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Why Does Weight Loss For Women Have To Be Different Than That For Men?

Jan 30, 2008
Since women are biologically different from men, they have a different approach towards diet, weight loss, exercise and health matters.

Women on an average have a higher percentage of body fat as compared to men. This knowledge actually helps in defining weight loss goals and an appropriate exercise routine. Women should keep this natural difference in mind so that they can set more realistic weight loss goals for themselves without feeling guilty.

Women also experience hormonal changes that differ from those experienced by men. These changes often manifest themselves in the form of irregular menstrual cycles and other physiological changes.

For example, it was found that under extreme conditions such as starvation, women in concentration camps during the second world war frequently developed irregular menstrual cycles. Even female athletes who undergo vigorous training experience similar changes because they have a very low percentage of body fat.

The adverse effects of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) can be reduced by regulating fat intake in the diet and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Mood swings can often be alleviated by consuming adequate quantities of foods rich in soluble fiber like oats, apples and beans so that the blood sugar levels remain stable.

Combining fat with good amounts of protein and carbohydrates can help slow down the rise in blood sugar levels from the carbohydrate consumption. Try and avoid foods that are high in fat and sugars and instead consume more fruits and vegetables. Bananas and walnuts are excellent sources of soluble fiber.

Certain ailments such as arthritis and fibromyalgia are more common among women and food allergies can develop as a result of these health problems. Having a balanced nutritious diet and allergy tests can actually help in such cases. For example women who develop an allergy to cows milk can switch to rice beverages and those allergic to peanuts can avoid consuming foods that contain traces of nuts for awhile.

Women who suffer from rheumatic symptoms may sometimes develop an allergy to wheat. A gluten free diet and consuming wheat-free products can help in such cases.

During menopause, when women experience several hormonal changes and have fewer periods, consuming a low sodium diet can actually help lower the severity of any discomfort. Instead of using high quantities of salt while cooking, it can be substituted with herbs, lemon juice or garlic for flavoring. It is always recommended to consult an experienced physician regarding the adequate levels of sodium in your diet.

Older women should also try and reduce their intake of saturated fats. This is because with age, estrogen levels lower leading to reduced HDL cholesterol which are beneficial to the body. As a result, the LDL cholesterol levels will tend to rise and this can prove to be very harmful to the body.

Although statistics reveal that men in general have a higher risk of heart diseases as they grow older, most people are unaware that during menopause women are actually at an equal risk of having a heart attack as compared to men of similar age. Thus, it is important to avoid saturated and trans fats as they help to reduce those risks.

Since women are more prone to suffering from osteoporosis in old age, they can help reduce the risk of this disease by lowering the caffeine consumption in their diet. Lowering caffeine can help reduce the loss of calcium from the body. Moderate wine consumption is also considered beneficial for women because wine not only has lower calories compared to a lot of other beverages but it also contains anti-oxidants and other helpful compounds which are good for the body.

The key to good health is possessing the detailed knowledge about what foods are right for you depending on factors like gender and age so take the time to find out what constitutes a proper diet for you.
About the Author
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