. You only have to look at the difference in a man and a woman's distribution of fat cells to understand this.
A woman tends to have all over body issues when it comes to the distribution of fat – from the neck to the arms to the midsection to the thighs. A man generally gains most of his weight in his belly, but everyone is unique, so you can't generalize too much.
The Role of Your Metabolism in Weight Loss
You can watch what you eat and work out just as hard as the next person and find yourself struggling to shed every single pound. A body's metabolic makeup is one of the reasons that people differ in how quickly they can take off excess weight.
When it comes to metabolism, there is no level playing field here. For example, men easily lose weight faster than a woman because their muscle mass plays into how fast their metabolism works.
It doesn't seem fair, but that's the way it is. Your metabolism is the way that the food you eat gets turned into energy. Your metabolism is what uses your calorie intake.
So, depending on how fast or slow your metabolism rate is, you'll either burn calories quickly – or you won. There are three main things that determine how well your metabolism will help you lose weight.
The first is whether or not you're a man or a woman. Despite thoughts to the contrary, men actually have less body fat than women. This is the case because with rare exceptions, men carry more muscle on their bodies than a woman does.
Men are often more focused on having muscles than women are. The more muscles that you have, the easier it is for your metabolism to work for you, burning calories.
If you have less fat – along with having a great muscle mass – then whenever you try to lose weight, you'll do if faster than someone who doesn't have those advantages.
This is why women can struggle to lose ten pounds over the course of a month and a man can drop it in a couple of weeks. Your bone structure also plays a part in how fast your metabolism works.
The bigger boned a person is, the quicker he or she will burn calories because of a faster metabolism. People that have a larger bone structure will also burn more calories while they're sleeping because their resting metabolism is faster.
Age also plays a part in how fast your metabolism will help you to burn calories. When you grow older, your metabolism slows down due to the changes that take place in your body.
Even if you're sedentary, your metabolism will burn calories, but you'll fare better with weight loss if you're exercising consistently – regardless of whether you're a man or a woman.
Avoid Quick Fixes
It can be very tempting to focus your weight loss on whatever rapid diet fad is floating around. But a quick fix isn't really a fix at all because the weight loss does not last for the long haul.
Most quick fixes are fad diets that involve cutting out complete food groups or eating weird foods that smell or taste horrific. If you eliminate entire food groups, your body isn't getting the nutrients that it needs.
You may also end up severely limiting calorie intake. When your calorie intake becomes too limited, your metabolism will slow down because your body will go into preservation mode.
Any diet that claims it has a miracle solution to all of your weight loss needs isn't being truthful. If there were such an easy fix, everyone would use it. There are scammers that will eagerly prey on your desire to lose weight.
These quick fixes create a yo-yo effect. You'll lose weight, but it will come right back. And when quickly lost weight returns, it often brings with it more pounds than you originally lost.
Not only that, but quick fixes can be dangerous to your health – especially if they're extreme. Any quick fix that involves dangerous methods should be avoided.
By using safe methods, you can lose weight and you'll be healthier while doing it. You can tell if a method is a quick fix with phony claims if it promises dramatic results overnight or in a very short time period for a huge amount of weight. There's no such thing as overnight weight loss.
5 Food Habits to Practice When You Want to Lose Weight
There's a reason that grocery stores put all of the tempting foods at eye level and within easy reach. We like things easy and fast and when we see our favorite fattening foods, it can override our willpower.
It's even worse if we're tired, moody or bored. How tired we are, how we feel and what we're experiencing can influence food choices. Denial can also be an issue when you're thinking of changing your food habits in order to lose weight.
When most women hear the word "diet," they immediately start thinking about all of the foods they can no longer eat. Losing weight is not as much about denying yourself food as it is simply choosing to eat more good foods over the less healthy ones.
The first food habit to practice is to plan for successful weight loss. This means that you don't want to have the foods that are your weakness within easy reach. You don't want to avoid them altogether because the more off limits a food is, the more your body will have a craving for it.
If you have certain foods that are your weakness, you should still buy them, but get them only in single serving sizes. The second food habit to adopt is to use portion control.
We tend to underestimate the size of the portions on our plate and it can be too easy to stay in that super sized mindset. It's always better to measure out portions.
The third food habit is to learn how you're sabotaging yourself. You should ask yourself if you're truly hungry or if you're reaching for something simply because it's your fallback mechanism kicking in.
Your fallback mechanism is what you rely on when you're feeling down or worried about something or you simply have the munchies. This is when you can eat more than you intended.
The fourth food habit is to fit your weight loss eating plan into your lifestyle. This is the area that trips up many women who want to lose weight. They plan out all of their meals at home, but fail to plan for the times when they might be working late or out with friends.
It can be too tempting to think that you've blown it for one night so you might as well over-eat. Figure out ahead of time what you're going to do to eat healthy for the times when you can't make it home by dinner.
The fifth food habit is to monitor your hunger level. When you get hungry, this can cause you to override all of your good intentions. Keep healthy snacks on hand and eat more often than you normally would.
You can break up three large meals into six smaller ones. Not only will you feel fuller all day, but you'll eat better and keep your metabolism revved up to burn more calories.
What's Your Weight Loss Plan?
You have to have a strategy in place when you want your weight loss efforts to be successful. There's some great advice available when you want to lose – and some not so good advice, too.
You want to make sure that you lose weight in a way that works for you. If you try to work with a weight loss plan that doesn't suit your lifestyle or needs, you'll only end up frustrated.
What works for someone else might not work for you and that's okay. It's true that weight loss is as simple as eating less and moving more. However, how you eat and how you move does play a role in whether or not your attempt will be a successful one.
There are so many different types of eating plans that you can choose from. Some are more structured than others. You can choose from well known weight loss programs like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.
These programs work wonderfully for some women, but don't for others. You can purchase books and follow diets like the DASH diet or the Mediterranean diet. If you're good with planning, you can create your own healthy eating strategy.
Your weight loss plan needs to include what you're going to eat, when you're going to eat and where you're going to eat. You'll want to figure in home, restaurants and office foods.
By having a plan, you have something that you can rely on to help you stay on track. Besides eating, your weight loss plan needs to cover exercise. What kind of exercise you're going to do and when is important.
Exercising Helps You Lose Weight
When you mention exercise, it can cause a negative reaction among many women. That's because exercising can become repetitious and boring. Plus, there's always something else that seems to call your attention – something more fun … something that you really want to do.
Exercise should never make you feel miserable emotionally or make you dread doing it. If you feel that way, then something needs to be overhauled about your exercise plan.
In order to be successful with weight loss, you have to burn calories. But that doesn't mean that you have to drag yourself out of bed every morning while it's dark outside to hit the gym.
It also does not mean that you have to come home from work, dead tired, and head out to yet another cardio class. First, you can always exercise at home. There are many great products on the market that make exercising from home easy and effective.
You can find a wide selection of workout DVDs that can help you lose weight and get toned. Secondly, you don't have to do any kind of structured exercise program.
Instead, you can choose to get moving and do things that you actually enjoy. If you enjoy whatever kind of physical exertion that you're doing, then you're more likely to keep doing it and reach your weight loss goal.
A fun activity can be anything that you enjoy doing that gets your heart rate elevated. Walking is still one of the best ways to take off those extra pounds. You can walk around familiar areas in your city and play tourist for a day.
You can even sign up for a walking tour. Walking on any surface that offers some resistance is helpful. One such surface would be the sand at a beach. Hiking is also a fun form of exercise. You can slowly build resistance, too – and hike different trails in your state.
Getting your pets out of the house is another way to enjoy some exercising. You can put the dogs on a leash and take them to the local park. If the weather is too hot or it's raining outside, you can walk at the mall.
Not only is this an interesting form of exercise, but you'll be able to do some window shopping along the way. If you're not that fond of going for a walk or hiking, you can enjoy long bicycle rides.
Riding a bicycle not only helps you lose weight, but it tones your muscles as well. You might find that you enjoy bike riding to the point that you join others in local competitive races.
Dancing is another form of fun exercising. You can do this at home or you can choose to join a club or take dance classes. The point is that if you make exercising something that you look forward to doing, you're more likely to stick with it than if you view it as something you have to do that you don't want to do.
Products That Can Help Women Lose Weight
There are some tools that can help you reach your weight loss goals. Some of these tools are very inexpensive while some will cost you a little more. Journals can help track your eating plan as well as keep up with your exercise data.
You can use it to record your measurements if you keep an eye on those. Your measurements are often the first indication that you've lost weight – and this can be something that helps keep you motivated on those days when you don't feel as if you're making any headway.
There are many essential oils – including ones such as lavender or patchouli – that can help you with your weight loss goals because these can soothe anxiety that can trigger an emotional eating response.
You can purchase meditation CDs or DVDs that can help you deal with overeating that might be caused by stress. There are also DVDs featuring many of the more popular exercise programs. Some of these programs don't require any additional tools, but a few of them will.
Exercise equipment can also be a big help when you're trying to lose weight. If you hate the thought of exercising, then look for equipment that helps make it fun.
You can find indoor cycles that feature pre-programmed workouts. But there are also gaming cycles that you can get. These are exercise bikes that come fully loaded with video games.
You can work out while you enjoy playing a video game. This kind makes you feel as if you're part of the track that the screen lays out for you. Video games can be a part of making exercising fun – especially if you have the newer game consoles. You can check out active ones like Wii Tennis.
Whatever equipment you choose to buy, there will often be a women's version, a men's version, and a gender neutral version. Check out the benefits and limitations of each one and don't force yourself to buy a piece of women's equipment if you feel you need some of the other perks offered on different items.