It’s no secret that men typically find it easier to lose weight than women. It’s an unfair fact, but there are a number of physiological reasons for the differences between men and women when it comes to weight loss.
First, men typically have more muscle mass than women, and more muscle makes it easier to burn calories. A woman’s body, on the other hand, is predisposed to store and retain fat. Men tend to respond more quickly to exercise, while exercise for women often feels harder due to a woman’s smaller lung capacity.
But these facts don’t make it impossible for women to lose weight. By understanding how your body works and making small, healthy changes in your daily habits, weight loss for women is entirely possible. Here are a few weight loss tips for women, including the best weight loss exercises for women.
Don’t be intimidated by the weight room at the gym. Strength training is essential for building muscle, which in turn helps your body burn more calories, even at rest. Lift free weights, use weight lifting gym equipment or try body-weight exercises such as push-ups, squats and burpees to help build muscle mass.
Not sure where to start? Schedule an appointment with a personal trainer who can show you the right resistance training exercises to help you reach your weight loss goals. Add strength training into your workout routine at least two or three days a week.
Cardio exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, is the tried-and-true exercise for weight loss. The goal of a cardio workout is to increase your heart rate to burn more calories. When paired with a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise can lead to significant weight loss. And it’s not just for burning fat. The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderately intense cardio exercise each week. That amounts to 30 minutes five days a week. If cardio exercise isn’t part of your normal routine, start with 150 minutes per week, but for greater weight loss results, gradually increase to about 300 minutes per week. (That’s about 40 minutes per day, or 60 minutes five days a week.)
The best weight loss exercises for women don’t have to be complicated. Simple walking can do the trick. The key is to walk at a quick pace, so your heart rate remains elevated. Many people who have seen sustained weight loss over time started by walking just a few minutes each day, gradually increasing their duration and intensity. As the weight comes off, it naturally becomes easier to walk at a faster pace for longer distances. If you work in an office, take short walking breaks throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and hold walking meetings rather than sitting around a conference table whenever possible.
If you have bad joints, walking or jogging may be out of the question. Swap lower impact exercises like swimming or cycling for walking. Not only do swimming and cycling burn calories (about 500 per hour) to help you lose weight, these exercises provide a form of resistance training to build muscle mass.
High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, is a great way to burn calories, especially if you’re short on time. A HIIT workout involves short bursts of high-intensity movement with recovery periods and is proven to burn more calories in less time. The key to HIIT workout is keeping your heart rate at 80 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. New to HIIT? Use this guide to help you get started.
Weight gain is often linked to emotional eating due to stress and anxiety. If this sounds familiar, practicing yoga may be just what you need. Yoga can increase fat burn while helping to prevent weight gain. Relaxation during yoga can help reduce stress levels, thereby helping to prevent binge eating and emotional eating that cause weight gain.
These exercise tips, when combined with a healthy diet, can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Keep in mind that healthy eating doesn’t have to mean following a complicated diet plan for women. Instead, keep things simple. Make small changes in your daily diet, such as swapping high calorie drinks for water, reducing carb intake, filling up on protein and fiber, and eating healthy snacks to help you avoid getting too hungry.
Getting started on any weight loss plan can be overwhelming. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Schedule an appointment with a First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor to help you develop the best strategy to help you lose the weight and keep it off.