Why Women Try to lose weight but gain fat.

Why some women who want to lose weight end up gaining fat.

This is a very touchy and complicated topic. I think it is best to approach it by looking at cultural reasons and biological reasons.

My niche in the training world is the population between 40-70, both male and female. I love working with people who are at the time in their lives where they know they need to change their habits, both exercise and nutrition. That tends to make them listen to me a little more than a twenty year old. I like that. The hard part is the unlearning of previous bad habits so good habits can be inserted.
As men, we are pretty simple creatures. We just do things. Women, on the other hand, think about things more and tie emotions into things much more than men. I am just generalizing here but work with me. This is why it can be so difficult for women to lose weight and keep it off.

Cultural Issues

Katherine Switzer

Here is the first woman to run the Boston marathon in 1966, Katherine Switzer. Here is also the event organizer trying to pull her off the course because women shouldn’t run marathons.

1. It wasn’t that long ago when women weren’t allowed to play sports. When they were, they were different, less physical versions of the guy sports.


There are valid reasons why it is harder for women to lose weight than men.

  1. Fat storage

Despite your obsession with thinness, somehow your body has not connected to your mind and each Monday as you creep on the scale you become more desperate. Do you look at your body in the mirror and wonder how fat seems to be growing in places its never been? If this sounds familiar, don’t despair! I’ll share with you some hidden secrets that can help you understand why you may be getting fatter rather than fitter and why fat loss is a greater challenge for women than men!

Father Time – Beginning in our mid-20s, women lose approximately 7 pounds of muscle mass and gain 15 pounds of fat every decade. (Men lose about 5 pounds of muscle a decade) So, by our mid-40s, we will have lost almost 15 pounds of metabolically active muscle and replaced it with 30 pounds of sluggish fat (if you are not exercising). While the scale tells us that we are only 15 pounds heavier, our metabolism has been dramatically reduced and body composition has changed in unfavorable proportions. The good news is that these changes are, in large part, the result of inactivity and can be reversed with exercise.
Unfortunately it gets worse for women. After menopause, the rate of muscle loss doubles going from 7 pounds a decade to 14 pounds. By the time a woman is in her 60’s she can have as little as 20 – 30 pounds of muscle left so not only is she displeased with her figure, but she is more prone to falls and breaking bones.
Also with age, the skin begins to lose its elasticity, sag and lose its ability to contain fat giving a rippled appearance often referred to as cellulite. The dimpled effect is caused by the fibers of connective tissue losing elasticity and allowing the fat to seep through like yogurt through cheesecloth. Yuck!
Muscle is what drives your metabolism. For every pound of muscle on your body you need 35 – 50 calories per day to sustain it. For every pound of fat on your body, you need a modest 2 calories per day. Hint: begin strength training today!
Female Fat is Different from Male Fat
Men and women do not live in an equal world when it comes to our bodies and specifically body fat. Men are taller with larger muscles and bones and a faster metabolism. At puberty, girls put on fat and boys put on muscle. From fertilization to breastfeeding, women have different physical experiences than men. Although the odds may appear to be stacked against women they can overcome these obstacles and make improvements to their shape and health.

Fat Storage
Women are both blessed and cursed with the ability to store excess body fat. Fat serves an important biological purpose by helping to insulate the body, pad the internal organs and provide energy. And nature has also cleverly designed women’s bodies to carry almost double the amount of body fat as men because we bear and nourish babies. Fat is the primary energy source our bodies use to support fetal development. Therefore, to keep it available for the developing fetus, our bodies tend to store extra fat in the abs, hips, butt and thighs. Grrrreat!
Unfortunately, we don’t have control over where our fat cells decide to swell and shrink, but we can make great strides in helping the cells release fat by exercising.
In order for fat to be metabolized, it must be released from the fat cell and be transported by the bloodstream, where it is shunted to the liver and other active tissues to be used as fuel. Unfortunately, blood flow to fatty tissues is poor compared to the circulation in muscles and organs. So, fat regions tend to remain fat partially due to poor blood circulation.
The less circulation-stimulating exercise we perform, the more our bodies are inclined to accumulate fat, although more blame tends to lie with greater food intake.
Estrogen is a hormone responsible for secondary female sex characteristics and can influence the body’s enzymes to store fat in the lower body, while suppressing the storage of fat in the upper body. Women may have noticed that when they diet, the first place they see lost inches is in your bust area. Drats!

During pregnancy and the menstrual cycle, hormones encourage the fat cells to retain water. The water retention slows down circulation and makes it more difficult to mobilize fat. The good news is that exercise can help to regulate hormone responses and ultimately become fat releasing machines.
The other main hormone women produce is progesterone. Progesterone affects appetite and mood. It makes you hungrier during the second half of your menstrual cycle and is responsible for your ravenous appetite during pregnancy. Progesterone can also make you feel sluggish, sleepy and therefore less inclined to exercise. Women who take birth control pills gain on average 3 to 5 pounds as a side effect.
Throughout pregnancy, fat cells not only expand, but they can multiply in number. When pregnancy is over, those fat cells remain and are always ready to expand in size whenever your intake of calories surpasses the energy you use. (Take that donut out of your mouth right now!) With each pregnancy, the weight loss dilemma is compounded further. The thyroid gland, which also drives the metabolism, notoriously becomes sluggish during pregnancy in order to help the body hold on to fat.

The average age of natural menopause for women in the United States is 51. During peri-menopause (the 10 years prior to menopause), we begin producing less estrogen, which is a protective hormone. We also tend to sleep less and our appetite becomes stimulated. Before we reach that pre-menopausal stage, women typically deposit fat on the hips and thighs. But, as peri-menopause begins, we begin to deposit more fat around the waist and chest.

Many generations ago, lean people tended to die younger, so natural selection favored those who were fatter. Over the centuries, a genetic predisposition for fat has been built into our genes. If you take a look at your mother, mother’s sisters and female cousins, you may notice a strong resemblance in body types. Some families seem more predisposed to “cellulite” than others.

Unfortunately we cannot change our genetics, but we can choose to express the positive genes. Some women are gifted to naturally look like athletes or models and others can do all of the dieting and training in the world and still have trouble spots.
While genetics does influence where we store body fat, non-genetic influences such as lifestyle, environmental and cultural factors are shown to be more important. You can overcome any weaknesses and trouble spots to a certain degree with balanced strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training – along with making nutritious food choices. You have the ability to transform your body regardless of your inherited traits. Focus on being the best you can be.
Why Men Have It Easier
Compared to women, men are generally quicker to lose weight as a result of regular exercise. They tend to carry their fat in the upper body, and those cells are more prone to release fat than the fat cells in the lower body, where women tend to store extra weight. Women are also more likely to increase their total fat cell count, both at puberty and during pregnancy, which men don’t have to deal with.

One of the reasons for this difference between the sexes is that testosterone, the male hormone, stimulates bone and muscle growth. Men don’t lose testosterone at the rate that women lose estrogen. As a result, men retain more muscle and more bone minerals as they age, giving them higher metabolisms and making them less likely to develop osteoporosis.
Bulking Up
A woman is not engineered to develop huge bulging muscles like men. Women have low levels of testosterone in their bodies, about one tenth of what men have, and testosterone is the primary stimulus for muscular growth. So, even when women strength train, they will not be able to raise their metabolisms to the rate of a man’s.

Happy Marriage
Just two years after marriage, women start gaining 2 – 5 pounds of fat a year. The reason is that they begin to pick up the habits of their husbands who naturally eat 35% more than them to maintain their speedy metabolisms. Women also traditionally do the cooking and tend to eat as they cook, during the meal and during the clean up.

Phew! I am not sharing this information because I want you to get a divorce or not have children. I am committed to helping your understand why fat loss may feel like an uphill battle for you. The great news is that with the right fitness program and healthful eating plan, a lean, feminine, firm and fit body can be yours. Exercise is the very best fountain of youth and even better, the results are guaranteed!
Kelli Calabrese – MS, CSCS, 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year. Kelli is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and 20 year fitness industry leader. She is the author of Feminine, Firm & Fit – Building A Lean Strong Body in 12 Weeks. She has 23 fitness, nutrition and lifestyle related certifications and is available for personal training, online training, iPod workouts, phone coaching, grocery shopping tours, seminarsmedia appearances. Kelli’s personal mission is to provide individuals with the tools to make health, fitness and wellness a permanent part of their lives.  For more information, go to www.KelliCalabrese.com 


If you need help with your weight or maybe just want to get back in shape, take a look at my online training program.


  • It is ridiculously cheap at $10/month
  • Free Smartphone/Tablet app for Apple andAndroid.
  • Pre-loaded workouts
  • Fully customizable
  • Over 100 exercises with HD video
  • 245 access to me for advice, questions and program structure.
  • Nutrition advice.
  • Workout anywhere and anytime with a wide variety of workouts.
  • Plan your workouts and get reminders with my calendar.

Sound interesting? Check it out at http:mfactorfitnessandnutrition.com

Quickie Body Weight Workouts

Quickie Bodyweight Workouts are essential to getting in shape.


Because having quick workouts you can do without equpiment bridges the gap betweena full workout session and missing your training.

It is too easy to skip your training because you:

  • Don’t have enough time.
  • The gym is too far away.
  • The weather is bad.
  • It is too late.
  • It is too early

Everybody knows these excuses because everyone, including myself have used them.

So think of the quickie workout as a bridge between what you had planned and doing nothing.

Actually these workouts can be brutally hard if you push yourself.

So push yourself.

These are some screenshots taken from my online training program.

My online training allows you to train anywhere and anytime!

Beginner BodyWeight Workout


Quickie 1A


























Intermediate Bodyweight workout

Quickie 1B
























Advanced Bodyweight workout

Quickie 1C






















If this looks like the type of workout that could get you in the best shape of your life, then click here

for more information on joining M Factor Fitness Online Training

For the ridiculously low price of $10/month you get:

  • free app download.
  • A bunch of different workouts
  • Over 100 exercises with HD video
  • Membership in my private Facebook Group
  • Full email access to me.






Boost Your Weight loss with Omega 3 fats

Who put the fat in that drink?

are you drinking fat

image courtesy of http://www.flickr.comphotosladymaygreen

Here is a sneaky way to sabotage your waistline.

I just saw a nice piece on channel 2 news about drinking calories and obesity. It seems obvious when you think about it.

I can’t find the link but I did find this on Fox News, Are you Drinking too many calories?

Caution: In the article they say whole milk has too many calories and you shouldn’t drink it.

True or false?

The next few sentences are going to totally confuse you.

Fact: The body can only process so many calories at a time, the rest turns into fat.

This is why you need to avoid drinking high calorie drinks while you eat. Too many calories at once equals fat creation.

Fact: Drinking fat won’t make you fat.

You can actually have a higher fat diet and not gain fat. Don’t avoid Omega 3 fats.

They are your friend. Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation and help with a number of body functions.

This is why people on Paleo diets can eat high fat and lose fat at the same time.

So if you were to drink whole milk you would be ingesting more calories but it would also be more healthy fats that your body can use.

Whole milk will also fill you up.

Fact: Drinking beverages high in sugar (i.e. empty calories) will make you fat.

  1. Excess sugar gets converted to fat.
  2. Sugar will spike your insulin levels and screw up your hunger signs.

I am by no means a purist on these matters. My rule of thumb is to take a second and ask, ” What is this going to do for me?”

And if I am trying to drop a few pounds, I will avoid sugary drinks.

Other than they taste good, you just can’t make a good argument for drinking soda. There is no nutritional value and it plays havoc with your insulin.

But if given the choice, I would always choose regular soda over diet. Even though you aren’t technically ingesting calories, you are dumping a slew of toxic waste down your throat with artificially sweetened beverages. Better yet, avoid both if you can except on cheat days.

Take a look at this.

 Calories per 12 oz.
  • Water 0
  • Gatorade 75
  • Propel 15
  • Juice 140-210
  • Soft Drinks 149-154
  • Red Bull 110

That may not seem like a lot but remember when you are adding this to your meal, you are dumping empty calories into your body and right to your butt or waistline.

You are also wrecking your health.

3,500 calories in a pound of fat
2 sodas per day 300 calories x 7 days a week = 2100.
2100 x 52 = 31.2 pounds of fat.

Bottom-line: Don’t do that.

But are there any exceptions to this? What about just drinking your meal?

No, I am not talking about booze, I am talking about giving your digestion a break and drinking one meal a day.

This is a great way to get maximum absorption of nutrients and get quick energy.

1. Protein Drinks and meal replacements.


Free Protein offer


Find a good one and get a couple good shake recipes and you are set. Morning, lunch, snack, before workout, after workout, before bed, the protein shake can’t be beat. Feed the muscles, replenish your blood sugar.

In fact, the good people over at ProGrade Nutrition are offering a free sample of their ProGrade Workout formula for you to try. Click here and try a free full size bottle. You just pay shipping and handling. That is fair, isn’t it?





2. BulletProof Coffee.

This has been my favorite drink of choice in the morning. BulletProof coffee in it’s simplest form is:

  • Coffee
  • Pasture based butter such as Kerry Gold.
  • Coconut oil
If you try this and it is too oily and thick, substitute MCT oil for the Coconut oil.
MCT oil ( medium chain triglycerides ) are fantastic for energy and the butter and coconut oil have high levels of omega 3 oil.
It is a great way to start the day.

So what is the takeaway in all this?

1. Don’t drink your calories while you are eating unless you factor in caloric expense.
2. Try not to drink anything that isn’t going to help you nutritionally.
3. Substitute a shake or bulletproof coffee for a meal everyday and notice the difference in how you feel.

Post 2: Is Coffee Good For You?

Is Coffee Good For You?

Of course it is.

There I said it and so does Real Age.com.

For those of you in a hurry or don’t like my writing style, the bullet points are.

  • 1 cup . . . may lower your risk of cancer.
  • 2 cups . . . may fend off strokes
  • 3 cups . . . may safeguard your neurons.
  • RealAge Benefit: Enjoying coffee if you like it — and it likes you — can make your RealAge 0.3 years younger.

Ah, I am enjoying a cup now as I write this. I even feel .3 years younger!

There seem to be a certain number of villainous foods such as eggs, coffee, red meat and alcohol that are relentlessly attacked in the media. Scientists and pseudo-scientists seems to locked into their own war on terror on these foods.

Why does this hatred run run so deep? Who is behind this war? The tea taliban? The soy communistas?

Remember this, The news will gladly pick up on any food story with bold headlines because  it is their mission to keep everyone anxious and stressed. In the news business bad news is good news.

Ever see the movie, “What about Bob”? Bill Murray has one of the best lines ever in that movie.
“There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those that love Neil Diamond and those who don’t.”
Same applies to coffee. Most Americans get up and enjoy a cup or too and that really seems to annoy the other side. It is almost as if they can’t stand to see us being happy in the morning.

Think about this. All these foods that are good for you one day and bad for you the next are the staple foods of our civilization. Now I am not a coffee historian but I do know that consumption of eggs and meat (protein) led to us evolving in higher path than our other ape ancestors.

Eat soy if you want, I like meat and I love my coffee.

Anyway, in terms of M Factor Fitness and for those who read this for knowledge, consider this.

  • Coffee is a natural product of the earth.
  • It is very low in calories unless you add a lot of sugar and cream to it.
  • It has a nice dose of caffeine.
  • It contains a large amount of antioxidants (Polyphenols)
  • It is also an ergogenic aid, so drinking a cup before your workout will enhance your strength and stamina.
Now some of us aren’t content with the regular cup of coffee. For those of you that want to make  a good thing better I have two words for you.
What if you took a good cup of organic coffee and turbocharged it? What if you took the polyphenols and antioxidants in the coffee and added mct ( medium chain triglycerides ) for energy and fat burning along with a healthy dose of Omega 3 fats?
Well you can and I do. Take your morning beverage and turn it into a meal. This has been my preferred breakfast for the past three months and I have noticed a big change in my morning energy levels. You will also drop bodyfat without trying and your cholesterol levels will improve dramatically. Not bad for a cup of coffee.
How do you do it?  Pretty simple recipe, go to the bulletproof lifestyle for more complex recipes. This is how I do it.
Brew the coffee, throw it in a blender, add the butter and oil and blend. Pour into a cup and enjoy.
That is all you need. You may have to adjust the amount of oil and butter to taste but you should come out with a creamy coffee drink that will fuel you throughout the morning.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com or like me on http://www.facebook.com/mfactorfitness  or tweet with me @mfactormike

Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |