Ever wondered why women don’t lose weight like men? I’m here to tell you, you were eating like a man! Match your nutrition to your ever changing female hormones and get the weight loss results you desire!

Nearly all women have been there. And if you’re reading this, probably you have too. Yo-yo dieting, nervously watching the numbers on the scale go up-and-down from week-to-week, working your butt off for months to lose weight only to gain back the few pounds you lost.

Women have spent their time, money, and energy sweating it out, taking pills, drinking powders, fighting cravings, going hungry, and feeling the failure of trying to adapt their bodies to weight-loss plans that are not designed for women in the first place

The big, fat lie is the promise that by following a diet and exercise plan designed for men, you should get the same great results.

It’s a lie. It’s not true. It’s never been true, and the repeated failures that women experience following this advice have only served to exacerbate the issue, eventually resulting in more serious health problems than a little extra fat, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and more.

Here’s the truth. It’s not your fault.

These plans don’t work on women’s bodies because they were designed to work for men. A woman’s body is not simply a smaller version of a man’s. It’s functionally and hormonally different. We know that, yet, we continue to believe the lie, and we keep trying to force these male strategies to work with our own female bodies. Square peg, round hole, if you catch my drift.

People are creatures of habit. To make a change in your body requires changing your habits. When you started a new diet or workout program in the past, you expected that you would start to develop new habits, and then two to three weeks in, or maybe even two to three months in, life happened and pulled you off track. If you weren’t seeing the results you hoped for as quickly as you wanted, you may have found it even harder to stick to your new routine. If you had to count every calorie or measure every gram, you may have found staying on the program too much of a headache to stick with, so you stopped. In addition, counting calories doesn’t work!! If this happens often enough, you might train yourself into the habit of stopping. As soon as you “go on a diet,” your body and mind are already predisposed to go off of it — unless you do something totally different.

With my approach, you have no track record of failure, and it’s easy enough to follow. You can adapt it to your life no matter what’s going on. Enter this process with an open mind, commitment, and some patience.

There is more than one path to success with this idea. There is no way to “screw it up.” You can adapt it to your life. The program is a forgiving one.

Each New Year, about 8 million US women join a gym. By late spring, 80 percent of them quit. In any given year, 91 percent of women in the US will be on a diet at some point. Most of those will begin a new diet every three months, and if we look further out, 95% of all diets fail, meaning that 100% or more of the weight is gained back within five years.

Women want to be fit; they want to lose fat, and they want to feel great doing it. Women have the desire, the ability, and the means to persevere. So, why don’t they? How do we explain an 80 to 90% failure rate?

The reason so many of them quit: disappointing results. They follow a plan to a tee for weeks only to see little or no improvement. For as long as anyone can remember, women have blamed themselves for these failures — either by believing that they lack the discipline to stick with a plan long enough to get results, or thinking that they are so genetically challenged that there’s no hope. Both assumptions are false.

Truth is, the problem doesn’t lie with the women. The problem is in the prescription. Women have been advised to follow the same diet and exercise advice as men and expect the same results. But we all know that doesn’t work.

Too many women have followed the same plan as their male friends and partners and watched the man lose 15 pounds in a week while the woman gains two. This phenomenon does not happen because women cheat more on their diets or don’t exercise hard enough. The reason so many women “fail” is because males and females are biologically different — so different that for best results, each requires an approach to fitness and fat loss that matches their own sex. Take a look at the powerful impact sex hormones have on energy levels, strength, fat storage, and fat utilization, and all of a sudden, you can see how absurd it is that we would ever think a female body should respond to diet and exercise the same way as a male one.

It’s hard to think of any other area of health studies where researchers would so readily accept a theory that blames the patient without first questioning the remedy. The fact is, the major studies on exercise, nutrition, fat loss, and health were designed by men, conducted on men, and researchers have forwarded the findings that work best for men, and women have suffered the consequences, until now.

I discovered this nutrition program for women while working with women frustrated with weight loss issues. They had tried many different diet programs, followed them perfectly, and didn’t see the results they desired. Many of the women who struggled with weight loss also reported problems with their menstrual cycles. I took the eastern medicine philosophy that I used to help regulate the menstrual cycle and created a nutrition program to create a way for women to have nutritional support that assists in the regulation of cycle hormones and weight loss.

The Estrogen Phase

During the estrogen phase, there are a few key things to keep in mind that set the tone for everything food related. This is the time to keep it cool — including temperature of beverages, which spices to choose, and how to prepare the food to create a cooling effect on your body to enhance the fat burning effects of your hormones.

The estrogen cycle is also when we will use carb cycling to boost your metabolism. During this phase, it’s best to avoid dairy, as dairy increases inflammation, so it’s classified as a warming food.

Eat your fruits and vegetables uncooked or raw. Choose lean meats such as chicken, fish, turkey or pork.

No matter what you do, remember, it’s not about making every single bite of food perfect. Periodically, look at a snapshot of the day and the week. If you have been incorporating more cooling foods into your diet, then you are on the right track!

Exercise in short bursts and perform interval training to boost your metabolism. Here’s a snapshot of the focus.

The Progesterone Phase

The progesterone phase begins when you ovulate. Some women know exactly the moment they ovulate, and some have no idea. Symptoms include: a change in mucosal discharge, light spotting, cramping or a pinch on one side of the lower abdomen, heightened sense of smell, taste or vision. If your ovulation date is delayed or irregular, drastically changing your nutrition can help to encourage it.

For the two weeks of the progesterone phase, it’s time to turn up the heat and focus on eating spicy foods and incorporating one fasting day per week. Now before you protest the fasting day, let me tell you why I’ve put it in here. The fasting day is optimal for burning that nasty, health destroying, visceral fat I told you about. I know it can be a little uncomfortable, but if you do this consistently, it can add years to your life — and I mean good years where you get to enjoy your healthy self.

So all this sounds great right, but how do you go about starting? Find out more here! Join a group of supportive, determined women that are changing not only their lives, but the lives of their entire family!

[1] Rebecca Lake, “23 Gym Membership Statistics That Will Astound You,” Credit Donkey, December 29, 2014, https://www.creditdonkey.com/gym-membership-statistics.html.

[2] Christina Weiss, “Statistics on Dieting and Eating Disorders,” Monte Nido Mountain Nest, https://www.montenido.com/pdf/montenido_statistics.pdf.

Originally published at medium.com