top of page
  • Writer's picturelemonfrogfitness

Why Fat Loss Is Harder For Women

It would be ignorant to overlook the physiological differences between males and females when it comes to fat loss. I used to do this and train and diet women the same as I did men because I didn't know any different but there are more areas for discussion and caution when it comes to training women. If I were to place a man and a woman in the same calorie deficit they would both lose the same amount of weight, however, it would take a woman 33% longer to do so. *Side note throughout this I will use you/your partners as this post won't just help women to understand but also guys with their partners. Both genders come with psychological challenges but women come with physiological differences too. Firstly you need to understand why women tend to have higher body fat percentages that guys. If you didn't know the healthy body fat range is roughly around 8-21% in men and women is more early 21%-33% So why is it higher for women? Women have a more important role in the survival of the human race, yes both men and women are needed but from an evolutionary standpoint during times of famine it would make sense for the man to die of starvation (because less body fat) so there was more food for the mother and baby to survive. From an evolutionary standpoint, the woman's main role was to keep the survival of the human race going and to do so women require around 50,000 calories to get them and the baby through pregnancy. So again evolutionary speaking and for those who do wish to have children, this is an amazing breakthrough in evolution. On top of this a women's hormonal system is very different and a lot more complex than males. As Lyle Mcdonald put it, women can go through different physiological and psychological stages each month, men have 365 days of being an ass-hole. Now I'm no expert in the menstrual cycle but I'm taking time to learn more and more about it. there are two main stages of the menstrual cycle the follicular phase and the luteal phase then you have ovulation in the middle. Each lasting roughly 14 days the average menstrual cycle lasting 28 days with ovulation in the middle. During your follicular phase, you/your partner's estrogen is high and progesterone is low. This is typically when women will have their best performance in the gym particularly just before ovulation as this is when testosterone is at its highest. After ovulation and entering the luteal phase, estrogen will start to drop and progesterone will start to rise and progesterone is known for making women feel shit. During the luteal phase, women will burn and require an additional 100-300 calories per day, and on top of this their cravings shoot up during this time. Also, the risk of dislocation becomes higher and there will be a drop in performance due to higher nitrate levels and a drop in amino acids. Amino's are simple forms of protein, protein = building blocks of the body, and helps to repair and build muscle. Now if you or your partner tries dieting hard during this phase it will be a lot harder to sustain. What you thought was only a 400 calorie deficit a day has now turned into a 500-800 deficit calorie a day which will be much harder to adhere too. This is due to progesterone being high as it increases metabolism and cravings. So what does this information tell us and what can we do with it? We can set out a plan and understand ours and our partner's bodies better. We can programme to hit our Pb's and hit training hard during the follicular phase and diet harder without much push back against the body. When entering the luteal phase adding 100-300 calories a day, which could be from two pieces of fruit and a square dark chocolate you can offset additional cravings and fatigue due to lack of calories and focus on using machine weights. Another thing some women experience during this phase is a loss of balance and coordination so switching to machines can be helpful for some during this time. For all the women reading this, it will take you longer to lose body fat as your body will push back more and it takes you half an hour longer to burn the same amount of calories as a man. For instance, say you and your boyfriend or husband go out for a meal and choose the same thing to eat with the same amount of calories it would take you 30 minutes longer to burn those calories off. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have the same thing because at the end of the day life is for living but being clued up with this information and all the above helps to make your journey smoother. It should also make you not beat yourself up when you're struggling to stick to your diet more or fail to hit a PB in the gym as it's literally because of your body and its hormones. But also take note that the better your sleep, stress, and nutrition is the better your body will perform and feel although your hormones play a huge role in your dieting and performance so does the aforementioned. All women suffer differently from their cycle, some are effected majorly others not so much, some in-between. You need to be your best scientist researching what feels and works best for you. Once you find the best approach stick at it and remain consistent.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page