Five Top Female Weight-Loss Challenges
When it comes to weight loss and weight management, the fairer sex faces some unique physiological and psychological challenges. These make shedding pounds and keeping them off harder for women than men. So to tip the scale in your favor, be aware of these obstacles and how to overcome them.
Challenge #1: Sleep Deprivation
It’s a scientific fact: women have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep than men, and inadequate sleep confuses the hormones that trigger hunger. This, in turn, stimulates the appetite, which leads to overeating. The solution? Get a solid 8 hours of sleep nightly, going to bed at the same hour and allowing plenty of time to wind down and relax.
Challenge #2: Stress
Yup, women are more prone to feeling anxious about juggling the demands of family and career. Worse yet, anxiety leads to the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that increases appetite and stimulates unhealthy cravings. What to do? Fight back via such stress-relievers as regular exercise, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
Challenge #3: Thyroid Issues
Women are far more likely to suffer from an underactive thyroid, especially after menopause. It’s a condition identified by fatigue and weight gain, as the thyroid plays a dominant role in regulating metabolism and the body’s absorption of nutrients. How to deal with this? See your doctor and have your thyroid checked. If you suffer from hypothyroidism, your doctor will prescribe the proper medication to regulate your thyroid.
Challenge #4: Diminishing Estrogen Levels
As women age, estrogen levels drop and ovulation eventually ceases, causing weight gain. This happens because the ovaries are no longer a primary source of estrogen. As a result, your body seeks out the estrogen in fat cells, converting more calories into fat to increase the supply. That’s the bad news, but here’s the good. Increasing activity and incorporating both aerobic and strength training into your daily routine can direct your body to turn calories into muscle instead of fat.
Obstacle #5: Low Self-Esteem
We ladies are very impressionable. And in the face of all those impossibly-thin models on the cover of Vogue, we’re very susceptible to poor body image. These feelings of inadequacy make weight management that much more difficult. The healthy response? Don’t compare yourself to others and cut yourself some slack. The fact that you’re putting yourself on the path to a healthy lifestyle is to be commended. And if you keep the faith, you’ll reach your goal.