Strength Training for Women 101 Part 2
In part one I covered the basics in why you should lift weights and the untrue myths that surround strength training for females.
In this part of our strength training for women we will look at some of the general guidelines needed to be observed in your diet if you are preparing for lifting weights.
The biggest factor in a diet is calories in versus calories out; your total calories will determine if you lose or gain weight. Eating too many calories will lead to fat gain. But if you don’t eat enough calories you will not gain lean muscle. Setting a target calorie intake and counting the amount of calories you eat each day is vital to losing fat and gaining lean muscle.
Macro Nutrient planning
While your total caloric intake is the most important diet factor, the ratio of protein to carbs to fat can dictate whether the weight you gain/lose is muscle or fat. A diet that contains 80% of calories from carbs, 10% from protein, and 10% from fat will produce different results than a diet containing 40% of calories from carbs, 40% from protein, and 20% from fat.
You should drink plenty of water every day. Try to drink at least eight glasses (or 64 oz.) of water per day. The benefits drinking water provides are optimal hydration as well as a feeling of “fullness” without added calories. Sometimes people will mistake thirst for hunger. Because of this, staying hydrated can also prevent overeating.
Eat wholesome foods
Choose fresh, wholesome foods over pre-packaged, processed foods. Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, especially sodium and saturated fats, and often have high amounts of sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup.
You will be amazed at how fast you can lose fat just by packing meals from home rather than purchasing fast food or packaged foods. You also will save a lot of money!
Insulin is the “storage” hormone. When it is secreted fat burning is blunted. By controlling insulin secretion by choosing low GI carbs you can decrease fat gain/increase fat loss. Stable blood sugar levels also improve energy levels and one’s mood. All of our diets as based around insulin control, leading to leaner muscle gains with little to no fat gain.
Enough Protein in your life
In order to gain lean muscle you need to eat enough protein to sustain the creation of new muscle proteins. You may not be used to eating the amount of protein our prescribed diet recommends, but once you get into the groove you should not have any problems and will enjoy how full and satisfied you feel.
Essential Good fats
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital to the proper functioning on your body. Dietary fats got a bad rap due to the diet fads of the 80’s and 90’s, which promoted eating as little fat as possible, but in reality EFAs are needed by the body and are part of a healthy diet. Eating fats does not equate to getting fat. In fact, most EFAs help support the fat burning process and maintaining a lean body. Do not be scared to eat good fats. EFAs are not the enemy.
Women do not need to diet much differently than men. One metabolic difference between men and women is women burn a greater ratio of fat to carbs than men, which is the reason why women tend to do very well on a low carb diet. Due to this fact we recommend women follow a low-carb (not no carb) diet to lose fat and gain toned, lean muscle.
But remember this. You do need carbs in your plan. No such thing as saying brian roache said don’t eat carbs. The best time to eat your carbs is after your training session.
You earn, you eat is the rule when it comes to carbs.
In part 3 I will delve into what exercises you should be doing and how you can get the most from the least work!