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Female Physique

Nutrition For Females: Why Women Should Eat Differently (You’ve Been Lied To!)


Updated: July 5th 2017 (07/05/2017)

Males & Females Require a Tailored plan…

Should Female Nutrition be the same as Male Nutrition? Sadly the answer is NO and you’ve been lied too…

If there’s one thing i’ve learned about consulting for over 500 clients and teams including the US Navy, Hollywood Celebs, World Gold Medalists, The NBA, MLB and just about everyone else it is that there are a TON of myths, fads and lies in the weight loss and nutrition world.

and today, I’m going to debunk it all, backed by science…

In this article I will cover a variety of points, demonstrating why women should eat differently to men and why a female specific diet plan will drastically improve fat loss, health, energy and overall results!

Here’s just a few gender differences that i’ll break down and teach you the key female specific points you MUST know:

  • Hormones,
  • Physiology,
  • Insulin Sensitivity,
  • Fat Oxidation Rates (how much fat you burn every minute)
  • Metabolism,
  • Muscle Mass,
  • Body Structure etc, make men and women VERY different.

If you are ready to debunk one of the BIGGEST LIES in the health, weight loss and fitness industry let’s begin!

Here is everything you need to know about tailoring your diet and female specific nutrition…

 

pie charts diet

Female Nutrition: A Greater Reliance on Fat During Exercise

During exercise, women use less carbohydrates than men, burning more fat at the same exercise intensity (Tarnopolsky, 2008).

Potential reasons for their greater fat oxidation or burning capabilities:

  • Higher levels of the hormone Estrogen (Tarnopolsky, 2008),
  • More sensitive to the effects of the hormone Epinephrine (Schmidt et al., 2014),
  • Increased amounts of intra cellular fat (fat in the muscle cell) (Tarnopolsky, 2008),
  • Higher average body fat percentage, meaning they have increased fat to oxidize and burn for fuel (Tarnopolsky, 2008).

Some research shows at exactly the same intensity females can burn and utilize fat more efficiently than men. This is of course a good thing and it may suggest females can do better on a lower-carb, higher fat diet (if you enjoy, that is).

In fact, a higher fat diet for females has plenty of positive data and results in the research. Women who ate a higher fat diet burned more calories during exercise, had higher bench press strength and had less body fat when compared to the low-fat higher carb diet (Trexler et al., 2014).

I must point out that performing weight training and having more muscle mass or testosterone does not necessarily mean that women will become will become ‘bulky’ either.

Instead, it is more likely that they will burn more calories during the day, have greater strength and better body composition (meaning they are both lean and toned!).

Just take a look at the physiques some of my female clients achieve, weight training 5 – 6 times a week with my tailored Metabolic Resistance Workouts (Watch the 2 minute video below to see some of the amazing results):

 

Less Hunger with a Low Carb Diet?

Another benefit of a higher fat diet is hunger and satiety. This is key for successful weight loss and long-term dieting, something I emphasize daily with clients and those on the Bikini Transformation Plan.

When it comes to female nutrition, a higher fat diet tend to be more satiating for some individuals  (Johnstone et al., 2008). One study in women found that a high fat diet resulted in up to 15% less food intake compared to higher carb intake (Bolhuis et al., 2016).

If you can diet with less hunger then you are more likely to enjoy the process, binge less, have less cravings and ultimately succeed in the long-term!

female nutrition

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

As mentioned, when it comes to female nutrition, women tend to maintain higher insulin sensitivity levels (which is good for both health and fat loss!) when they consume higher fat diets (Heeg et al., 2011).

Research shows that insulin sensitivity can play a role in weight loss success and compliance on a low fat and low carb diet (McClain et al. 2012). This research suggests the more insulin sensitive an individual is, the more likely they are to succeed on any type of diet (e.g. low fat or low carb).

Insulin is key for carbohydrate metabolism, this would support the argument that women can also tolereate carbohydrates well and they shouldn’t be totally eliminated from the diet.

A mixture of carbohydrates and fats within a day or week, tailored to the workout and goals of the female can work amazingly. This is known as carb cycling, and it’s used successfully by myself and all my clients in the 90 Bikini Plan. Just check out this recent comment on Facebook:

carb-cycle-comment-on-hiit-post

I use carbohydrate cycling and nutrient periodization in my 90 Day Bikini Transformation Challenge. Not only do people get to eat high carb foods such as pasta, potato, wraps, pizza and ice cream, the transformation and results are amazing.

If you are a female restricting yourself to chicken salads, your doing it wrong and eliminating some of the tasty foods that I’m sure you love! Learn to achieve a balance and make sure you are providing adequate fuel for weight training and recovery!

Female Nutrition: Consider Bodyweight & Size

This article has provided evidence that both a higher carb and higher fat diet can work well when it comes to female nutrition. Despite some data showing women can actually be more insulin sensitive than men, it does not necessarily mean they can be on a similar diet.

One of the biggest factor is body size, lean body mass and weight. These factors are key predictors of your Resting Metabolic Rate (how many calories you burn on a daily basis, at rest).

Although it seems obvious, everything must be tailored proportionally to the individual. This includes the amount of total calories per day and the amount of carbs, fats and protein.

Here is some of the differences you should consider:

  • Women’s resting metabolic rate can be 20 – 40% less than men, meaning they need less calories.
  • They require a lower dose of protein or lecuine to stimulate Muscle Protein Synthesis.
  • They likely have smaller glycogen stores, so even though they tolerate carbohydates well, they probably need a smaller daily or per meal amount of carbs.

As you can see, women should not follow the same diet plan as their male counterparts. Along with adjusting calories, the macronutrient composition of their diet must be tailored and varied.

Female Specific Supplements

Just like diet, females respond best to specific supplements tailored to them.

Of course, some staple supplements work great for both genders, but, there are other supplements that are perfect for females.

Here’s a list of a few key staples I love based on the research, plus a few extra female specific ones:

  • DHEA (around 100mg per day)
  • Menopause Supplement or Research Proven Blend
  • Vitamin D3
  • Probiotics
  • Iron
  • Creatine
  • Whey Protein

Bonus: Use Metabolic Resistance Training

If your primary goal is to lose fat and tone up then Metabolic Resistance Training is the perfect solution. By adding this type of training in over cardio or regular weight training you can burn 200 – 300% more fat, increase your metabolic rate after the workout and tone up.

It allows you to get double the amount of volume (i.e. sets, reps or exercises) compared to the regular training you are doing. In addition, its going to help your heart, general fitness and cardiovascular fitness improve just like a normal running or cardio session will.

Unless you want to train twice per day, everyday, Metabolic Resistance Training really gives you the BEST of both worlds.

This type of training is really suited for females in particular and I get fantastic results when using it with my female clients or those on the 90 Day Bikini Plan. This is because women tend to have more slow twitch muscle fibers, need less rest and have increased capacity to buffer waste products that accumulate during this type of training.

If you want to learn more about Metabolic Resistance Training then you can read a full blog post here:  Metabolic Resistance Training: The Best Female Workout Structure for Fat Loss & Fitness

female nutrition

Bonus: Master the Basics First!

Despite the important gender specific points raised in this article you should NEVER forget the basics of female nutrition, or general nutrition for that matter!

I always discuss and emphasize a “hierarchy of importance”. If you are not mastering the basics everyday then it doesn’t matter how advanced your supplement regime is, how well you tailor your diet to your body type etc etc.

The basics still determine 80 – 90% of your success. Master these and THEN move onto more advance techniques (like discussed here) to really optimize the full 100%.

I always teach these 6 key fundamentals to people in my 1:1 Elite Coaching or 90 Day Bikini Plan, master these and you will transform your body better than 99% of people, guaranteed…

  • 1. Calories: Control and tailor your calorie intake specific to YOUR GOALS! For example, if you want to lose weight you MUST be in a deficit. If you want to gain weight you MUST be in a surplus.
  • 2. Protein: Eat a high protein diet, all day, everyday. Split your protein down into 3 – 5 meals to maximize the muscle protein synthesis response, in general, you should be eating atleast 1 gram of protein per 1LB of bodyweight. For example, a 150LB individual should be eating 150g per day minimum.
  • 3. Training: 99% of people do not maximize their training regime. Even if you do a typical weight regime there is still a LARGE room for improvement here. For female specific fat loss, toning up and physique transformation then my Metabolic Resistance Training can speed up your results by at least 300-400% and plays a key role in the results seen from the 90 Day Bikini plan.
  • 4. Sleep: Many people overlook the importance of sleep, however, research has proven a bad nights sleep can cause weight gain, hunger, decreased performance, fatigue, decreased energy and more. Maximize your sleep EVERYDAY, aim for atleast 8 hours if you are dieting or training hard.
  • 5. Cycle Your Calories: Most people are unaware of the drastic metabolic adaptations to weight loss. This can wreck your hormones, metabolism and health, making it virtually impossible to maintain the new weight. You MUST pay attention to this and master your hormones and metabolism for long-term success. Read a full article on this HERE.
  • 6. Consistency: Most important of all, even the WORLDS best plan won’t yield great results if you do it for 2 weeks and then quit. You MUST stay consistent for weeks, months and years. If you’ve gained weight over 5 years you can’t expect to lose it in 5 weeks, crash diets will just cause a stupid yo-yo dieting cycle! This is why I always encourage people to build a well balanced and enjoyable plan. Even on the 90 Day Bikini Transformation Plan I actually PROMOTE days off, refeeds and strategic, controlled “unhealthy” food intake. You must learn to have a healthy balance and build a diet / training routine that you LOVE. If you can’t see yourself on this plan for 1, 3 or even 5 years then you will eventually fail, quit and rebound!

female nutrition plan

Summary

In summary, you can see that women are in fact different to men and the fact we should all eat the same is a big myth and lie within the industry.

For many on my famous 90 Day Bikini plan, a high protein, moderate fat and carb (I’m n saying zero carb, just “moderate”) diet approach may result in better body composition (more muscle, less fat) and performance for women (backed by 50+ studies and over 100,000 members on the 90 Day Bikini plan).

Of course, some (lucky) women may also do well on a higher carb, low fat approach at times but this should still be generally lower than the government guidelines and lower than what men eat. Hopefully you to can see there is no ONE best approach.

Additionally, advanced carb cycling and nutrient timing is likely a great technique to maximize women ability to burn more fat when they are resting but then maximize performance and recovery when training.

Finally, your entire nutritional regime should be tailored to you and your  metabolism/bodyweight and caloric needs. In other words, if you follow 99% of meal plans online you will likely fail as they’ve been written FOR MEN, BY MEN.

As I always teach, you must experiment, even when you find something that is working well you may need to change it.

Nothing chronic or long-term is good, which is why I schedule calorie cycling and refeeds into all my dietary plans, transformation plans and 1:1 Elite Personalized Plans

In fact, I’ve got one client right now has over 100LB on a low-carb diet.

However, her weight stalled and the results slowed down. Guess what? We started to my advanced carbohydrate cycle and at the time of writing this, she’s lost a further 30 LB in 3 months!

The Next Logical Step for Female Fat Loss/Physique Optimization

If you’ve checked out the 90 Day Bikini Transformation Challenge you may be wondering how people get such drastic results in only 90 days? Well, these female specific strategies and my advanced carb cycling methods play a large role, combined, they can cause rapid fat loss and help you tone up.

As I always encourage, test, test, test and test some more. Just because your diet is doing OK, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better, you never know until you try!

Finally, if you like what you’ve read here and seek the best optimal and advanced plan, backed by science and proven on 100’s of clients then you are in luck!

Right now, you can join over 50000 women in the private FB group on the 90 Day Bikini Program below and save a MASSIVE 85% OFF with this coupon below.

Backed by a full 100% results guarantee you have nothing to lose and with this coupon, you can access over 30 workouts, home workouts, HIIT training, carb cycling 7 day meal plans and personal support from Rudy all for $19. Get started here and claim your 85% discount now:

belly fat

References

Bolhuis, D. P., Costanzo, A., Newman, L. P., & Keast, R. S. (2016). Salt Promotes Passive Overconsumption of Dietary Fat in Humans. The Journal of nutrition146(4), 838-845.

Cnop, M., Havel, P. J., Utzschneider, K. M., Carr, D. B., Sinha, M. K., Boyko, E. J., … & Kahn, S. E. (2003). Relationship of adiponectin to body fat distribution, insulin sensitivity and plasma lipoproteins: evidence for independent roles of age and sex. Diabetologia46(4), 459-469.

Hansen, M., & Kjaer, M. (2014). Influence of sex and estrogen on musculotendinous protein turnover at rest and after exercise. Exercise and sport sciences reviews42(4), 183-192.

Høeg, L. D., Sjøberg, K. A., Jeppesen, J., Jensen, T. E., Frøsig, C., Birk, J. B., … & Richter, E. A. (2011). Lipid-induced insulin resistance affects women less than men and is not accompanied by inflammation or impaired proximal insulin signaling. Diabetes60(1), 64-73.

McClain, A. D., Otten, J. J., Hekler, E. B., & Gardner, C. D. (2013). Adherence to a low‐fat vs. low‐carbohydrate diet differs by insulin resistance status. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism15(1), 87-90.

Melanson, E. L., Gavin, K. M., Shea, K. L., Wolfe, P., Wierman, M. E., Schwartz, R. S., & Kohrt, W. M. (2015). Regulation of energy expenditure by estradiol in premenopausal women. Journal of Applied Physiology, jap-00473.

Tarnopolsky, M. A. (2008). Sex differences in exercise metabolism and the role of 17-beta estradiol. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise40(4), 648-654.

Trexler, E. T., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Wingfield, H. L., Melvin, M. N., & Roelofs, E. J. (2014). Effects of dietary macronutrient distribution on resting and post-exercise metabolism. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,11(1), 1-2.

Schmidt, S. L., Bessesen, D. H., Stotz, S., Peelor, F. F., Miller, B. F., & Horton, T. J. (2014). Adrenergic control of lipolysis in women compared with men. Journal of Applied Physiology117(9), 1008-1019.

Velders, M., & Diel, P. (2013). How sex hormones promote skeletal muscle regeneration. Sports medicine43(11), 1089-1100.

 

 

 

About the author

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Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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