Episode 23: Why it’s harder for women to lose weight, and how to level the playing field

“Weight loss is harder for women” is one of those oft-cited claims in the weight-loss and fitness world. But is it really true? We’ll dive into this — and we’ll talk about what you can do to level the playing field! (Men should listen too.. 😉 )


 

00:01:10 Hey everybody, and welcome to episode 24 of the Weightix slash 100 down podcast. I am Brian and I have with me the hottest girl I know melanie say hi Melanie. And the reason that I have melanie with me this week instead of Christopher, actually two reasons. The first one is Chris is actually driving right now from getting back from a little bit of a vacation weekend, so he is not available to join us, but the other reason is, the topic for tonight. And I, did I even tell you what the topic was, so, so you’re joining us because I would feel really stupid I’m getting on and doing this podcast without some female representation because of the topic for the podcast is actually why it’s harder for women to lose weight and how, how we can level the playing field. And I got a five minute heads up, something to think about anyway, but I figured it would be only fair to have somebody here who could either confirm or deny some of the, some of the things that I’m going to throw out during this podcast.

00:02:24 So, I, I’m glad that you were able to join and that you got the kids to bed in a enough time to pull it off. We may or may not have a small thing, things running through the running through the picture here, during, in the middle of the podcast. So I’m glad to have everybody here. We’ve got a ton of people it looks like in the, a live chat room here on facebook live. So as we go through this, if you’re joining us on facebook live, feel free to fire questions in here. We don’t want this to be as interactive as possible. I have a huge screen across the room here so I can actually see the conversation and it actually makes the podcast significantly more interesting if you’re, if you’re interacting. So we appreciate that. but the topic is, before we get into the topic, let’s, let’s do a little bit of, let’s do a little bit of housekeeping here.

00:03:14 First of all, a little bit of an update on the challenge. We have 73 days left in our 90 day challenge, which means we’re roughly 17 days in if my math is correct. And just to give you a couple of stats here, first of all, we’ve got about 250 people participating in the challenge right now. and the average person has lost about five point five pounds in that 17 days, which is super interesting because that actually follows the exact, a pattern that we’ve seen in all of the other challenges that we’ve done. This is now the fourth challenge and it seems like in every single challenge, everybody gets a really strong push the first week and then it kinda slows way down the second week and then it gets back on track for basically super steady weight loss from then on out.

00:04:01 So that’s exactly what we’ve seen here. we had people posting huge gains the first week they were on it. And then during the second week it Kinda pulled back pretty significantly. A lot of people lost one or, or you know, less than two pounds. And it seems like now the momentum is going back towards the pendulum is swinging back towards that kind of average of one and a half to two and a half pounds per week, which is right in that sweet spot of where you want to be. we have a, basically a couple of different little bits of information that are super interesting. The first one is, the car backs. People are key to genic. People are beating the macro fit people barely five point seven pounds on average for the car backs people in five point three pounds on average for the macro fit people.

00:04:49 I love tracking this one because I think it shows that there really is very little difference between the two in terms of how well each of these plans work. the car backs people saw a huge, a significant loss of weight during the first week and everybody says, oh my gosh, maybe that plan works better. But what people find is that as time goes on, they really do a mostly even out. And then the other number that I think is interesting, especially in the context of our topic here, our conversation here, which is why are the guy’s beating the girls at almost double the rate of weight loss. Guys are averaging eight point three pounds each and the females are averaging three point eight pounds each. actually that’s more than double the amount of weight loss that the, the guys are experiencing. And so the question is why, why are the guys doing so much better?

00:05:45 And so we’re going to get into that during this as well. Well, actually that, that is the entire topic of conversation here. I’m at the, the, the question is interesting. I don’t know, have you ever heard this? That it’s harder for a women to lose weight than men? Oh yeah, all the time. Okay. So this isn’t, this isn’t just something that I’ve seen and sort of latched onto because I feel the same way. I feel like I’ve seen it mentioned hundreds of times in the fitness community. Yeah, okay. Definitely. Definitely believed by. Yeah. Yeah, I think, I think, I think that’s right. I think women absolutely believe that this is true and, and I will tell you that after doing a lot of research on this topic, because my first response to that was that can’t be true. There’s no way. There are so few biochemical differences between the way fat is burned between men and women, that, that just can’t, that can’t be real.

00:06:43 And what I, what I learned was it is real. they have studied this again and again and again and found out that actually, yes, it is harder for women to lose weight if you take a man and a woman and you put them on the same, a weight loss plan, a at the end of the plan, the men will, statistically speaking, have lost more weight than the women. And we see that on, in, in the way to excite as well. All of the challenges that we’ve done, the men have done better than the women. So this isn’t just anecdotal, it’s not just studies. We see the exact same thing. It has been scientifically studied. It’s been scientifically proven. Women lose weight slower than men. The question is not, is it true? The question is why and because, and the reason the why is so important is because if it’s true, then is there anything we can, is there anything you women can do about it to level the playing field? I hope so. Well good. So this is a great topic then because that is exactly what I want to talk about, which is I’m not whether or not it’s harder for women. It is harder period. that is scientifically proven. The question is, like I said, given that it’s harder, what can, what can be done about it? So let’s get into it.

00:08:06 I want to start here because there is a, an article that I wrote on the 100 down blog on this where I pointed out basically for reasons it’s harder for women to lose weight. I want to go through that really quick because I think all of these tie in. I also want to mention that in all of the studies that I read on this topic, there was not a single conclusive study that was able to point out any biochemical reasons why women struggled to lose weight. In other words, it’s not that female fat burning enzymes are inferior to male fat burning enzymes or anything weird like that. There was nothing like that, that anybody has ever been able to, to prove they’ve never found any evidence that that’s the case. in other words, ladies, the science is telling us that even though it’s harder for you to lose weight, it is not because of any inability to burn fat, if that makes sense.

00:09:09 Physical, it’s. Yes. Yes. I think that’s, that’s correct. It’s not a, it’s not necessarily a physical thing. It’s not something where you would say, because I’m a girl, I can never lose weight as fast as a man. That is not true. Okay. All right, so let’s get into this. The first one is, and, and by the way, these are studied in. These are, these are real and these are essentially the conclusions of most of the studies that are out there on this topic. So the first one, and if you’re ready for this, is women tend to avoid a strength training, which I think is super interesting. Now you’ve got a little perspective on this. You’ve got friends who say, I don’t wanna I don’t wanna lift weights. What is the reason they give you for that?

00:09:56 I think they, they think that if you start lifting weights, you’re gonna automatically overnight look like this manly bodybuilder, you know, the no neck, big, bulky or huge arms, huge legs. They don’t want to look. They don’t wanna look like a guy. Right,

00:10:13 okay. Yeah, I hear that a lot. When, when, when, especially when I, when I show the articles to girls in the data to girls, when I say, look, if you want to burn fat, strength training is actually the more efficient way to do that versus doing cardio, right? Because a lot of girls think, well, if I want to burn fat, I should just get on the treadmill or get on the elliptical and go that way. What the studies are showing is there’s that that actually is not true. The the, that, that working with weights and building muscle is actually the more efficient use of your time and energy. If fat loss is your goal, and so the. The question is that that dispute, which you know, women are so quick to raise it and they say, I don’t want to. I want to stay away from weights because I don’t want to look like a man. Now you hang out with a lot of girls who do weight training. You do weight training. What is your reaction to that?

00:11:15 Well, originally I was in the. I don’t want to look like a dude camp. I remember and then I started looking around at the women whose bodies were inspiring to me and I want it to look strong. I wanted to have a little definition here. I wanted to. You didn’t want to look like the tiny, frail, skinny and I didn’t want to to just look. Yeah, I wanted to. I wanted to have a little definition here. Definitely wanted A. I wanted to be nice and firm. I didn’t want to just be squishy skinny. I think the word you’re looking for is tone. Tone. There you go. Thank you. Want some tone? I wanted some tone. And so what you do is you, you look and you ask these women who look like you’re aspiring to look at her to look like and ask them what the, what they do and follow their example. And these women are, they’re doing pushups. They are doing strength training. They’re doing, you know, like, like body weight lifting and are using, you know, like the trx is, and, and they’re, they’re not just doing cardio. There are toning and. Yeah.

00:12:26 So it’s Kinda cool. Yeah. Good. Now, I’m glad you mentioned that because I don’t want to spend a ton of time on this one point, but it is also worth mentioning that when women are flipping through magazines and you sort of get that unrealistic expectation about, well, I could never look like that or I could never look like that. It is interesting that I can tell you just from experience that 100 percent of the women in the quote unquote beauty magazines got that way by number one being very careful about what they eat. But more importantly, those are weight room girls. I can tell you that right now, there are, there are no, you know, fitness models or it really models in general who aren’t spending time in the weight room because it is the only way to get that tone. But more importantly because it’s more efficient than cardio for burning fat. And that’s the goal is to keep the fat off the body. That’s generally what their trainers are telling them to do. in fact, when you see videos of, you know, personal trainers in Hollywood working with celebrity, female celebrity’s, they’re not on treadmills there. They have their pumping iron, right? And not a, not little iron either. They’re not pumping, you know, the two pound dumbbells,

00:13:44 five pounds,

00:13:44 yeah, there are no pink weights that they’re handing these girls, right? They’re, they’re, they’re serious weights. And the girls look amazing when, when they’re done this, this is really where that comes from, but more important than any of that, more important than the toning. More important than the way you look is that strength training actually increases the speed of your metabolism. And we, if, if men have one advantage over women, it’s that their metabolism is faster. So a, a five foot 10 man has a faster metabolism than a five foot 10 female, if even if they both weigh the same, and that’s because men have more muscle on their bodies. So how do you, how do you beat that strength training? And it is possible by the way, to do enough strength training where ladies, you can actually have a metabolism that exceeds that.

00:14:38 Of a typical man your size, and that, that doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to get to that point so you can level the playing field. They’re a one comment from the chat room as it relates to, the, I don’t want to look like a man argument. and I do want to point this out because it is important that the ladies, the only way, even if you spent two or three hours a day in the weight room, lifting really, really heavy weights, the only way you could actually get that bulky or look that you see with like female bodybuilders, I’m just gonna say it is to use testosterone enhancements and steroids at the same time. that’s it. That’s the only way you can do it. I don’t know what else to say. The girls you see in bodybuilding competitions are using steroids.

00:15:27 and, but, you know, that’s the look that they want and that’s how you get it. If you’re, if you’re a female, if you’re not using testosterone and steroids as an enhancement, you simply can’t get that bulky look. It’s just not possible. okay, so strength training, that’s number one in terms of something you can do to level the playing field. And one reason why men lose weight easier is because they have a little bit more muscle on their bodies, but you can use strength training to level that playing field right there. Okay. The next one. All right. This one’s going to be a little bit controversial. I’m going to throw it out there though because I. because I firmly believe that this is true in the studies have shown it. Here we go. Men tend to approach weight loss with less emotion than women. True or false.

00:16:14 I think it’s absolutely true to say what’s your reaction to that? yeah, yeah, it’s true. I think. I think men look at it more of, as a more of a scientific kind of approach, very transactional maybe. Right? And I think, I hate to stereotype, but I think as women, you know, we look at what got me here and what do I do to make myself feel better about this and why do I want to, why am I even wait, why does this even matter? And you know, the WHO’s and the why’s and the in the, you know, the, the blue, it’s kind of the blame game. Yeah. Just kinda look at it more of an emotional. It’s just. Yeah, it’s true.

00:16:57 So, yeah, and here’s what I write in the blog, it says, I, I’m, I’m, I like the way I summarize it, so I’m just going to read it and I wouldn’t normally do that. Men See the numbers on the scale creeping upward. They make a decision to correct it, a plain and simple. They decided to increase their activity, decrease their food intake, and they just do it. women on the other hand have been known to sabotage themselves. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar, beat themselves up over setbacks or unrelated scale movements. they’ll berate themselves, destroy their own sense of self worth. and, and I’m not sure any of those or a healthy motivational tactic. So they focus more on the plan a or, or, or, I’m sorry, they focus less on the plan and more on what the scale says every morning.

00:17:44 And it really gets into their head. Right? Exactly, so if you can focus more on the plan, focus more on protocol, the discipline, and just trust that if you stick to the plan, the results will come. Now you’re approaching this more with the kind of mindset that tends to give men better results. In other words, don’t let the gay don’t let it get in your head. How many times have you heard, oh, I stepped on the scale this morning and I gained three pounds. I know it’s just water weight, but if I gained three pounds I might as well just eat whatever I want.

00:18:18 You’ve heard this before, it sounds familiar to you. Say it to myself. All right. Yeah. What difference does it make? I’m already, I’m already bloated being bloated m and M, right? And, and that’s a normal emotional reaction to hey, the scale isn’t doing what I want it to do. So screw it. Yeah. Yeah, it’s true. and, and like I said, men tend to not maybe dive in quite at that, quite at that level of emotion. They just kinda look at the scale and shrug it off or, and I can tell you on my weight loss journey I had those days when I would step on the scale and it went the wrong direction and I was angry and I was frustrated and I was depressed, but it didn’t necessarily change the way I ate. Right? I didn’t react to those emotions by wanting to go eat m and M’s.

00:19:12 I reacted to them just differently. Right? and I think that’s just the fundamental way that it’s a difference between the way men and women tend to deal with stress or maybe just the way I deal with stress versus other people, right? I, when I’m stressed, food is nice, but it’s not the ultimate source of comfort for me. Yeah. but most women tend would, would tell you that when they’re stressed, food is a Goto. and we’ll talk more about that in a minute because that’s a big one. And in fact, tiffany in the chat room says, chocolate is a woman’s best friend, especially when you were down in the dumps. And I don’t think you could have said it any better than that, and we’ll talk more about that in a minute because the question is why from an evolutionary standpoint, that makes no sense.

00:19:58 Chocolate has only been around for, it’s only been accessible to women for the last hundred years. So why, from an evolutionary standpoint, why is your, why is the reaction of women to go to chocolate when that for, for millions of years it hasn’t even been available. We’ll talk more about that. I think there’s gotta be some scientific. Maybe there is. Yes. You know me. Well, you know me well at this point. All right, here we go. Number two or number three here. And again, I hope that this has taken in the spirit that is intended, but I think statistically it’s probably correct, which is women tend to spend more time in the kitchen. Absolutely. And I know, I don’t mean to make that a sexist thing. I’m not saying whether or not they should. I’m not saying whose job this is a, I’m just saying that statistically speaking, women spend more time in the kitchen.

00:20:59 So for better, for worse, a women are generally the ones preparing the meals, doing the cooking. there are more, there are around the temptation more often, right? the, the bites, the licks, the tastes, we call them the blts, right. Can sabotage any weight loss, a protocol. It doesn’t matter what it is, right? And to make matters worse, what did we just talk about? Women tend to be more tempted by carbs and sugar. and I think that, I’m, I’m on safe ground when I say that that’s scientifically proven that women like carbs and sugar better than men. So that’s not helping your situation. It’s more tempting to you. Chocolate ice cream. I think most men can take it or leave it, whereas women tend to have a much more emotional reaction to those foods and we’ll get into that as well. Again, I want to talk about some of the reasons for that.

00:21:52 Alright, but here’s what we’re going to spend the bulk of our time because I think this is really important, which is, and this is gonna be really weird coming from me. So it, I’d never thought I would have done this and here we go, here we go. What ladies? Your monthly cycles absolutely wreak havoc on the scale and on your temptations and on what you’re craving and all of these other things that you deal with as a result of this. And that is not helpful during a weight loss journey. I’m just, it can’t be, again, I’m probably the wrong person to sit here and give you an expert opinion on this, but I do want to walk through some of the things that happen from a, a, a physiology perspective, a biochemical perspective as you go throughout the month. and again, I am in no way qualified from a medical standpoint to tell you any of this stuff, but I will tell you that I did take my notes, comments and outline here and did have a doctor review it and said, yeah, this is this, this is correct.

00:23:11 So, so directionally speaking, what I’m about to tell you should be accurate. But again, I’m not, I’m not a doctor. So, so if this gets real weird to take what I say and take it to your doctor and verified there, most of what happens during your monthly cycle ladies is water weight and as we just discussed, if you are gaining water weight and you’ll wake up one morning and suddenly you’re two or three pounds heavier, that tends to trigger that emotional reaction that we talked about right where you’re like, Ugh, I don’t feel good. I don’t look good. This isn’t working. I might as well just go eat whatever I want today. and I totally get that. Now I have for you a basically a layout of everything that happens during each week of the month and how that will impact the scale. And I want to go through each of these here in just a second because, but before I do,

00:24:13 let’s do this. Let’s do the weight loss tip of the week here. Weight loss tip of the week.

00:24:29 All right. I am a, I actually think this is something that I probably should have written a blog article on at some point, but I really never did. and at some point it may turn into one, but here it is. Your weight loss tip of the week, and this really does make a difference. It is. Don’t let your impulsive self make any decisions ever, no decisions by your impulsive self, and what I mean by that is when you’re at work and you realize that somebody brought donuts and they bring them out, that is your impulsive self. That is going to be making a choice between having a donut or not having a donut, right? Right. Or if you are at a restaurant and you have the menu open in front of you, that is your impulsive self, that is about to make a decision on what you will be eating that for that meal, and I could go down the list again and again and again, but basically all of the hundreds of decisions that you make on a daily basis about what you’re going to eat, whether or not you’re going to go to the gym or exercise or just get moving.

00:25:27 All of those decisions are made typically buy your impulsive self, right? However, I would propose that you’re, if, if, if you’re allowing your impulsive self to make those decisions, you’re impulsive self, is seeking the quick reward instead of the longterm reward, right? And you’re impulsive. Self says, well, I want the food that tastes the best because I want to be rewarded now. Or you’re impulsive. Self says I don’t want to go to the gym because I will be tired when I’m done and I would much rather stay here and watch my show. Right? so you’re impulsive. Self frankly, is a very poor decision maker when it comes to your longterm health. I think that’s probably the right way to put it. I would propose that all of your decisions should be made at least 12 hours in advance. your healthy self should be the one making those choices.

00:26:17 So making the decisions about what you’re going to eat when you’re going to work out, how long you’re going to work out a, all of those decisions should be made by your healthy adult responsible self, at least 12 hours in advance. And that means having your day planned out. Have we said this enough before your day starts, you should know exactly what you’re going to be eating exactly what you’re going to be a what, what exercise you will be doing that day. Exactly how long the exercise will last and exactly when you’ll be doing it. Oh, you’re, all of these things should be made at least 12 hours in advance. That way when the time comes to make the decision, it’s already been made and you’re impulsive. Self is not in charge of what happens. Can I throw something in there? Yeah.

00:27:14 I think it’s important to have not an excuse, but when somebody presents you with an offering of, say, a doughnut or a piece of cake for your coworker’s birthday, you need to have your thanks. But I’m going to have to pass on this right there on the tip of your tongue because the longer you sit there and debate it, the stronger that urge is going to be just to have a little corner of cake. I do. I really don’t know anybody who gets offended if you say thanks, but I’m going to have to pass on this one this time and just just be ready with that, and so it’s not even a. You don’t have to make that decision. You already know what you’re gonna say. You’re going to know that they’re not going to be offended. Right, and if they are,

00:28:00 well, hopefully. Yeah, no, this is awesome because hopefully 12 hours prior, your healthy self said, if anybody has a birthday or cake or brings donuts to the office tomorrow, I am going to pass on those and then when the time comes, you’ve already got that as part of your plan for the day. Hey look, somebody did what I thought they might do and I’ve already made my decision. Right? And you can make that decision. Thirty days in advance, 60 days in advance, 90 days in advance, you can just know that eating junk food at the office is just not something that you do right, and as long as you’ve made that decision in advance, you’re impulsive. Self is never given an opportunity to make a decision and you’ll be much happier and healthier as a result. So that’s it. Don’t let your impulsive self make any of the decisions as you go throughout your day. That is the weight loss tip of the week. All right, let’s talk about period. Let’s do this.

00:28:59 I can’t believe we’re doing this. This is a bonding moment for me and my, my beautiful, beautiful girlfriend slash wife sitting next to me. All right, here we go. I want to get into this week by week and by the way, don’t let me forget to come back to Kristin tings. Question in the chat room because we’ll get to that after I’ve gone through all of this and then, and then we’ll talk about the differences that that might make. All right, here we go. before we get into this, I want to point out that increases in estrogen and progesterone can both result in water retention, especially estrogen. Both of them can cause you to, to bloat and gain water as the, as the balances and estrogen and progesterone change. But estrogen especially is going to be guilty of packing on water weight. Now as we talk about water weight, I also want to point out that water weight is very deceptive from a.

00:30:04 obviously it shows up on the scale, right? Right. But it also shows up elsewhere. You actually, if you. If, if you woke up tomorrow and you had gained five pounds of water weight, my initial reaction to that before I learned anything would’ve been, well, it’s just water. So who cares? Except you look fat. You see it in you’re not you specifically. You look beautiful. No matter what, five pounds definitely shows up. It does, it does you. It’s gotTa. Go somewhere. It goes right onto your belly, your hips. It can even show up even in your thighs, believe it or not. And so you will go to put on your clothes and realize they don’t fit right. And you literally look and feel like you got fatter overnight. You really do. This is this, this applies to men and women. By the way, I’m water weight looks, feels and behaves just like fat.

00:30:59 When you’re looking in the mirror or stepping on the scale on the plus side, it’s not fat and so it disappears at some point, but we’ll talk about that. Okay. Here we go. With that disclaimer in mind or with that information in mind, this will all make a lot more sense. Okay. Week one, we’re going to call week one your post period. All right. This is right after your period and during week one a, your estrogen and your progesterone are actually at their lowest. it is worth pointing out though, that there’s an exception to this, which is that older women who are closer to menopause will actually expect, can often experienced an increase in estrogen during week one. So right after post period, they’ll actually gain water weight, not for all of them, but that’s actually not that uncommon for most women. However, during week one post period, the scale can be trusted during this week.

00:31:58 So if you’re concerned about as we go through these different weeks and you’re like, okay, when is the scale actually accurate? Then week one’s a pretty good indicator. Okay. Alright. Okay. Week two, this is a, I would, I cannot, I would never make it in a career as an ob Gyn or anything like that. Yeah. Would you say it just week one? What did I label it pending on? Perfect. Thank you. You can save me from some of these, some of these topics. All right, so week two is, is pending obviously. Perfect. Okay. During week two, estrogen actually begins to build again and you will actually feel like you have more energy. but the increased hormonal activity means that you’re going to have, have you ever experienced this, this heightened sense of smell during weekend? Tons of women report this. Yeah. And it’s actually the increased estrogen, that, that causes this.

00:32:50 You are thinking more clearly, you have better coordination and believe it or not, you actually feel more athletic and more energized. During week two, this is your, I’m on top of my game week because this is when everything is basically at the correct balance. All of your estrogen, progesterone and all of those things are right where they’re supposed to be. Go Week to week to week two is the best week one’s not bad, but we two is really where it’s at. You’re at the top of your game there. the scale is also probably accurate. during week two for most women. So week one, week two, you can generally trust the numbers that you’re getting there. Assuming your diet isn’t checked right. If you’re eating tons and tons of sodium are doing it, or I’m going to pick a party before they eat a lot of pickles before you go to bed, you might wake up, you’ll, you’ll have water retention.

00:33:46 Right? But I’m purely talking about the impact of the cycle. Okay. Week three, this is where things start to start to get ugly. Week three post. Oh, okay. Thank you. Okay. During week three, you ever feel hot during week three, will you look hot all the time. I was just curious if you felt hot all the time. Yeah. Week three heat. You know, women feel hot, which is a result of the increased progesterone. Progesterone actually impacts the area of the brain that is responsible for regulating temperature. In fact, your normal temperature of 98 point six can actually go up to 99 point five to 99 point seven. It goes up almost a full degree, so you’ll actually feel that, increased progesterone also relaxes your internal organs, which also leads to water retention. and the estrogen and progesterone levels are imbalanced for the first time. Week one, they were balanced, but low week two, they were balanced, but normal week three, now they’re completely out of whack one way or another, and that actually causes, the pms symptoms and we’ll just call them mood changes.

00:35:06 This is officially a, a, a high stress period for women though, both emotionally and physically. Your body’s in this sort of state of this chemical imbalance which actually leads to small amounts of cortisol production. So that’s that stress hormone a, but that high stress period has also been or is also the cause of carb and sugar cravings. Now we’re going to do it just a second. I’m going to talk about the reason for that. but also associated with that increased stress level are decreased serotonin levels. So that is the part of your brain that actually makes you feel like everything’s okay. you know, if I, if you have extra Serotonin, you’re your extra content, extra happy, you’re feeling good, but during this period of time, your serotonin levels in your brain are dropping, which is probably why you’re seeing mood changes also why you’re experiencing these carbon sugar cravings.

00:36:08 and one study actually found that when they gave women extra progesterone, bioidentical injections of progesterone during this period, that their cravings disappeared completely. So the cravings for the chocolate were just gone when they did that, which is a pretty good indication that the cravings are the result of this, this high stress that women are experiencing during this time. Okay. So, why the high stress. Well, I did a ton of research on this because I wanted to understand this. Oh, I wanted to understand why is there a linkage between the high stress slash progesterone shortage and carve at carbon sugar cravings? Right? What, what is causing that? Well, the answer is we don’t know. No, but we do have a pretty good idea. we don’t know for sure, meaning there are no good large, longterm big sample size studies that have attempted to solve this, but we do have some smaller studies that basically all concluded the same thing.

00:37:22 So we think we know, but we don’t know for sure. You’re ready for the what we think we know, what do we think? We know? Well, this is going to go back to what I mentioned earlier, which is why do women crave chocolate during this time period? If chocolate has only been available to women during the last hundred or so years, 200 years tops. That makes no sense from a biological standpoint, right? That, that your body would be designed to crave something that it frankly has never had access to in the last millions of years of evolution. Right? Right. So what is it that’s causing that and the studies that have been done on this concluded that it is conditioning. We are conditioned, men and women. Women seem to grasp onto it more than men do. We are conditioned to deal with stress in different ways. And a lot of women, most women, especially women in the Western world, are conditioned to respond to stress with treats you with me.

00:38:26 Does that make sense? Okay. So if you’re conditioned to respond to stress with treats, you have that Pavlovian response where if I put you in a high stress state, your body says, you know, what will make me feel better? A treat. Right? And what do what treat to do. Most women prefer chocolate. Chocolate. You got it. So you are conditioned almost from birth. And think about this for a second. When you were five years old and you had a particularly rough day at school, what did your parents do for you to help make you feel better? Give you treats. They give you treats. They give you food, right? I know when our kids have a tough day, we would take them to dinner or take them to ice cream or any of those things, right? So a, hey, you look like you’re having a hard time.

00:39:15 Let’s go eat. Let’s go eat. His conditioning your children to whether consciously or subconsciously, mostly subconsciously, pacifier. It’s exactly what it is. It says, when you are stressed here, this will make you feel better. Right? And so as you go through this, this, your cycle and your progesterone levels are out of balance and now you are in a state of stress. Your conditioning throughout your whole life has taught you. When I feel this way, I know I’m supposed to have a treat you with me. Yeah. And that is where science has essentially concluded that this is coming from. And because women deal with that stress by eating more than men do. I’m at, let me back up a little bit. You guys faced this once a month, right? Just this situation where you are placed in a high stress environment once a month or a week at a time or a week at a time.

00:40:13 That is tough, right? So it’s seven sleep. That has got to be insane. I know if I walked around stressed for one quarter of my life, I would have hard time losing weight. Right? Because so much of it is about getting into a rhythm and getting into this mode where everything is repeatable and you’re, you’re on point every day, and if you introduced stress to me for 25 percent of that time, that would be very, very difficult for me to lose weight. I’m just going to say right now. So ladies, you got a tough, just going to say it right now. that’s tough, but it is not a biochemical reason why you can’t lose weight. It’s just a, you have been conditioned to respond to your stress that way. And, and it’s, it, it, it sucks. I don’t know how to say it. It sucks.

00:41:06 so what can you do about it? How do you, how do you sort of solve this problem? Have, Hey, I’m in this stressful situation and now I’ve got to figure out how to continue my weight loss journey even though I’m in this really crappy place right now. Right? A couple of things you can do. First of all, I would avoid the salty foods during, during a week three. And the reason for that is because even a little bit of salt, sodium during week three is going to show up on the scale and it’s going to make the emotional problem worse. Right? And the more you can cut your sodium back, the less likely you are to gain as much water weight as you would otherwise. So even like, like a normal amount of sodium would be like 3000 milligrams a day during week three. If I was a female, I would try to cut that down to under a thousand. And by the way, I’ve seen doctors even make that recommendation for emotional reasons. If that jump on the scale really bothers you just cut the sodium way back.

00:42:07 My fitness pal will. We’ll keep your sodium levels.

00:42:11 It does, yeah, yeah, yeah. If you’re logging all your food, this is easy. You can just go in there and see

00:42:15 and it’ll leaving sign a little alert saying, hey, you wanted to stay under this amount of sodium. If you add this, you’re going to be over it.

00:42:22 Yup. It’s awesome. Right? So it’s not that hard to just let my fitness pal sort of take that role of managing the sodium intake for you during that week. the other thing you can do that I think is super important is, and I know this is an ad, this is gonna sound really crappy, but just don’t give into the sugar temptations. And the reason for that is because the blood sugar rollercoaster that results from that is actually gonna make things worse, worse, both in terms of how you feel, but also in terms of affecting the hormonal imbalance, when you cause an insulin reaction, it actually, it actually has a cascading effects to the hormone imbalances. And so that actually makes it even worse. so eating sugar causes, it, gives you that immediate reward followed by a, a, a blood sugar crash, which leads you to craving them even more, which combined with your stress level makes you want them even more so the more you give in, the more likely you are to give in, if that makes sense.

00:43:29 Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it just gets worse and worse. All right. One more thing you can do during week three, and this is really important, don’t blow off the gym. I know, I don’t know, I’m not going to claim to know anything on this one, but I, I understand that during week three that most women really don’t feel like going to the gym. Is that a fair statement? Like that is the last place you want to beat during that week. I will tell you though, that 45 minutes or so of sweating it out in this may be the only time I say cardio, but do, you can do strength to get, do something that causes you to really, really, really sweat, right? That offsets the water weight gains. You literally are sweating out the water that your body is trying to hold onto.

00:44:20 It also increases serotonin levels and the increased serotonin levels, and this has been scientifically studied, will help with the cravings. In other words, let the gym beer, that’s just it. You hit week three, you’re craving chocolate. If you are hitting the gym for 45 minutes of cardio will end those cravings. It really does, at least according to what I said, let’s be very clear on that. that endorphin rush also, has been scientifically proven to offset any cramping and you know, the other crappy discomfort that comes with all of this as well. So, even though you don’t feel like going to the gym, that actually is likely the prescription to solving most of the issues here,

00:45:08 you’re going to feel better at the gym than you would home under a blanket crying with us.

00:45:12 Yeah. A bag of m and m gives you something to do. It gets you away from the food. the sweat removes the water from your body. The workout increases serotonin levels. So you’re going to feel good about yourself after you feel like all of this stuff is the exact prescription to the problems that you’re experiencing during week three. It’s awesome. You earn a nice bubble bath when you’re done and who doesn’t, right? one other thing that I’ll point out during week three that you could do that might help. There was a study done out of the New York Metropolitan Hospital where they found that during week three, I’m calcium supplements taking a huge amounts of calcium. I don’t see huge amounts but, but taking calcium supplements, reduced water retention, during week three for about 75 percent of the women who took it. So it wasn’t a hundred percent by any means.

00:46:07 No. Is that increasing the calcium? Increasing the calcium? Yeah, for just that week. Yup. So not across the board. You don’t have to do across the board, your body gets plenty of calci most likely, especially if you’re eating healthy. But during, yeah, Broccoli is loaded with calcium. I hear that all the time. Side Note, if I stopped drinking milk because milk is loaded with sugar, how will I get my calcium? And the answer is vegetables. Vegetables are loaded with calcium. anyway. during week three, there are studies that show that increasing your calcium intake will substantially help with the water retention for, like I said, they, most studies are finding about 75 percent of women respond well to that. Can you trust the scale during week three? I would say no, not even close. In fact, some women will gain as much as 10 pounds during week three.

00:47:06 Can you believe that? That’s unbelievable. I can’t imagine waking up being 10 pounds heavier, you know, during this high stress period, you’re already stressed. Right? And then you look down at the scale. You’re like, what did I do to deserve 10 pounds of weight gain? I, I, I can’t even imagine. Most women will gain two to five pounds is actually more typical. But you, the, it sounds like to me like the sky’s the limit on, on weight gain here, and it does show up right on your belly. So you know, now your clothes aren’t fitting anymore, which is a, which is no fun. I’m the. Yeah. So don’t trust the scale. I think that’s the point there. During, during that week. One question for you is this though, if the scale is showing that you are up five pounds, are you still losing weight? Are you burning fat still? Can you burn fat during week three when all this was going on?

00:47:59 Absolutely. Yeah. If if what you were putting on is just water weight, the fat loss that you’re getting from all of this exercise and great eating is still happening. The water, the water retention is just on top of your body. You got it. It’s just on top of.

00:48:17 It’s hiding. Yeah, it’s hiding the fat burn from you, but it is still happening. Make no mistake about it, which is really pretty cool when you think about it because if you’re at week two and you’re like, okay, I can trust the scale, and then you go through this week three where you’re like, I don’t trust it at all. When you finally emerged back to a week where you can trust the scale again, you should have lost some weight during this time,

00:48:38 right? You could have. You could easily be down up to four pounds, safely losing just that two pounds per week over that two weeks.

00:48:47 You got it, and so even though the scale is not showing you what you need to know, you’re still burning fat. If you’re sticking to the plan, that’s all the math. I know you used it all up right there. All right, let’s move on to week four. your period. Thank you. Oh, thank you. Wouldn’t think that he grew up in a house with all girls and now he has all girls bunches of girls. Oh, that’s it. That’s all I know. I know enough. I know enough to know when I should shut up. Let’s put it that way. All right. Week for your estrogen and your progesterone levels begin to drop back to a baseline. Normal. The water retention begins to subside. but the, but the key here is it begins to discover or begins to even out. And so as those levels drop, the scale is slowly going to start to come back in line with where it needs to be.

00:49:42 You may start week for five pounds up and you may end week for two pounds down. Let’s a seven pound swing in one week, which is kind of awesome when you think about it. But, that’s assuming that you can handle the emotional rollercoaster that you’re going on. So, this is when everything sort of starts to go back to normal. and you know, starts to dip under were because of remember week one, your levels are very, very, very low on estrogen and progesterone, right? They’re, they’re, they’re way, way, way down. and week four is when the levels start to head down and they’re actually going to dip below baseline in week one. You with me. So that’s why they call it a cycle. It’s not like on and off your, your hormone levels are constantly shifting on you. And so at this point they’re on their way back down there, close to baseline, normal.

00:50:39 At some point during this week, they’ll hit baseline normal before they start to drop down. Even lower than that. I do have a couple of comments on week four though that I think are interesting. The first one is, there are some studies, and again, typically I don’t like to talk about things I don’t have personal experience with, but we’re in, we’re in an area where I just will probably never have personal experience with this, but there are some studies that show that eating a vegetarian during this week is beneficial for weight loss, which I thought was interesting. that doesn’t mean that you’re changing your ratios. You’re still sticking to the same carb protein and fat ratios as before, but you’re eliminating, the actual meat part. So your, your protein would come from plant sources, I guess, in, in these cases, would you still do your protein shake?

00:51:30 Yeah, yeah, you’d use a, like a, like a pea plant protein. Oh, okay. So a plant based protein supplement. Okay. Yep. So if you’re used to a whey protein isolate or something like that, that wouldn’t be considered. That would be okay. Yeah, that would be okay. I’ll wait. Whey protein, which would be considered vegetarian in this case. Yeah, it’s, yeah, that should fit right. You don’t have to go full Vegan. but you don’t want your meat during week four. You don’t want your, your protein to come from a chicken, beef, pork, etcetera. Okay. But wait, we should be fine. All right. another comment on a week for. Is that for a bat? Well, let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s, let’s talk about this one really quick. Can you trust the scale during week four? Is it accurate? Still going down. Still going down? Exactly. Well, let’s give it a little little longer. You got it? So the scale is probably still recovering from the previous week as the water weight falls off. And Man, if this doesn’t make weight loss difficult, I don’t know what does, you’ve only got 50 percent of the time when you can actually stand on the scale and trust the number that’s on there. That’s crazy. Yes.

00:52:44 Yes, I see. I see why women get on weight loss programs and say this isn’t working right. It started off working really well and then it stopped working after two weeks. So I don’t think I should be doing this anymore. In fact, I started gaining weight. Right. I get it. I see why that would totally get in your head without understanding what’s really going on underneath all this. Right. So stay with it through those two weeks when the scale is lying to you. Learned a lot. Yeah. That’s the conclusion. Well, I have one more interesting bit of data on week four and this especially applies to starbucks people. We’re going to get into some advanced stuff here for a second if that’s okay. I’m. In fact if you’re in the chat room, give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Let’s vote on this. Do you want the advanced stuff here right now because we’re gonna we’re gonna. Get a little more, little more in depth here. Specifically, I want to talk about what happens to your blood sugar during week four. and especially noting that blood sugar has a lot to do with your ability to lose weight. Somebody sent the, the frowny crying face.

00:53:57 Okay. I’m already, I think I’m already making girls cry as a result of this. I’m not sure this is going the way I had hoped. I had hoped that this would make some women excited. Like, okay, now I understand what’s going on. but, but I guess if people are crying, I’m, I’m, I’m, I have failed.

00:54:15 Maybe those were

00:54:17 tears of happiness. I don’t know. I don’t know. Okay, we got enough votes for the advanced stuff. Let’s do this for about 40 percent of women, being on your period. Thank you. Period menstruating can absolutely wreak havoc with your blood sugar. and especially if you’re on Karbachs watch out for this, but macro fit people too, but 40 percent of women will dump glucose during their cycle and so your body literally goes into the cells and squeezes out the glycogen that these glucose stores and pushes that into your bloodstream. And if you measure your glucose level during week four, for about 40 percent of women, it looks like they just ate chocolate. Wow. Yeah. This is, this is, this is, this is a true thing. And what happens is that can lead women to feel like they just had a sugar crash as well, right after, right?

00:55:21 Because you’re dumping glucose and then it’s gone. And then your body’s like, hey, where’d he go? I need something to stabilize, and this actually happens a three to four days prior to your period perfect starting, that you have this blood sugar spike and so three to four days prior you’ll measure in your, you’ll just see this dump of glucose in your blood even though you’re like, this doesn’t make any sense because I have not eating carbs right? And it just spikes up into a, anywhere from about 1:10 to about 1:50, which is, that’s a full on insulin reaction. That is what you would get if you eat a snickers bar, right? and it’ll stay that way for, you know, a day or so before it comes back down. And then you’ll really feel like this lack of energy. It’s a sugar crash, quite literally, that you feel well and you didn’t even get to enjoy it.

00:56:16 No, no you didn’t. but it does happen again about 40 percent of women. And if you’re on car backs, that can actually stall your fat burn for several days because it knocks you out of Ketosis. And so that is a perfect time to have a cheat meal. You got a cheat meal once you nail, right? Yep. And that’s the perfect time to have one time when you go out and just really enjoy some carbs because you might as well you just knocked yourself out of Ketosis, right? Well, you didn’t do it to yourself, but, but if you’re, if this is the one time where that actually has scientific backing, where you say, well, if the number’s so high, screw it, I might as well. Right? And I’m telling you, if you are dumping glucose into your. If you’re on car backs, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, macrophage, people, this does not apply to you, but if you’re on car ketogenic and you measure your blood sugar one day during week four or just prior to week four actually, and you notice a huge blood sugar spike, you’re dumping glucose into your bloodstream.

00:57:22 That is your signal to go have a go. Have a wonderful once a month cheat meal with some carbs. Just do it. It’s awesome. I’m the only way you’ll know whether or not this is happening, however, is if you are measuring your blood sugar pretty much constantly throughout an entire month, three to four times a month or I’m sorry, three to four times a day for an entire month. You with me? So for about 30 days in a row, you’re taking multiple measurements every single day so that you can understand what normal is for you. Right? It’s a fascinating experience. It is interesting. We, we do it all the time. I mentioned my blood sugar all the time, right? Because I like to know how my body is reacting to foods that I eat and I’m not even doing a ketogenic diet anymore. I’m not even doing carpets anymore. And those little insulin meters are getting cheaper and cheaper.

00:58:15 No, you can get a meter for 20 bucks with the test strip. Now I’m just go down to cvs or walgreens and you know, they’ll, they’ll sell you one with the test strips and there are about ten cents a piece on the test strip. So it’s not ultra cheap to do this, but the data that you get back is super interesting. Valuable. Yeah. so if you’ve got a 30 day baseline, you now know how your body is responding normally to the food that you eat in one day, three to four days prior to week four, you see that glucose spike, you’re like, Aha, that is not normal because I did not eat anything to cause that. Now you know exactly what happened and why. And now you know how to time that cheat meal in there, which is pretty cool when you think about that.

00:58:56 Yeah. So that’s how, you know when, when to hit it or we’d hit that, the cheat mail and have it not necessarily affect you any worse than it already did. Right? Yeah. so the conclusions, and by the way, if you have questions, we have had questions. Let’s talk about the questions first. What did we have here? Oh, iud question. Yeah. It’s actually a really good one. Let me go back and find it. It was A. Yeah. What if you’re on an Iud, does that affect your, a waterway? If you don’t have a cycle, is it still effected? The answer is yeah, kind of, because the Iud doesn’t completely eliminate all of the hormonal responses associated with your cycle. It does eliminate some of them. and so the answer is sort of, and it depends. How about that? the, it definitely decreases, all of the hormonal responses, both estrogen and progesterone and your cycle is very, very different, although it is still kind of there.

00:59:54 it can’t mask it completely, but it may be so low that it’s not something that would affect you, at least not in the way we’re talking about here. Right. You may see, you know, water weight fluctuations as a result of these things, but not on the same schedule. And certainly not to the same extreme. That’s probably the best way to put it. Right? somebody asked about postmenopausal women, women who are no longer a, can I say a victim of this cycle. Can I say that? I think we would all empathize with the victim. So that’s what I’m going to say. Then I’m a victim and the women who are no longer victims of this cycle, same answer, you still do have, you know, hormonal changes that go on but not nearly to the extreme that you did before. And so generally, no, this would apply significantly less to you.

01:00:48 All the other stuff we talked about besides the cycle information, obviously still applies, and you know, the, the chocolate cravings and the carb cravings. Now hopefully you understand the reasons for those, all of that still applies when you experienced those cravings. Hitting the gym still applies, right, as the best response to those because those, you know, if they’re up for a million different reasons that I think we covered that will significantly help those types of problems and stressful situations are going to trigger those types of things, whether the stressful situations of the result of hormonal imbalances or just, you know, things going on in your life. again, hitting the gym, sweating it out oftentimes is the best natural way to sort of reset a all of that. Right, right. what else do we have that came in on the questions? if you have more questions, fire them in here and I’ll let melanie answer him.

01:01:51 Oh, I was going to mention as well if you’ve had a procedure that makes, an ablation specifically when you no longer, I’ll throw myself under the bus. you no longer have a period per se. There’s still your body still produces the hormones as if you were still having a period. So even though this is just a little way I know how it work, you don’t bleed, your body’s still believes that, you know, biologically your body still goes through that roller coaster of hormonal changes. So you have your phantom period of time. So you definitely still have those for very specific weeks even if you’re not.

01:02:31 So you’ve had the ablasion and even though you. Let me summarize here, even though you’ve had it, everything we just talked about here still applies to that. Yeah. You, you still up down scale still drives you crazy during the year, the two crazy weeks? Yep. yeah, still still applies. Good. sorry, just my laptop got away from me there. So the conclusion that I would pull in here is that while men, you know, they don’t have the constant distractions and head games that come with the constant water retention issues constantly being in the kitchen or around food and all of these things. The result is that men tend to be more disciplined, on their weight loss programs. It just, they, they just aren’t dealing with as much drama as much drama. That’s a good way to put it. They just don’t have as much to deal with.

01:03:29 But in terms of do men actually have a weight loss advantage of the biochemical level? No, none, zero zip, Nada, a, a man and a woman both sticking to their plan at 100 percent. We’ll both lose weight at the same rate, but for all of the reasons we’ve talked about, sticking to that plan can be much harder for women. That makes sense. Yeah. I hope, I hope that helps. I hope we’ve answered questions here. Oh, pat, you just a in the chat room, just brought up something really important, which is, during those periods, that wasn’t even what I was trying to do. A, this is going to turn into a giggle fest really quick if I’m not careful, but during those, those times when you are, you are dealing with low blood sugar issues, you know, your, Your Body is dumping glucose or you’re experiencing that sort of rebound attack or maybe you gave into the carb cravings and had the snack and you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of the this awful cycle of, you know, sugar crash, sugar craving, sugar crash, sugar craving.

01:04:41 protein is the answer. A protein is the answer to all of that. and the, the conclusion is as much of the, as much protein as you can fit in, and quite frankly, I’m the protein shakes, the supplements, those types of things are going to be super, super helpful in terms of stabilizing your blood sugar. A, they’re not a magic answer. They don’t instantly stabilize it, but they do give your body the tools that it needs to, to deal with the problem. And I’m not saying that if you cheat and eat carbs that you can make it right by, by, by having a protein shake. It doesn’t work that way, but it does, it does help rank. so protein shakes are the answer. They’re a low sodium proteins as the question

01:05:27 I think. I think a lot of those are the Turkey, the ham, Canadian Bacon, that are high in sodium are also processed meats. I think if you, you know, you’re just take a chicken breast and, you know, broil it up with, you know, you can do Mrs. Dash, there are a lot of, of lower sodium alternatives. I think that’ll give you a, a less, you know, sodium dense protein if you’re wanting. That means.

01:05:51 Yeah. I think that’s good. And also just to remember the protein supplements themselves. So, you know, protein shakes are our sodium. Fantastic. I’m going to pull up. It is a good question. Yeah. If you’re trying to keep the sodium down, what, what protein sources should you be aiming for? seafood tends to be pretty good. Shrimp, lobster crab. A relatively low sodium. I think another process. The Ken, the Ken crap. Oh yeah. I would stay away from anything. Anything in a can is. Yeah. Anything processed is not going to be low. Sodi the chicken breast, a plain white chicken breast from your butcher is going to be fine. A Turkey from your butcher is going to be fine. Yeah. Again, those fresh cuts of meat, egg whites, also, you know, very, very low sodium whey protein shakes. Low Sodium. I’m trying to see what else here.

01:06:48 And they do have low sodium lunch meat.

01:06:53 Yeah. In the Deli and the Deli. Yeah. You have to look for it because when they process it they can show you. Yeah. When they process it, they add sodium because frankly it makes it taste better. but yeah, get you can get the low sodium variety is is always a good idea. So, hopefully this has helped. Hopefully, you now understand, where the, where the weaknesses are in the system. We got to hear Brian talk that you did and, but hopefully you now have the tools that you need to go after those weaknesses. In other words, you know, you know what’s going on, you know, why it’s happening, which hopefully makes it easier to deal with on a daily basis as you go through this. So, I, I genuinely hope this, I, I know how much of a mental battle weight loss is, it’s a, it, it’s 90 percent weight loss and I can tell you that if I was experiencing some of these things during my own journey, I would have struggled, sold way more than than I did, right?

01:07:45 And so I really, really empathize with the position that you ladies are in, but hopefully with a little bit of knowledge, at least just an understanding of what’s going on and why and knowing that I’m just because the scale went up doesn’t mean you’re screwing up or it doesn’t mean your plan isn’t working. hopefully that’s enough to get you through until you can see the reward on the scale, you know, a week or two later. Yeah, yeah. All right. Thanks everybody. Have a great night. If you have questions, feel free to send me an email or a note on facebook and we’ll catch you on the next podcast. Thanks.

01:08:22 I hope you enjoyed this podcast. If you enjoyed it, please take a minute to post a review on itunes or elsewhere. It really helps me out since this is something that I do for free. It would also help if you’d tell your friends about it on facebook, twitter, etc. If you’d like more information, there’s tons of ways to follow me online. FIrst, you can subscribe to this podcast on itunes or elsewhere. Just search for 100 down and subscribe. Second, you can read my blog at [inaudible] dot org, which I constantly update with new ideas, tips, tricks, and maura has tons of information on weight loss and fitness that thousands of people have found useful and inspiring. Everything I’ve ever learned is documented there. That’s on 103rd. You can follow along on facebook, just search facebook for 100 down and finally you can check out my new project meant to help people through their own weight loss journey at [inaudible] dot com. That’s w e I g h t.x.com. A staff of virtual weight loss coaches will create a customized weight loss plan just for you and they’ll help you execute the plan with advice, guidance, and inspiration on a daily basis, all tailored just to you and your individual needs.