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Weight Loss

The Best Article You’ll Ever Read About Training & Dieting When On Your Period (FACT)!

In fitness, female weight loss can be frustrating and confusing.  It’s really not as simple as social media – and cookie cutter personal trainers – advise.

You may be following calories and macros to the ’T’ or find making small dietary changes simple. The measurements are going down while your training is going great. Energy is high and you’re enjoying every day that comes.

Then, you wake up one day and head to the gym.  The weights feel double the amount.  You get frustrated. The guy across from you in the office irritates you with every word that comes out of his mouth. You head home and feel the lure to the kitchen for… anything.

The next morning you wake up and weigh yourself – 3kg gained! WTF!

“What the hell is wrong with me? I’m following everything. Maybe I need to do more cardio and cut carbs.”

Following that, cardio is increased. Carbs are reduced. But cravings get worse and you cave into them. More frustration and guilt follows.

And so down the rabbit hole you go for the next two weeks until it mysteriously falls into place once again.

What on earth is going on?

Grumpy female scratching her head

The thing is, there was nothing wrong with what you were doing. Your issue wasn’t lack of self-control. It wasn’t lack of preparation. It wasn’t lack of effort. It wasn’t even that you didn’t know you were having a period.

It was simply not knowing how to out-manoeuvre your menstrual cycle. Knowing the different changes that occur throughout each phase so you can progress your training and diet goals smoothly.

But I’m going to help.

What we’re going to look at in this article are the three things that might cause your frustration. Then, help you solve them. They are:

  • The three phases of the menstrual cycle;
  • Why it can be difficult to make near-consistent progress in your weight loss goals;
  • Understanding how to make adjustments throughout to make progression easier.

Why might women find it harder to lose weight?

Lady holding a scale infront of her face. Menstrual Cycle

Too often there are templates that claim, to lose a decent amount of weight and fat, you should be dieting at around 1000 – 1200 calories per day. This isn’t entirely wrong, but it’s far from right. You see, for women to diet at around those levels it would require a number of variables:

  • Be below 60kg
  • Have low activity levels
  • Be short in height

On top of that, there’s the idea that women can just diet the same way as men and the same progress and result will occur. Unfortunately not. And what follows are self-sabotaging thoughts and comments that won’t do anything for your progress.

What is sadly too often handed out by the internet and poor trainers are plans that involve some – or all – of the following:

These can often result in missed periods, high lethargy, lack of focus, poor sleep, high stress.  But…you’re getting lean, so that matters, right?

I’m no expert in this area – there can be an immense amount of variables with each person and each cycle.  But I have had to learn on my feet whilst testing out different methods to assess feedback for my female clients.  It’s not perfect, but our bodies never are.

First, let us look at the mindset aspect of it all.

Confusing easy weight loss claims

Beautiful lady eating a donut, Menstrual Cycle

We’ve all heard of low-carb dieting, right?  Well, this is even more common when it comes to female dieting with the usual claims that carbs are bad, sugar is the devil and protein makes you bulky.  None of these are true – but, when Instagram and Facebook constantly churn this information out, it can be hard to help change this way of thinking.

Social Pressure To Look A Certain Way

top view of a group of 4 friends taking selfies, Menstrual Cycle

There is also immense social pressure online and in daily life. Even if there is no expectation, there is always the psychological pressure to look a certain way, eat certain foods, train certain exercises. And what happens when all of these don’t work?  Yup, you guessed it.

Binge > Guilt > Starve > Reset. We’ve all been there.

The weight either gains or never shifts.

Motivation Fatigue

beautiful sporty woman resting tired after lifting barbell on a muscular training in fitness center, Mentrual cycle

Motivation is a funny thing.

We expect it to be our driver and to never fail us, but we find ourselves constantly hunting for it. The thing is, it’s not something that can be found and owned. It’s something that fluctuates from repeated feedback, from repeated actions.

When those actions become less consistent, the feedback is the same – and it chops away at motivation in the process. This is more common in women because calories must be much lower to offer some form of consistency in weight loss goals. When it becomes too difficult then, again, there’s negative self-talk that it’s your fault and that becomes ‘the fault’.

That’s quite a lot right there, but I’m not finished yet.  Let’s look at the physical side of the fence.

Dieting on lower calories for weight loss

tablet on the center of table with vegetables around it, Menstrual Cycle

The thing is, females DO actually diet on lower calories than guys.  In some cases, a LOT lower.  This is for a number of reasons:

  • Weighing less
  • Lower RMR (resting metabolic rate)
  • Lower energy expenditure
  • Body composition (fat and muscle mass)
  • Lower NEAT
  • Lower VO2 max

As I mentioned, women need to eat less food than guys.  It’s not a rule, but more down to how our bodies are made up. You see, unless a guy is a man trapped in a child’s body, they tend to be taller, carry more muscle, and generally weigh more. This means there is far more natural energy being burned on a daily basis. 10,000 steps and a 60-minute workout may result in burning 300 – 400 calories LESS for women than it would a guy.  Sorry, I guess.

Female weight loss and the menstrual cycle

side view of a lady checking the calendar on her tablet, Menstrual cycle

I mean this one is kind of obvious seeing as it’s in the title, right? That aside, with the cycle comes a number of frustrating factors in just day-to-day living, such as high stress (mental and physical), hunger cravings, and high fatigue. Oh and that’s without the dieting and training aspect.

Let’s not try and blanket every method or calorie set to every female out there.  No two people are the same, regardless of gender, which means dietary setup, methods and adjustments will be completely different per person. Not only per person but also per cycle, as it can be common for these to completely change from month to month.

With that, let’s look at what actually happens throughout the menstrual cycle and what changes can be made to accommodate it as much as possible.

The follicular phase (days 1-14)

female working out with a huge tire, mentrual cycle

Throughout this phase, oestrogen levels start off low while increasing over the course of the 14 days. It’s also the phase where the follicle which is holding your egg is being developed. Because of this, you’ll find you’re far more tolerant to pain along with improved power and endurance.  With this, it very much gives you the green light to train harder and aim for progress.

Nice.

Not only that but your body will utilise glycogen far better due to your insulin sensitivity being at its highest. What does this mean? Well, if you’re trying to progress on a low-carb diet, you’re only tripping yourself up – this is the exact point at which you’ll benefit from carbs the most.  However, you should still be mindful of your fat and protein intake too, with fats being slightly lower and your protein intake being at a moderate amount.

Ovulation (around day 14)

Once we hit this phase the follicle bursts and the egg is let go. It’s also the time at which your oestrogen levels begin to peak, which is awesome news for you as you will physically be at your strongest. Pow.

However, it also makes you more prone to injury, so it’s best to be very careful with your training and apply high amounts of common sense when it comes to technique and how much you’re pushing yourself.

Despite the increase in strength, there is a downside to this on the nutrition front, I’m afraid. You see, this is where the cravings for sugar and carbs kick in. This is because your metabolic rate is increased. Because of this, it’s key to work in satiety in your food choices to limit the cravings as much as possible. This can be done by increasing your protein and veg intake while keeping carb and fat levels to moderate.

What I tend to do with clients if the cravings become too much is to simply drop the protein levels and replace them with carbs. At least this way it can help keep calorie intake in check while reducing the chances of overeating.

Luteal phase (days 15-28)

Out of the three phases, this one is the toughest on a woman. Sugar and carb cravings can be even more extreme, all the while tiredness and the overall feeling ‘a bit sh*t’ physically and mentally set in.

This is the phase where the follicle becomes the hormone-producing element – the corpus letup – which in turn produces progesterone. During this phase, your body temperature can rise to make you feel very uncomfortable, especially in the evenings in bed.

Around this time I tend to recommend sleeping with the windows open or to use a thinner cover on your bed. This might not affect you if you live and train in a hot climate already, but be far more aware of it in cooler climates.

On the plus, it can help with burning some extra calories if your goal is fat loss, anywhere between 90 – 280 calories daily. At the end of the phase, if the egg hasn’t been fertilised, the corpus letup dissolves which results in a drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels. Cue the start of a new cycle.

Because all of this is going on physically, it’s important to avoid higher intensity style training as it can be more detrimental than beneficial. It’s best to focus your training around lighter weights and higher rep work.

It’s also a great idea to work on active recovery work such as walking, stretching, foam rolling or anything similar that’ll also be psychologically beneficial too.

On the flip side of the follicular phase, this is where you’re more primed for fat loss. So, by working on active recovery and controlling your diet as much as possible, you could make great progress in your fat loss goals here.

How to deal with cravings

Female with eyeglass holding an oversized giant cupcake on one hand in orange background, Mentrual Cycle

Remember in the ovulation stage I touched on cravings?  Well, they only get worse in this phase I’m afraid, all the while your insulin sensitivity is at it’s lowest, hence the training recommendations above.

Because of this, I prefer to do two things, if needed. First, make a slight reduction in carbs to prevent any fat gain. However, this can sometimes be more detrimental than anything if it just makes cravings even stronger.

If this is the case, then I will follow the action from the previous phase and increase carbs slightly. This may place you in more maintenance calories but it’s better to maintain and blunt the cravings as opposed to creating a restriction that could result in blowing apart your diet.

Cravings can be far more intense if you suffer from depression, anxiety or PMS, so it’s always worth aiming to have a snack or small meal on hand to prevent any binging which could really blow up your calorie intake.

It’s worth noting that it’s around this time that water retention is at its peak. This can be tough physiologically, but it’s always worth remembering as opposed to making any drastic decisions.

Supplement Recommendations To Support The Menstrual Cycle

focus view of a female taking a vitamins with a glass of water on her other hand, Menstrual Cycle

Due to the sugar and carb cravings, it’s might be helpful to supplement with magnesium before bed. This can help decrease these cravings during the day which can be a huge relief.

You see, magnesium levels alone are the second most deficient globally, so throw in the menstrual cycle and you’ve got an uphill battle going on here.

Although supplementing with this is recommended, it’s not always needed as you can get these sources through foods like spinach, tofu, nuts, seeds, avocado, some fatty fish, bananas, dark chocolate and whole grains.

Along with magnesium, it’s worth supplementing with Vitamin D too, especially if you work indoors and don’t get much sun (poor you!).  If you’re like me and living in Scotland and you missed that one day of summer then it’s likely you’re going to need some of this. It can be really useful for anyone who suffers from mood swings and dips in motivation.

How to adjust training and diet for fat loss

Woman in black sportswear doing crossfit workout with a Young woman exercising crossfit with kettle bell in a gym, Menstrual Cycle

This is going to sound a bit odd but I still tend to use weight loss to measure progress, though I don’t rely heavily on it.

You see, far too many women are chained to the scales and it can dictate their actions and emotions far too easily. Now weight measurements can and do indicate fat loss, but not in a linear sense as is expected. This is where it’s super important to look at other measurements too, such as around the hips, waist, and thighs. Oh and don’t forget photos, even if you’re too anxious about it I can assure you it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Following that, there are various factors as to why weight fluctuation can – and does – happen. I’ve seen this happen as high as 5kg overnight due to a mixture of the following:

Your daily food choices

This gets ignored very commonly.  What we tend to forget is that we rarely eat the same foods or the same amounts on a daily basis. There will always be some form of variability. Because of this, you might get bloated if you eat more veg and protein on certain days, but less so on others because travelling or a busy day at work forces you to eat on the go.

Glycogen stores

What is often forgotten, or not known, is that for every gram of glycogen there can be a shortage of up to 3 grams of water. This means that if you aren’t training that day and happen to consume more carbs then you are likely to store extra water.  The opposite can be said if you do train as you are using the glycogen.

Water intake

Not drinking enough water can be an issue for anyone doing anything, well, fitness related. So, when you start to work on increasing your water intake, this could also lead to some form of solid bloating. Especially if you throw in a cocktail of glycogen and sodium if you’re eating lots of salty foods (to which you’re gently placing the bag of nachos you’re eating down).

Obviously, the menstrual cycle

Of course, your weight will fluctuate during your cycle. So how do you measure your progress? I mentioned previously that the scales can become a ball and chain and, if this is the case, then I quickly remove weight tracking as a measurement. It can become too much of a stress that makes everything else seem irrelevant.  No Bueno.

Alternatively, if possible, I like to look at progression in various “anchors” over the course of the month.  As I’ve mentioned, there can be big changes throughout a cycle, so aiming for some form of linear progress on a week to week basis is like pissing into the wind and hoping it doesn’t come back on you.

Oh, right, I forgot. That doesn’t exactly apply here, so we’ll go with ‘spitting in the wind,’ unless you have some really mad pelvic skills.

Anyway, by creating anchors throughout the phases (or creating a main anchor), it allows for you to measure your progress from cycle to cycle instead. Here’s an example:

January

  • Week 1 average – 143lbs (65kg)
  • Week 2 average – 142lbs (64.2kg)*
  • Week 3 average – 145lbs (65.7kg)
  • Week 4 average – 143lbs (65kg)

February

  • Week 1 average – 142lbs (64.2kg)
  • Week 2 average – 141lbs (63.9kg)*
  • Week 3 average – 143lbs (65kg)
  • Week 4 average – 142lbs (64.2kg)

March

  • Week 1 average – 140lbs (63.5kg)
  • Week 2 average – 139lbs (63kg)*
  • Week 3 average – 141lbs (63.9kg)
  • Week 4 average – 140lbs (63.5kg)

* Main Anchor

What you see here is that, although there are clear fluctuations – which can cause someone to really freak the hell out, there is actually progression when you line it up across the main anchor per month as opposed to comparing progress on a linear week-to-week basis.

When weight fluctuates at around the 14 – 15 day mark there really is no need to make any drastic dietary changes. Just be aware that it’s the phase which is causing this fluctuation and that you should make the needed adjustments to get by the best way you can.

At the end of the day, you should do what works best for you.

If you like to see feedback from the data and are perfectly ok with changes in bodyweight throughout the month, then weigh yourself every day or every few days to get an average weight. It’s a great form of feedback and can teach you a hell of a lot about how lifestyle, training and dietary choices can manipulate the scale.

However, if the thought of the scale freaks you out and triggers negative reactive actions, then just drop it, put it out of sight, smash the sh*t out of it.  Remove it from being a stress in your day. Stick with feedback from measurements, photos, sleep, energy and stress instead.

Setting your diet and training up around the menstrual cycle

beautiful female holding an apple on her left hand while checking her mobile phone on her right hand, Menstrual Cycle

As you will have noticed throughout, there are quite a number of changes that go on over the course of the cycle so you might need to make adjustments along the way when it comes to calories and macros, and of course, your training.

First off, let’s look at two simple ways to set up your diet.

Perform a diet audit

This is straightforward and one that I like to use for new clients or when a client is moving from a more intuitive eating diet method to tracking calories and/or macros.

All you need to do here is use a tracking tool – like MyFitnessPal – and track everything you eat over the course of 3 – 4 days. Ideally, you want these days to include a working day, a day off from work and 1 – 2 days over the weekend.  This is because our diets tend to differ on each of these days and it allows us to see a real average of our calorie intake.

Once you have that number, skip to the macro calculating part.  If you hate it and are thinking nothing but awful thoughts about me even suggesting you use four days of your life to do this, then check out the next method.

BONUS: Download our Macros Calculator Tool that will instantly show your macro targets, without the need for any complicated calculations.

Manually calculate your calories and macros

Okay, so this is going to take some work too, but just a little calculation.

Neither of these are going to give you a solid number, so please don’t expect anything to be 100% correct. There are a number of calculators online that can do this too but think of this as being within 5 – 10% of a calorie range.

Calculator time. To create a calorie number that might place you in a calorific deficit, take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 10 – 12.

An example of this would be 140lbs x 11 = 1540 calories.

Now to set your macronutrients.

Protein

Protein foods, sliced of red meat, fish, nuts, grains, fruits, fruit and chocolate protein shakes, protein powders beautifully arranged on the table, Menstrual cycle

Take your weight in pounds and calculate it between 0.7 – 1 to get this.

An example of this is 140lbs x 1 = 140g

You can get the calorie amount by multiplying this number by 4 if you’re interested – 140g x 4 = 560 calories.

Need some high protein meal ideas? See here: high protein recipes.

Fat & Carbs

Fat and carbs foods set on the table, Mentrual cycle

Now, I just want to preface this by saying that I’m not a huge fan of setting calories and ALL the macronutrients for most people.  This is mainly because it can add to stress by aiming to hit four different sets of numbers. Unless you’re competing in a bodybuilding show or it’s needed because you’re under-eating on a certain food or macro, then I prefer using a calorie range, which I’ll cover further on.

For setting the numbers here, I prefer to be more flexible with these two macros, so long as you don’t go too low on either of them.  For fat, you want to avoid going lower than 15%, or 30 grams daily as it’s important to keep this number at a moderate amount for hormone function and regulation. For carbs, avoid going lower than between 130 – 150 grams daily so that your energy and performance levels don’t take a nosedive.  Not only that but, depending on your cravings, you’re going to need them.

Simple adjustment on cravings

beautiful young woman eat a slice of a dessert, menstrual cycle

Regardless of whether you think you don’t get bad cravings, you can never really know.  I’ve had clients who go months with moderate to low cravings and all of a sudden wake up with the need to rip the cupboard doors off the hinges so that they can sniff the jar of Nutella.

With this, I like to do two things:

1. Create a buffer of around 100 calories – mainly from carbs –  for the days when it just becomes too much. This might not seem a lot but it’s better than just “sucking it up”. If the buffer leads to eating too much, then look at the next option.

2. Change macronutrients ratios.  With this, you would keep the calorie intake the same, but drop the protein intake and increase carbs.

An example of this would look like:

130g Protein / 150g Carbs / 50g Fat > 90g Protein /190g Carbs / 50g Fat

This way it might feel like you’re getting a mini-break from dieting as you’re still getting a sufficient amount of protein for satiety and recovery while satisfying the cravings with an extra helping or two of carbs.

Remember, dieting isn’t about hunger prevention.

What about the training?

half body shot a man and a woman exercising with dumbbells in a gym, Mentrual cycle

I know, I know, I’m getting there.

So where was I…

Once again, rolling back to the top, there are strength and energy changes that occur.  This means you may need to adjust your training to cover this to progress, and prevent injury and burnout. Here’s a recap:

When you’re in the follicular phase (1 – 14 days) you have a higher tolerance for pain. But this doesn’t quite mean you can take up MMA with the idea of being indestructible. It’s just higher, that’s all.

Not only that, but your power output and endurance are also improved, so you’re likely to be able to train far better throughout this phase with the aim to really improve weight numbers, running times, etc.

This carries over to ovulation (around 14 – 15 days) where you’re actually at your strongest, which is great.  However, you’re prone to injury too so it’s best to go with how you feel on the day or while you’re working out.

And of course, the luteal phase (days 15 – 28). Sugar and carbs cravings, fatigue, higher body temperature, and just kind of feeling a bit “off”.

Again, approach this by “feeling it out” within your warm ups. You’re likely going to be weaker which means you should drop the weights by around 10 – 20% and increase your reps. Not only that, but you’ll highly benefit from active recovery work too, so this would mean more walking, stretching, foam rolling, and anything similar that will encourage less strenuous activity. It’s like I said before, go with how you feel.  Don’t try and be a hero when you could end up doing more bad than good.

Adapt to progress.

The psychology of dieting, training and body weight

luminous computer generated brain lineart with glowing points around its part, Menstrual cycle

Over the course of my time in coaching women, I’ve seen a wide variety of negative reactive behaviours relating to changes in body weight.

I recall one conversation with a friend – who is also a coach – regarding how male clients rarely contact them, and can often take days to reply to an email.  On the flip side, it’s the complete opposite with a female client. The check-ins can be either extremely detailed or not at all.

Practical lessons I’ve learned from coaching women

muscular coach wearing blue tshirt smilling, Mentrual cycle

If you’re not keeping a journal, or even notes, of your overall progress (training, nutrition, sleep, stress, hunger, energy, etc) then I highly recommend doing so. These are some typical things that I would initially look at from a client check-in.

Other than basic numbers you could also take written notes on that particular day or week. This way you can look back, even the day after, and highlight keywords and phrases. This could also be in other communications with friends or family on text and email. This might sound irrelevant but it can be a game changer.

You see, you might be able to look at certain patterns that could help reflect on where you are in the menstrual cycle.  With that, you can then make the required adjustments (if needed) to help make things easier on you to progress.

Process to progress

beautiful lady sitting on a rock in a field, thinking, Menstrual cycle

I’m a huge fan of a simple three step process when it comes to understanding where you currently are:

  • Reflect
  • Inspect
  • Progress

I’ve already touched on the importance of reflection so the next step would be to inspect. This is where you need to be truly honest with yourself, self-questioning what is highlighted by the reflection. Dive a little deeper. Answer the potential tough questions, and then you can move on to the next step.

Progress – this bit explains itself. You know, because you’ve done the difficult part already to actually progress. I’m dragging this out now. Move on.

Being aware of your mental health

back view of a lady sitting on a beach facing the sea, Mentrual cycle

It’s always worth noting there are a seriously high number of women who either have or are prone to eating disorders. This can often start off with something simple as deciding to diet, which could lead to extreme dieting, starvation, binging, and generally being all-consumed by the thought of food.  Two of the most common are anorexia and bulimia.

Over time, I have not known of any clients who have suffered either of those. However, I have helped a few clients improve their relationship with food and themselves after years of extreme dieting and training.

Throughout all this, the signals you should be aware of could be based around:

  • Orthorexia, an obsession with ‘healthy eating’
  • Extreme stress and anxiety over calories and macro tracking
  • Panicking and stressing when a social event is near
  • Obsessing over tracking tools – such as My Fitness Pal – along with food shows and social media pages
  • Rejecting the idea of any form of intuitive eating
  • Viewing dieting as either full-on or not at all
  • Food is either “good,” or “bad.”

Some of these may sound ridiculous, or insane, but they are very real and very hard hitting. You can’t simply “stop” acting or thinking this way. It takes a hell of a lot of support and time. This must be taken very seriously if this is the case.

Always remember, there doesn’t need to be a specific “fix,” regardless of whether it’s a plateau or something more.  It’s important to refrain from reactive decisions and actions. Take the time to understand your patterns and make adjustments accordingly.

I hope this has helped you understand how to adjust and progress the best way possible for your diet and training goals.  However, if you do have any questions then feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media pages or email.

The take-home: Your menstrual cycle, diet and training adjustments

a woman wearing grey blouse raising her arms upwards with closed fist in a slightly light grey background, menstrual cycle

  • The menstrual cycle is split into three phases.  The follicular, ovulation, and the luteal.
  • Each phase has its pros and cons.  More strength – injury prone.  Less strength – high cravings.
  • Supplementing with magnesium and Vitamin D can help with cravings.
  • Bloating will occur and this is natural.  Certain foods and activities can cause this, such as sodium, higher carbs, and training.
  • Measure progress by the same phases or weeks per month, and not by week to week.
  • Setting up your diet and adjusting it to the cycle by adjusting protein and carb ratios so that cravings can be lessened, or prevented.
  • Training should be adjusted throughout the phases.  Heavier training in the follicular and ovulation phases, lighter weights and active recovery in the luteal.
  • Women are more prone to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Be aware of the signals when dieting, such as obsessing over tracking and foods, while dreading situations where there is a lack of control.

So well done, you reached the end of this mammoth article! Hopefully it was a useful read along the way. Now go and smash those goals!

Health News

Medical News Today: What are the benefits of maca root?

Maca is a Peruvian plant grown in the Andes mountains. It is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it is related to broccoli, cabbage, and kale.

Maca is a common ingredient in Peruvian cooking that gives dishes an earthy flavor. Maca root plant can be ground up into a powder and added to meals or smoothies.

Aside from its culinary uses, maca may also have several health benefits. This article will discuss 10 possible health benefits of maca root.

Ten benefits

There is a range of potential benefits of maca root, including:

1. Increasing libido

maca root
Studies suggest that maca root may help increase libido.

The most well-known benefit of maca root is its potential to increase libido. There is some scientific evidence to support this claim.

For example, an older study from 2002 found that men who took 1.5 or 3 grams (g) of maca per day experienced increased libido compared to those who received a placebo.

A 2010 review of studies on maca and sexual functioning found some evidence to suggest maca could improve libido, but the authors cautioned that more research is required.

A 2015 study found that maca root may help reduce sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women who were taking an antidepressant.

2. Reducing erectile dysfunction

Maca root could also have benefits for people with erectile dysfunction (ED). A small study in 2009 looked at the effect of consuming 2.4g of maca root per day for 12 weeks on participants' perception of their general and sexual well-being.

The study participants were males with mild ED. Those taking maca root experienced a more significant increase in sexual well-being than those taking a placebo.

3. Boosting energy and endurance

Some athletes and bodybuilders use maca root as a supplement to increase energy and performance. Some evidence exists to support this.

A pilot study in 2009 found that using maca extract for 14 days improved performance for male cyclists in a 40-kilometer time trial. However, the results were not significantly different from the improvement seen in those taking a placebo.

However, the same study found that maca extract improved libido in the participants who used it. However, the sample size of this study was very small, so more research is needed to confirm the results.

4. Increasing fertility

Another widespread use of maca root is to increase fertility, particularly in men.

A 2016 review found some evidence that maca root may increase semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. However, more research is needed.

5. Improving mood

Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety. A study in 14 postmenopausal women found that maca may reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Also, a 2015 study found that maca could reduce symptoms of depression in Chinese postmenopausal women.

6. Reducing blood pressure

It is possible that maca root can also help to improve blood pressure. The same 2015 study also found that 3.3g of maca per day for 12 weeks lowered blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women.

7. Reducing sun damage

An older study in an animal model found that maca might help protect the skin from UV rays. Another animal study in 2011 found that extracts from maca leaves might help prevent the formation of sunburn cells.

8. Fighting free radicals

Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells in the body. Some people believe antioxidants can help prevent some health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

9. Reducing menopause symptoms

Some proponents of maca root believe it may help balance levels of the hormone estrogen. During perimenopause, the stage before a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and cause a variety of symptoms.

One study found that postmenopausal women who took two daily tablets containing maca experienced reduced symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

10. Improving learning and memory

Maca root powder
Maca may help improve learning and memory perfromance.

There is some evidence to suggest that maca can improve learning and memory. For example, a 2011 study found that maca could improve memory in mice.

A 2014 review of the literature suggested that maca may have benefits for learning and memory performance. Researchers suggested that it could be helpful in treating conditions that affect these processes, such as Alzheimer's disease.

However, only research on animal models is currently available, so it is unclear whether maca will have the same benefits in humans.

Risks

Maca is not currently associated with any health risks in most people and is unlikely to cause any side effects in moderate doses.

However, due to its effect on hormones, people with thyroid problems should avoid taking maca. It is also better to avoid taking maca when undergoing treatments that modify hormonal levels, such as treatments for breast cancer.

Takeaway

Maca has a range of potential health benefits, particularly for sexual health. However, the evidence behind these health benefits is weak, as many studies used small sample sizes or animal models.

Researchers need to carry out more large-scale studies in humans to determine if maca is effective. Although there are few health risks associated with taking maca, most people can try maca without experiencing any adverse side effects.

If a person is interested in trying maca root, they can find supplements in some natural food stores or online.

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Inspiration

How to motivate yourself to lose weight

How to motivate yourself to lose weight.

It can take many years until a person decidesto stop being obese.

After multiple battles with meals, diets,and habits acquired, there comes a time when the person abandon.

Resignation can be the starting point to analyzethe relationship with food and why, despite diets, the person does not become thin.

The key is to be prepared psychologicallyto lose those extra kilos.

The change is also mental.

1.

Know yourself.

Many people who want to lose weight deceivethemselves telling themselves that they are happy.

It may be so, but not in most cases.

You have to discover why the desired goalis not achieved.

3.

Make lists.

It is very important to have a clear ideaof what you want to achieve.

It is advisable to make a list of everythingthat you can not do because of obesity.

For example going to the pool, dancing, wearingthe clothes we like, change jobs, etc.

4.

Keep a food diary.

Write in a notebook everything that is eaten,for what reason, if there is hunger or not, and the hours when it is done.

After fifteen days you can give us very importantclues, sometimes surprising.

5.

Small achievements.

If you are able to stop eating bread, or snackingbetween meals.

It is about preparing the way before startingthe weight loss diet, and rewarding yourself for those little triumphs, buying a whim,going to the movies, etc.

Excluding food, of course!  6.

Write your fears.

There are certain types of personalities thatuse food to console themselves, to rebel, to demonstrate something.

analyzing ourown fears we can find the reasons for our obesity and overcome it.

(Source: https://www.

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Com/como-motivarse-para-perder-peso/) Please let us know your opinions in the commentssection below.

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Weight Loss

Leg Day Workout Done At-Home (BODYWEIGHT ONLY!)

If it’s time for your next leg day workout and you’re ready to workout from home, this is perfect for you!

But after you do this workout, you need to make sure the rest of your workouts and your diet are taken care of. Use this free body type quiz to find out exactly how to get in shape faster and easier!

Leg workouts are far from hard to find. But the best leg workout can be a little more difficult to figure out.

This one is a bunch of bodyweight exercises that maintain optimal tension on your muscles. Also, this is extremely effective for getting the right amount of volume that your legs need to get stronger and firmer!

START HERE!

Take our FREE 1 Minute Quiz to find out EXACTLY what Diet & Training is Best for You.

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The Best Leg Day Workout

This leg day workout will consist of 5 different exercises. Each exercise will be performed for 3 sets of 15 reps with a one minute rest in between each set.

The Exercises

Squat Rocks

For this first exercise, you will start down in the bottom position of a squat. From there, you will remain as low as you can, while going forward and up on your toes. This should work your calves nicely. Then lower your heels back down to the ground. After your heels are back down, remain down in the squat position and shift your weight back on your heels and lift your toes off the ground. Then return your toes back to the ground and rock back and forth like this 15 times both ways. Then you will rest for one minute and repeat for 3 sets.

3 Point Lunges

Here, you will be doing a series of lunges in 3 different directions. So starting by standing up straight, you will first lunge forward.. Then bring your foot back in, without touching it back on the ground, you will immediately go into a side lunge with that same leg. Then bring it back in and without touching it to the ground, immediately go into a back lunge. Then witch legs and do this with the opposite leg. After you have worked your way all the way around, that will be one rep. Repeat for 15 reps total and rest for a minute. Then do it twice more and move into the next exercise.

Frog Pumps

This is a great exercise for the glutes and are very similar to glute bridges. You will start by laying on your back, then bring your feet in closer so your knees are similar to sit-up position. After that, you’ll bring your heels together so they are touching each other. Then drive your heels into the ground with your knees wider than your feet and bridge up as high as you can. Return your back back to about an inch off the ground and repeat for 15 reps.

4 Way Squat Hops

For this exercise, you are going to be doing squat hops in four directions. So standing up straight, you will go down into a squat, then hop up off the ground to your left side. Then immediately go into a squat and hop up and jump back to where you just came from. Then squat down and hop to the right. Squat down hop back to the middle again. Then rather than going back to the left, you will squat down and hop forward. Then squat down again and hop back to the middle. Then as the last direction, you’ll squat down and hop backwards. Then squat down and hop back to the middle again. This will equal one rep. Repeat this left, right, forward and backward method for 15 total reps then rest for a minute. Repeat two more times and move into the final exercise.

Alternating Single Leg RDL Hops

For the last exercise, you will start out by doing a single leg RDL. So starting off by balancing on one leg, you will bend forward, keeping a soft bend in your leg that on the ground, then bring your opposite leg going out behind you. Then tap your fingers to the ground and explode through your glutes and hamstrings to drive your back leg up and hop off the ground. Then after landing back on the ground, switch legs and do the exact same to the other side. Repeat for 15 reps with each leg. After you’ve done 15 reps, rest for a minute and repeat 2 more times.

Once all exercises are completed for 3 sets of 15 reps, you are done with the workout!

If you like this leg day workout, make sure you share it on your Facebook and feel free to leave any comments down below!

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