10 Aug 2022

Award-winning fitness nutritionist's advice to Waterford women trying to lose weight this summer

When it comes to losing weight women face a harder psychological battle than men.

We all know that testosterone is the male hormone and oestrogen for women. Luckily for men, testosterone levels can stay level enough throughout our lives but slowly drop with old age. However, women face a hormonal, emotional and physical battle on a monthly basis.

So what has this got to do with weight loss? Have you ever been that woman who is on a diet and doing great for two weeks and then the third week get on the scales and your weight has stayed the same or has gone up? You think to yourself ‘how on earth has this happened? I stuck to it 100%’.

You get upset and say ‘To hell with this, I’m eating junk food!’ or as some call it you ‘fall off the wagon’. The reason your weight has gone up is due to water retention coming up to your menstrual cycle. Yes ladies, water retention!

Your body can store anything from one to ten pounds of water a week before your cycle. This is due to the rise of oestrogen in the body. After a few days progesterone will then rise and oestrogen will drop and that’s when the water retention will begin to drop off. Think of it as your body’s natural survival mechanism. It knows it is going to be losing fluid so it takes on fluid to survive.

Information like this is crucial when your on a diet as the rise in oestrogen will not only store water but it will also affect your mood and then seeing the numbers on the scales go up can tip you over the edge.

Some of you are probably on contraception and don’t go through a menstruation cycle, but water retention still happens. Even though you are taking contraception, the body will still go through the process of a rise in oestrogen so water retention can still happen.

For some strange reason people have become reliant on scales. You must remember scales are not an accurate representation of fat loss as they measure everything like water, bone, organs and fat - everything that makes up your body is shown as one number.

My advice
Make a calendar! Track your progress and log when you start to retain water. You will notice that after a while you will be able to determine when you will start to retain and can usually judge how much.
Once you know this you can rest assured that if you’re sticking to your diet, your fat loss is just being masked by water retention.
Scales are only an aid and you should also take body measurements as these will give you a more accurate representation of your loss.
I go into issues like this in more detail on my FacebookInstagram, Snapchat (Fitness-ppt), Twitter and website.

Defence Forces sniper instructor Peter O’Halloran won Ireland’s Best Fitness Nutritionist/Dietician award at the recent Irish Fitness Industry Awards and a few days later took the prize for Best Use of Social Media by a Gym/Personal Trainer at the Social Media Awards 2018.

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