Why It’s Harder for Women to Lose Fat

Why It's Harder for Women to Lose Fat

Fat loss is harder for females. It’s not your imagination and it has nothing to do with willpower or strength. We are different, physically and emotionally, and it affects our ability to shed fat.

Let’s start with the obvious difference – hormones. Estrogen is the hormone that gives us the curves we were meant to have but it is indeed a fat storing hormone. Estrogen levels can also change years before we notice the symptoms of menopause. Low estrogen levels and low thyroid levels (women are five to eight times more likely to have hypothyroidism than men) along with increased cortisol are common reasons women struggle with fat loss. Minor imbalances in cortisol can be restored with some basic lifestyle changes while other hormone imbalances might require medication intervention. (I am NOT a doctor, so always consult yours for the best course of action.)

Female Fat Loss Rule #1
Get a physical and have your thyroid tested. Check the results against the latest guidelines for normal TSH, T4 and T3.

Female Fat Loss Rule #2
Go organic for meat and dairy. The hormones conventional livestock are treated with can affect your own hormone balance. You ARE what you eat.

Your workouts may also be hurting, not helping your quest to lose fat. Doing your boyfriend’s strength workout of bicep curls and leg extensions isn’t going to help you shed fat. He’s focused on building big guns. You’re focused on getting lean. You want to shape your body but you need to do it in a way that burns fat at the same time.

Female Fat Loss Rule #3
Do a full body strength workout two to three days a week. Make compound movements (like squats and pushups) the foundation of the workout. If you do an isolation movement (like a bicep curl) it needs to done at the same time as a compound movement (like a shoulder press at the top of your squat).

You probably spend more time doing cardio than he does too. Working your heart muscle is important to your health you just need to be smart about it for fat loss. If you want to keep burning calories for longer after your workout decrease your time and increase your intensity.

Female Fat Loss Rule #4
Add intervals to your treadmill routine. Add five – eight 30-second sprints or incline intervals to your 30 minutes on the treadmill. How fast or high depends on your fitness level. You should be working hard enough that you can talk but only a few words at a time in between breaths.

Last but not least are our relationships. Most women are people pleasers and have a hard time saying no, except to ourselves. We will easily put our own goals on the back burner to take care of others. Most men don’t have the household and child care responsibilities that women do, making it easier for them to slip out for a run or meet the guys for a workout. Many women find letting go of the guilt we feel when we take time for ourselves extremely challenging. But if we break down we won’t have anything left to give others. Self-care is crucial to being strong for everyone who depends on us.

Female Fat Loss Rule #5
Schedule your workouts on the family calendar. This makes them just as important as the kids’ soccer game or his office picnic. Have a family meeting to discuss how everyone’s activities are important and how you will all work together to make them happen.

Need more tips to get your fitness journey moving in the right direction? Sign up for my email list and  be one of the first to receive a copy of my new ebook, The 4 Keys to Real Fitness!

  • carla birnberg

    number 3!!! number 3!!!! :-)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Tricep kickbacks drive me crazy. :)

  • Brittany Trentham

    Yes!!! Love this. Thyroid is such a big thing that is overlooked!

  • Sarah Kerner

    These are such great tips. I’ve definitely gotten lax about scheduling my workouts lately. Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    You’re welcome. It’s easy to do. :)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    And doctor’s aren’t always up to date on the latest guidelines either.

  • Itz Linz

    absolutely! such great points!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Thank you!

  • Jennifer Speer

    I can attest to the need for the self care, this week I had a ton going on and didn’t get to workout until today. I am a much happier girlfriend afterwards who is more willing to help out.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    I know! If I take just 30 minutes for myself I am much better person afterwards.

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  • Melissa Wallace Boerio

    Strength training provides a much more sustained post-exercise caloric burn than any cardio you can do. Cardio is an important part of your routine, but strength training- even if you stick to challenging body-weight workouts – give you a leaner physique, better muscle tone, and more calorie burn throughout your day.

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Strength training is important for fat loss and overall health, agreed!

  • Toni Church

    Great post, now if I could only convince my husband that it is actually harder for women to lose fat!

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    Good luck!

  • Shira Miller

    Great info and it sure makes lots of sense. I’ve had to keep changing things up in my forties and find that I get so much more benefit from compound exercises in a 30 minute burst than I do from an hour of isolated work. :)

  • http://www.thrivepersonalfitness.com/ Pamela Hernandez

    As we change so must the workout!