Women who want to lose fat have many obstacles in their path, including:
- Less muscle mass – muscle plays a role in fat burning. Women naturally have less muscle mass then men, making it harder to lose fat.
- Lower testosterone levels – testosterone helps build muscle, and helps burn fat. Women get the short end of the stick here as well.
- Hormonal fluctuations – calories in, calories out plays a role, but so do your hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone leading to cycles of water retention and bloating.
- Fat storage – women also store fat differently. Men store fat primarily on their bellies. Women, on the other hand, store more fat on their thighs, love handles, and back of arms.
- Different fat burning – Women tend to first burn fat on their upper bodies, then lower bodies. This makes removing stubborn fat on their thighs very difficult.
- Food preferences – women are more likely to crave sugar and carbs then men. These cravings are often related to hormonal fluctuations.
- Exercise habits – women tend to stick to cardio workouts, while men perform resistance training. Since cardio workouts don’t build muscle, it will be more difficult to keep off the fat once the weight is lost.
- Post-workout hormones – the hormone ghrelin, which tells us we’re hungry, rises after physical exercise for most women, compared to the hormone leptin, which tells you when you’re full, tends to drop.
- Emotional eating – we all have our emotional outlets. Studies show that more often women will turn to sugary snacks such as ice cream as their emotional outlet.
- Crash dieting – women are more likely to try crash diets such as juice cleanses, detox diets, and extreme caloric restrictions – further ruining their metabolism and hormonal balance.
Whew, that’s a lot. So what can be done? There are two immediate things you can do: 1) start implementing some form of resistance exercise into your routine, and 2) try and exercise first thing in the morning before breakfast.
Derek Wahler, creator of Fat Shrinking Signal explains why a short workout before breakfast helps you burn off 20% more fat:
Want more follow-along 10-minute workouts, then check out _09fa300e_
In a nutshell, the idea is that while you sleep and are in a fasted state, your body produced Human Growth Hormone. As you get older, the production of HGH slows down. In addition, when you eat, your body starts to release the hormone insulin. In the guide here, I explain exactly how insulin stores fat on your body.
You can only produce one hormone at a time: growth hormone or insulin. This is why early morning is the BEST time to get in a short, resistance-based movement. The best resistance based movement you can perform conveniently is bodyweight calisthenics.
I didn’t even realize this benefit when I created my own Rise N’ Sweat program, which features 35 bodyweight workouts you can perform first thing in the morning. However, Derek’s workouts are much shorter.
Derek shares with us a simple 5 minute workout you can perform first thing in the morning:
- Jumping Jacks, 1 minute
- Pushups, 1 minute
- Bodyweight Squats, 1 minute
- Planks, 1 minute
- Forward lunges, 1 minute
Perform this workout 2-3 times per week. If you would like to train at a higher frequency you can try a more challenging 4 minute workout found at the beginning of the blog post:
- Low impact burpees, 1 minute
- Bodysaw, 1 minute
- Total body extensions, 1 minute
- Triple stop pushups, 1 minute
More details of the study cited by Derek can be found here. The study used the treadmill as their morning exercise and found that individuals who performed morning exercise before breakfast burn off 20% more fat then those who did not perform the morning exercise.
If treadmill burning can help you burn off 20% more fat, then imagine what kind of effect morning bodyweight cardio can do!