Weight management

Maintaining a Healthy Energy Balance: The Key To Long-Term Weight Management

Our bodies are extraordinary. They are resilient and constantly busy adapting to the world around them. While it is true that a number on the scale does not define us, maintaining a healthy weight and feeling strong in our bodies is vital for our overall well-being.
With factors like hormones, life stages, and societal pressures, weight management for women can be particularly nuanced. Hence, building sustainable habits that promote both physical and mental health are essential. This makes it important for women to know the right information when it comes to their weight and body.
In this blog, we will look at the science-backed weight management strategies specifically tailored to women that can help you maintain your weight in the long term.

Understanding Your Body: Hormones and Metabolism

Understanding the role of hormones on your body is the first step towards proper weight management. Women’s bodies undergo constant hormonal fluctuations due to events like pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. These events have the power to significantly impact metabolism, energy levels, and how your body stores fat.
  • Oestrogen and Weight
Oestrogen, one of the most important hormones in our bodies, plays a crucial role in fat distribution and metabolism in women. A decline in oestrogen levels makes weight loss tougher. It also increases the body’s tendency to store fat around the abdomen. Hence, a decline in oestrogen levels, as seen during menopause, can create barriers to weight management for women.1
  • Other Impactful Hormones
The thyroid hormone, one of the most important hormones in our body, is responsible for regulating metabolism and energy expenditure. Conditions such as hypothyroidism (decrease in thyroid hormones), in which the body’s metabolism slows down, can lead to weight gain.2 Another crucial hormone called progesterone can influence appetite and cravings.3 It is essential to be aware of these hormonal imbalances and address them with your healthcare professional at the earliest.

Science-Backed Strategies for Sustainable Weight Management

Finding a healthy balance and creating lifelong habits are integral when it comes to successful weight management for women. Let us explore some strategies supported by scientific research.

  • Prioritise Protein

Protein is the foundation on which you should build your fitness journey. It has a range of benefits, which include increasing satiety (feeling full), helping maintain muscle mass, and boosting metabolism. Your aim should be to include a good source of protein in each meal and snack. Studies have demonstrated that higher protein intakes can promote weight loss and improve body composition.4

  • Focus on Whole Foods

The next most important component of weight management is your diet. You should focus on consuming an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. These nutrient-dense foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They also support your body’s natural detoxification processes.5

  • Manage Stress

Stress makes everything more difficult, and weight management is no different. Chronic stress can disrupt hormonal balance and can lead to increased cortisol production, a hormone that is linked to fat storage.6 Employing stress management techniques like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature can go a long way when it comes to weight management. .

  • Get Moving & Build Muscle

Regular exercise is the cornerstone of weight management. To get the most out of your exercise, you should include a mix of cardio, strength training, and healthy activities you enjoy. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat, so building muscle is key for boosting metabolism.7,8

  • The Power of Sleep

One of the most essential things that your body requires for normal functioning is sleep. Sleep deprivation disrupts hormones like ghrelin and leptin, which regulate hunger and fullness. You should ideally aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.9

  • Be Mindful of Portion Sizes

Even healthy foods can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. While managing your weight, it is imperative to maintain a calorie deficit or excess, depending on your weight goals. Make sure your portion sizes reflect the end goal you are chasing.10

Additional Considerations: Tailor Your Approach

  • Life Changes

Consider where you are on your journey as a woman. Menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause all bring unique challenges and require adjustments to your approach to weight management.

  • Medical Conditions

Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders can impact weight management.11 If you feel or have symptoms, you should immediately collaborate with your doctor to develop a plan that addresses any underlying health issues.

Beyond the Scale: Embracing Body Positivity

Apart from all of the information mentioned above, it is also crucial to remember that weight is just one aspect of health. While managing a healthy weight is important, so is developing a positive relationship with your body.

Remember, true strength does not lie in achieving a certain body type, but in celebrating our unique capabilities. Body positivity means embracing the body you have while striving towards your healthiest self.

You should also celebrate any workout that you do. Whether it is a brisk walk, a joyful dance session or those strength-training reps, every move is a victory. Exercise isn’t just about transforming your body, it is also a potent mood booster. That post-workout glow? It is the surge of endorphins and the pride of self-care.

Focus on how you feel, not just how you look. Celebrate your strength, appreciate what your body does for you, and find joy in movement rather than obsessing over your weight. True health is about feeling vibrant, energised, and comfortable in your own skin.


Empowering women to feel strong and healthy involves embracing a holistic approach to weight management. Hence, we have tried to talk about all the relevant factors related to fitness for women. From hormones to diet, each factor is as significant as the other. The onus now, is upon you to shift the focus on your body and take the first step towards your fitness by working on the recommendations in this blog.

1. Vigil P, Meléndez J, Petkovic G, Del Río JP. The importance of estradiol for body weight regulation in women. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Nov 7;13:951186. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.951186.

2. Laurberg P, Knudsen N, Andersen S, Carlé A, Pedersen IB, Karmisholt J. Thyroid function and obesity. Eur Thyroid J. 2012 Oct;1(3):159-67. doi: 10.1159/000342994.

3. Souza LB, Martins KA, Cordeiro MM, Rodrigues YS, Rafacho BPM, Bomfim RA. Do Food Intake and Food Cravings Change during the Menstrual Cycle of Young Women? Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2018 Nov;40(11):686-692. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1675831.

4. Pesta DH, Samuel VT. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014 Nov 19;11(1):53. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-11-53.

5. Greger M. A Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Is Effective for Weight Loss: The Evidence. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2020 Apr 3;14(5):500-510. doi: 10.1177/1559827620912400.

6. Harding, J.L., Backholer, K., Williams, E.D., Peeters, A., Cameron, A.J., Hare, M.J., Shaw, J.E. and Magliano, D.J. (2014), Psychosocial stress is positively associated with body mass index gain over 5 years: Evidence from the longitudinal AusDiab study. Obesity, 22: 277-286.

7. Hsu KJ, Liao CD, Tsai MW, Chen CN. Effects of Exercise and Nutritional Intervention on Body Composition, Metabolic Health, and Physical Performance in Adults with Sarcopenic Obesity: A Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 9;11(9):2163. doi: 10.3390/nu11092163.

8. Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, Krieger J, Grgic J, Delcastillo K, Belliard R, Alto A. Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Jan;51(1):94-103. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001764.

9. Alhola P, Polo-Kantola P. Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007;3(5):553-67.

10. Hetherington MM, Blundell-Birtill P, Caton SJ, Cecil JE, Evans CE, Rolls BJ, Tang T. Understanding the science of portion control and the art of downsizing. Proc Nutr Soc. 2018 Aug;77(3):347-355. doi: 10.1017/S0029665118000435. Epub 2018 May 24.

11. Barber TM, Franks S. Obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2021; 95: 531–541.

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