When it comes to women and obesity, the Mediterranean diet can help.
Benefits of this healthy diet are numerous.
If you're a woman, you've probably noticed that if both you and your spouse need to lose a few pounds, your husband has a far easier time losing weight than you do. Why is that?
In fact, it's not "all in your head" when it comes to women and obesity. It really is true that men have an easier time of losing weight than women, for several reasons.
The first and most obvious reason is that men carry around a lot more muscle mass than women do.
This is most especially due to the fact that men have much higher testosterone levels than women do.
Muscle burns fat, so even if a man is obese, he's got a considerable amount of muscle on him as well.
When he does something simple like taking up an exercise program (even a moderate one), and controlling portion sizes without significantly cutting back, it's likely that he's going to lose weight because exercise for him is going to build a lot more muscle than a woman can expect to see, even with strenuous exercise.
Both men and women have testosterone and estrogen, but just as men have more testosterone than women, women have much more estrogen than men do - which can lead to overweight women.
Women and obesity
That's because just as testosterone is a muscle building, fat burning hormone, estrogen is a "fat storage" hormone. That is, estrogen encourages your body to store fat.
Historically, women have needed this ability because of course they've needed to have the resources to get and stay pregnant and to carry pregnancies to term, bear healthy children, and then nourish them. Estrogen helps ensure that they're going to have the fat stores to do that.
What that means, though, of course, is that even today, when you no longer need that ability to the same degree because you have an abundant food supply, you're going to gain weight much more easily than your male peers.
This may sound biased but in fact, women don't exercise as much as men do on a daily basis.
If they work outside the home, they generally have more sedentary jobs, while men often have much more physical jobs.
And if they work in the home, they're generally busy taking care of children and household chores, and won't get as much time to exercise, if any (a housework is not a substitute for exercise, which is another common myth).
Societal mores, too, still encourage women to focus on others before they focus on themselves. What this means in the end is that by contrast, men may actually make more time to exercise than women do.
Be that as it may, when it comes to women and obesity, the Mediterranean diet can help.
No "diet of deprivation" or one of starvation, the Mediterranean diet tastes good and is good for you and may actually even help improve your mood, which can also stave off binging on junk food that temporarily makes you feel better but packs on the pounds.
Women and obesity
A healthy food choice is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle and the Mediterranean diet is a balanced healthy diet.
It also helps bring hormonal mood swings into balance so that women don't experience the cravings and other unpleasant effects of monthly hormonal shifts. This, too, can reduce the urge to eat unhealthy foods.
It's been shown that women especially can suffer from depression, that can lead to poor eating habits and emotional overeating.
However, omega-3 fatty acids, is just one example, can help manage depression, and if your mood is better, you're much more likely to stay away from the junk food.
Finally, because Mediterranean diet foods are healthy, you'll feel better.
Finally, remember that no diet, no matter how good, is going to help you lose weight if you don't put yourself first often enough that you get your needs taken care of.
One of the reasons it's been surmised men don't have as much difficulty with weight and obesity as women do is because they do focus on themselves, so they make the time to get to the gym and eat right instead of continually making sacrifices to care for others.