To have a lean and strong body two things are necessary: losing body fat and gaining muscle mass. Yes, just like life itself... You gain and you lose. Physical activity is indispensable, but it remains halfway if it is not complemented by a diet to lose weight and define for women.
On the road to burning body fat, a low-calorie diet and physical exercise are essential. But losing fat and definition as a woman can be a challenge. Our metabolism is slower than men's, as a general rule, and we have a higher amount of body fat in our bodies, which is related to our ability to gestate and breastfeed. In addition, when going through menopause, due to the many changes the body undergoes, losing weight and eliminating body fat can be a bit of an uphill struggle. This does not mean that it is not possible, far from it, but we must apply appropriate strategies with scientific evidence. On the Internet there are a lot of myths and "miracles" that do not work, which is why today, we have the collaboration of Lucia Morales Villa, expert in dietetics and nutrition from NaturadikaLucía Morales Villa, who will tell us what are the keys to take into account for burning fat and not muscle and how to achieve fat loss in women effectively.
Is it possible to burn localized fat, such as in the abdomen or arms?
The million dollar question: how to burn localized fat? Unfortunately there is no exercise, food or supplement that reduces fat in a specific area of the body.
It doesn't work that way.
Fat accumulates when we eat more than we expend, but, as research from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital explains, women have more fat than men and it tends to accumulate in the legs, buttocks and hips. Although this does not exclude fat accumulation in the abdominal area. With the arrival of menopause, adiposity in women becomes more marked. To burn fat, although it is not possible to do it in a localized way, what can be done is to work the musculature of certain areas to define it. It is necessary to generate a caloric deficit, during which the body will use fat (stored in different parts of the body) as fuel. It is possible to notice that the fat in the legs, for example, remains "intact" and that other areas of lesser concern become thinner. This happens because having more adiposity there, it takes longer to notice the results.
10 keys to lose body fat as a woman
Before talking about how to lose body fat as a woman, it is important to make clear that this process does not have to be a suffering, nor a sacrifice. It requires a commitment and the goal must be a change in lifestyle, not just an express diet. In addition to a more toned and defined body, this will result in a tangible improvement in energy levels and overall well-being.
10. Maintain a calorie deficit
It is all a question of energy balance. To lose fat, you need to take in fewer calories than you need for your daily activities. This does not mean that you should starve yourself or work out in the gym. By increasing the level of physical activity, with aerobic exercise (walking, dancing, swimming) and strength training, you will be able to burn fat and define. A healthy diet is a key pillar to consume fewer calories and avoid foods that stimulate fat synthesis, such as sugars, junk food and alcohol.
9. Work on strength exercises
It used to be believed that cardio was enough to lose weight. Today, we know that the best physical activity routine for losing fat as a woman complements cardio and strength. A study by the Polytechnic University of Madrid showed that this type of mixed routines is more effective for burning fat and defining than cardio or strength exercises separately.
8. Do not overdo cardio
Cardio is necessary to burn fat and is also healthy for the heart. However, an excess of resistance activities, for example, Zumba, could degrade the muscle and hinder the goal of having a defined silhouette. On the other hand, too much resistance exercise may cause fatigue, injury and even respiratory problems. Alternating cardio and strength is the best way to define the body and eliminate body fat. It is also not necessary to train on an empty stomach.
7. Watch your diet
Changing body composition to burn fat and, at the same time, define muscle involves a change in habits. Foods that are important to avoid because they only provide empty calories and poor quality ingredients are common sugar, sweets, candy, junk food, sugary drinks, alcohol and ultra-processed foods. Moreover, eliminating these foods from the diet leads to a very positive change in overall well-being. In fact, people suffering from migraines, by eliminating the aforementioned products, notice an improvement, as explained in a paper by Marcelo E. Bigal, director of the Merck Researcher Studies Program. Opt for fresh and natural products, simple and without excess additives. It is also advisable to opt for whole-grain versions of breads, cookies, pasta and rice. These small changes will make a big difference.
6. Check your hormonal health
It doesn't matter if you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s or older. Women are a bundle of hormones, and many times they are behind the increase in body fat and weight. Detecting hypothyroidism (lower thyroid hormone production) and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) are key for a woman's weight loss and definition diet to provide good results. As a study conducted at the University of Cincinnati explains, these hormonal alterations favor the accumulation of fat in the abdomen.
5. Set short- and long-term goals
It is clear that the long-term goal is to lose fat and define, but to get there it is necessary to set small short-term goals, for example, "from today I will leave the beers for the weekend and in moderation". Another goal could be "I will make sure I am drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day".
4. No need to weigh or measure yourself daily.
Changing body composition, in this case reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass, takes time. The same is true if you want to define your arms or abdomen. It doesn't happen overnight. It is best to weigh yourself and assess your body composition once a month. There are scales that, in addition to measuring weight, take into account several factors such as differentiating between lean mass and fat mass.
3. Getting enough rest
To build muscle as a woman, it is crucial to rest well. The synthesis of new proteins in the muscle and the increase in size and tone demand energy and proteins, as explained in a study by McMaster University, and require sufficient sleep.
2. Avoid foods that stimulate fat synthesis.
There are foods and beverages that suddenly increase the level of insulin in the blood, producing a "spike". These are foods that are very rich in glucose, for example sugar, sweets, candies, white bread, sweet cookies, bakery products, sugary soft drinks. Large amounts of glucose reach the blood and, as the cells cannot use them, insulin causes the excess sugar to be converted into fat. For this reason it is highly recommended to avoid simple sugars and opt for whole grain breads, cereals and pasta.
1. Include natural products
There are effective supplements that can be of great help to help eliminate body fat and define. Such as the popular Whey protein (and other types) or phytotherapeutic products based on plant extracts, vitamins and minerals.
Foods and supplements for weight loss
As already mentioned, no food has the ability to burn fat by itself. However, it is true that there are certain foods and substances whose content in certain active compounds can help burn fat more effectively mainly thanks to their thermogenic action (heat production). By stimulating heat production, metabolism increases, more calories are consumed and, together with a balanced diet, fat burning is enhanced. Supplements with green tea, yerba mate, caffeine and guarana work in this way, as explained in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Caffeine: caffeine is one of the most famous, used and effective natural thermogenics thanks to its stimulant effect. Although it is mainly associated with coffee, this substance is present in more than 60 plants such as guarana, green tea or yerba mate. In addition to contributing to appetite control, it helps to accelerate the metabolism, promoting fat burning.
Green tea: green tea is a widely used plant and owes its properties mainly to its EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) content. Several clinical trials have found that the use of a combination of caffeine and EGCG can produce an increase in metabolism and fat burning by 4% and 16% respectively during the 24 hours following consumption.
Supplements with Caffeine and Green Tea: a help that can favor fat burning is to include in the weight loss plan a supplement that contains some quality thermogenic ingredient such as guarana rich in natural caffeine and green tea. Supplementation is the only way to ensure that the necessary amounts of each ingredient are provided to achieve the desired effect. Magrifit FlashFor example, the supplement is a nutritional supplement formulated with concentrated extracts of Green Tea, Guarana, Fucus, Choline and Chromium, among other natural active ingredients. It favors caloric expenditure, contributes to improve metabolism and helps to control nervous hunger.
Sample diet for weight loss and definition
The fat loss and definition diet for women does not have to eliminate carbohydrates or be torture. It is important to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables and good sources of protein (oily fish, eggs, lean meats, seitan, tofu) and healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, olives).
Pasta, breads and cereals should be whole-grain so that their digestion is slower and appetite is calmed for several hours thanks to the fiber in the grain. Legumes can be used in soups, stews and salads. Tea, coffee and other infusions should be drunk without sugar, but can be sweetened with stevia, xylitol (birch sugar) or another zero-calorie product, preferably of natural origin. It is important to moderate alcohol and do not forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.
It is not strictly necessary to abuse protein foods (meats, cheeses, eggs, tofu, seitan) because to define it is necessary to do strength exercises. Protein by itself does not build muscle. Below, you can see a sample menu of thediet to lose fat and define being a woman:
Serving sizes depend on each person's particular calorie and nutrient needs.