By Eugenie Jones
As a woman, do you see yourself as more vulnerable to weight gain at sometimes more so than others? If not, you should. Women have three distinct life stages during which we have a greater propensity to gain weight.
Girls should know that the first risk occurs in conjunction with puberty (oops, there just went some of my male readers), predictably the second is pregnancy (there just went all the single men), and finally — as if it’s not enough to contend with in and of itself — there’s menopause (and there just went all the rest).
The first life stage, puberty/menstruation, still is a bit controversial. When it comes to girls, puberty, and weight gain, researchers disagree as to whether girls who gain weight during this life stage are doing so because they hit puberty early — or if they are hitting puberty early because of excess body fat.
Regardless, the bottom line is girls need to be mindful of this risk as they approach and enter puberty. If you allow yourself to become overly fat at this life stage, you can expect to have a greater propensity to gain excess fat your entire life.
Conversely, any muscle tissue you develop now will help you to stay leaner your entire life through. So, controlling your weight prior to and during puberty will make future weight challenges easier to cope with and your healthy weight, easier to maintain.
Toward that end, moms, this is the time for you to model good eating, exercise, and body image habits to your daughters. And daughters, this is a good time to step away from the sweets, sodas, double chocolate mochas, and fried foods and step instead into daily walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or other forms of cardio activity, 30 to 45 minutes, five to six times per week.
You could do more, light resistance training, school sports, etc. — but at the very least pick one cardiovascular activity that you enjoy and learn now the critical skill of consistency in order to control fat gain, develop muscle tissue and create a body that is stronger and leaner.
Comment from Leslie
Wonder how many guys read this article – since it went on on a Tweet as “for women only” – Yeah you know who you are….but seriously, the more men are educated about women and their hormonal health – the better their relationships with them.