Due to a variety of reasons, weight loss can be harder for women — or at least, it can require a modified approach. Our metabolism can vary from that of men and we’re also faced with different demands from society. Even so, much of diet culture seeks to target women, and it can be all too easy to fall prey to these schemes and gimmicks.
For these reasons and so many others, it’s crucial for women to focus on their health when attempting to lose weight. It’s also important to think critically about the reasons for weight loss in the first place. That’s where the following health-centric tips can prove beneficial.
Try to Avoid Diet Culture
Diet culture can be destructive and even downright dangerous — and most diets won’t even do any favors for your health and well-being. This is why instead of restricting foods and putting more pressure on yourself, you should focus on improving your diet and your overall health.
If your goal is sustainable and healthy weight loss, finding balance in your diet is much more effective than relying on restrictions. Balance means loading up your plate with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits but also doing so in a way that doesn’t trigger diet emotions or stress.
Consider Safe Supplements
If you’re looking to boost weight loss efforts or break through a plateau, a healthier approach may be to use a balanced diet in conjunction with high-quality weight loss supplements. Using supplements made for women is key because those that are meant for men often contain testosterone and other ingredients that can work against your body’s ability to lose weight.
When switching to a plant-based diet, it’s also advisable to add more specific vitamins and supplements. Calcium, vitamins B12 and D, and iodine are just some of the supplements nutritionists recommend. It’s also worth noting that an iodine deficiency can put women at a higher risk for hypothyroidism, which can make it even more difficult to lose weight.
Work on Building More Muscle
One of the reasons weight loss can elude women is that they tend to have less muscle mass than men. They also tend to store more body fat — an effect that is only made worse by pregnancy, menopause, and other hormonal imbalances. It’s a genetic predisposition that almost seems unfair, right? Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce body fat and build muscle.
Adding regular resistance training to your fitness routine is one such trick. If a gym is accessible, you can use weights and machines there. But you can also find resistance bands and small dumbbells online to build your own home gym. Alternatively, you could simply use your own bodyweight.
Focus on Health, Not Weight Loss
If you want to try the recommendations above to improve your health, you should go for it! But if you’re doing so out of a sense of shame or a need for conformity, it may be time to take a step back. You could very well be falling victim to body politics, which refers to the deeply patriarchal and systemic way that women’s bodies are policed by society. The overarching message is that women should strive to appear thin, youthful, and without blemishes.
But our bodies rarely live up to these unrealistic standards. That doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect, though. If you are content with your body and with your choices and you’re healthy, then there’s no reason why you need to change to fit someone else’s idea of femininity.
Your body is beautiful and amazing just as it is — and it’s yours! Don’t let society, the media, or anyone else make you feel like you need to lose weight. Only do so if it will make you feel healthier, stronger, and happier. Just avoid the toxic culture in the process.
Content written by: Sheila Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo Credit: Pexels