Hate how all the guys you know only lift weights a few times a week, skip the treadmill, eat twice as much as you, and still manage a 6-pack while you struggle to reveal any pack at all? Maybe it’s time to take a few tips from the boys!
As members of the fairer sex (holla!), we have some major obstacles to staying slim that guys will never have to deal with. The bloating and hormonal changes that come every month obviously suck. And the cravings don’t help us lose those extra pounds, either. While it’s true that both guys and girls get cravings, women are more likely to crave chocolates and sweets, whereas guys are more likely to crave meat (which happens to be filled with protein, makes you feel full longer and is generally better for your body). See the problem here? We should take a hint from the boys and switch to more protein-oriented snacks! Before reaching for the chocolate, go for some string cheese, a turkey and cheese wrap, or cottage cheese with fruit. If you’re still craving sweets after that, try mixing some protein with it – like almonds and chocolate chips.
While most ladies prefer free weights (or just skipping weight-lifting entirely), guys opt for the larger machines and weights. Unfortunately for us, this means that most guys burn 30% more calories every day because they have more muscle mass. If you’re still under the misconception that you will get larger and more masculine from lifting, never fear. They’ve done tons of studies that show no increase in size – only an increased muscle to fat ratio, which translates to more calories burned while you’re just sitting there! Again, more muscles = more calories burned. So how do you know how much weight to lift? You should only be able to do 10-12 reps at a time with a weight. If you can do more, it’s too light. If you can do less, it’s too heavy.
But it’s not just our hormones and our workouts that differ from the guys – it’s our overall mindset, as well. The MSNBC article says women are more likely to try to become “perfect overnight” and give up everything cold turkey. Guys tend to stay away from perfection. If they accomplish 80% of their weight loss goals for the day, they are satisfied. And allowing themselves the chance to “mess up” now and then is what keeps them successful in the long run. If we ladies can accept the fact that some days will be great and others will just be OK, we’ll see more success (or leaner, more toned bodies) in our future. Stop feeling guilty after eating some junk food – no one’s perfect. Enjoy the flavors and tastes, and get back to trying to eat healthy right after! The all-or-nothing mindset will backfire, guaranteed.
Finally, the way we women tend to look at food is also holding us back from our goals. For many women, eating is a more emotional experience. A University of Minnesota study found that “women are twice as likely as men to binge because they’re depressed.” This becomes even more important when you also know that “women are also twice as likely as men to be depressed” in general! I blame those stupid yogurt commercials… Either way, food means comfort for a lot of women. Guys don’t view it in the same way. Food is for sustenance and other activities – like playing basketball, running or playing video games – are for entertainment. Take a hint from the boys and find something active to do to lift that mood. Take a dance class, go for a long walk, read a book… Whatever you do, stay away from the kitchen!
If you want to lose weight like a dude, you need to think, eat and exercise like a dude. It’s that easy.
Your cheat sheet to losing weight like a dude:
1. Don’t deprive yourself
2. Do something active when you’re upset
3. Eat protein when cravings hit
4. Lift weights