One important aspect of transitioning can often be dealing with excess weight as well as unwanted muscle mass. There are many strategies that can help you lose weight and shrink some of those muscles. Some strategies are very unsafe and should not be used such as any form of starvation diet, which can lead to anorexic behaviors if not full-blown anorexia. There are many safe ways to get the body you want and here are ten tips to get you losing in the right direction.
Be Patient, there is no hurry. Weight loss will take time and should never be rushed. You should be aiming for a loss of between 1.5 – 2.5 pounds per week. Initially this number may be higher though a lot of the additional weight loss will be water weight. Also, some weeks may be lower and that is perfectly okay.
Working with weights can help you lose weight and reduce muscle size. Many M2F people are very concerned with losing muscle mass to the point where they will avoid any form of weight training. The truth is, weight training will help you lose weight and reasonable amounts of it in an exercise program will not result in bulking up. It takes bodybuilders insane amounts of time to get all bulky. You will end up with highly metabolically active muscles that will be toned. Without the fat they are helping you burn; they will actually get a little smaller.
Let estrogen take care of your shape. Many exercise products claim to target specific areas and for the most part these claims are not true. Estrogen will redistribute your body fat and reduce some muscle mass and this is all you will usually need. You only need to worry about burning calories and eating healthy.
Do not drink soda; especially diet soda. Regular soda can often contain up to 9 teaspoons of sugar, which is easy to see how this is not great for a healthy living plan. Diet soda, even though it is calorie free, is even worse for you. The artificial sweetness in diet soda signals your brain and tells it that a lot of calories are expected. The brain turns on the fat storing processes and begins to turn any sugars it sees in your blood into fat to add to your fat reserves. This process makes it significantly harder to lose weight. Diet soda also contains other chemicals that are potentially problematic for your long-term health.
Limit the use of your scale. Daily weighing is never recommended because our water weights can vary throughout the week resulting in false weight gains and a possible loss in motivation. Weekly weighing is more reasonable and an even better indication of success is how your clothes are fitting or measurable inches lost from your waistline. This is a health game and not a numbers game though the numbers do often have more power than they should.
Exercise should be something you enjoy. Most people will try to get in three exercise sessions each week and for you to stick to it, it is preferable if you are doing something you enjoy. If you absolutely hate your exercise routine, it will be very easy to skip sessions or to quit it altogether. Even if you do enjoy it, it is best to shake it up every so often to prevent it from becoming stale.
Plateaus are normal and can be very frustrating. A weight loss plateau is a stall in your weight loss despite the fact that you are working as hard as ever on your lifestyle changes. They are normal and you will usually break through them in less than a week though a stubborn one can last longer. The danger of a plateau is that it can make you lose your motivation and quit or it can spur you to take drastic actions such as extreme exercise or starvation. Both of these should not be a part of your plateau coping strategy. Just be patient and continue what you are doing and you will break through when your body is ready.
Starvation is not a valid weight loss choice. Starvation will take off weight for a very high price that can include your health right up to your death. The other problem with starving is that it will trigger your body to hold on to fat at all costs and instead burn muscle, including your heart muscle. The other downside is that once you lose the weight and start eating again you will most likely gain it all back quickly and your body will tack on an extra ten pounds or more for extra insurance for the next starvation episode.
It generally takes about 30 days to form a habit. When you start changing your life for the better, each change, such as eliminating soda, takes 30 days to become normal. It can be greatly motivational to realize that daily bike ride will feel normal after 30 days or not eating fast food will be cool after 30 days. Changes take time and in behavioral time, that is usually 30 days for most normal stuff.
This is not a diet but rather a lifestyle change. Once you reach your goal weight, going back to your old lifestyle will only take you back to where you used to be. This is not a diet with some attached exercise; it needs to be a real lifestyle change. You need to continue living healthy with good food and great exercise. Between this and the estrogen, you will pull off a healthy woman’s appearance into the rest of your life. Enjoy.