I touched on masculine energy and the over-controller in a previous post about goal setting. If you have read that post, maybe you can relate! Today I want to talk about the masculine vs. feminine energy approach to weight loss.
What is the masculine energy approach to weight loss?
Think about the last time you tried to lose weight? Did you have a structured meal plan, count calories or track macros? Did you think that carbs were the devil or “the fat you eat is the fat you wear”? Or did you stick to a regimented workout plan from a coach or personal trainer and never miss a day no matter how tired you were? Perhaps you had an expectation to lose Xlbs in 12 weeks and felt disappointed with anything less than that?
The thing that these strategies have in common is that they are all a masculine energy approach to weight loss. Masculine energy is great, we all need a dose of it in our lives. It is logical and rational, it gives us structure and helps to build discipline. All excellent things!
The problem with masculine energy approach to weight loss though is that it forces us into this micro-managing mindset where we believe that controlling every aspect of our lifestyle will get us the results that we want. All that calculating and measuring is tiresome and you need a lot of motivation and will power to keep it up long term. Not only that but our bodies hate to be restricted and deprived and it won’t be long before they fight back with increased hunger and cravings. This is why most diets fail and you end up gaining the weight back, plus some.
What is the feminine energy approach to weight loss?
So if these are masculine energy approaches, what does a feminine energy approach to weight loss look like? Feminine energy is that flowing, surrendering quality that brings beauty and mystery into our lives. When it comes to weight loss, a feminine approach is much more intuitive.
Rather than relying on external factors to determine how much to eat and how to move your body, you turn inwards and listen to your own body .You learn to work with it rather than against it. No more rules or restrictions. Instead a flexible approach that is adapted to your needs and preferences. Rather than being your own boot camp trainer you take on a caring, nurturing approach. You cultivate compassion and acceptance for yourself rather than criticism and shaming. You understand that health is about more than just weight loss. Best of all, you are open to seeing all of the holistic improvements in your health rather than being focused only on the number on the scale.
Masculine vs. feminine energy approach to weight loss
Here I will explain a masculine vs. feminine energy approach to weight loss in the areas of diet, movement, stress, mindset and their impact on your hormones.
Masculine vs. feminine energy approach to diet
When it comes to diet, the masculine energy approach is numbers focused. This could look like counting calories, macros or points such as Weight Watchers or Slimming World. Conversely, intuitive eating is the foundation of the feminine energy approach. With intuitive eating, you learn to tune into your hunger and fullness cues. You come to trust your body and allow yourself to eat till satiation. Rather than stopping because you think you should or because you have eaten your allotted calories for the day.
Alongside this, with the masculine energy approach to weight loss, there might be strict diet rules. This could look like labelling foods as good or bad or excluding food groups. With the feminine energy approach, you learn to tune into your cravings rather than fight them. You see cravings as a signal from your body of a physical or emotional need. Food cravings become an opportunity to listen to your body and engage in self-care. Choosing the right foods and the way you build your plate plays a big role in how satiated you feel. This is something I dive into with my health coaching clients.
Additionally, the masculine energy approach has high expectations and can be rigid and inflexible when it comes to diet. Often the thinking is very black or white and can lead to a binge-restrict cycle. With the feminine energy approach to weight loss, you understand that you are human, not a robot! You developing an awareness of why you eat the way you do and do not expect perfection. You expect life to get in the way and always have a plan B. Neither do you panic and completely give up when you can’t prepare your meals yourself. A feminine energy approach to weight loss fits in with your life so that you don’t have to worry about social situations, events, travelling etc.
Masculine vs. feminine energy approach to movement
The masculine energy approach to movement generally includes a regimented workout plan. Whether that is one you design for yourself or you work with a coach. Often this is the same routine week in week out. You push yourself to get it done even when you are tired or injured and have a no pain no gain mentality. With the feminine energy approach to movement, you make movement a part of your daily life rather than separating out your “workouts”. You move your body throughout the day in ways that you genuinely enjoy rather than forcing yourself to do something you hate.
The masculine energy approach sees movement as a chore and something you do for the results. With the feminine energy approach, you exercise for fun and pleasure. You see movement as a way to connect with and enjoy being in your body. Remember that it’s the only one you’ll get so you might as well make the most of it. We are designed to be active and we feel good when we move. The active couch potato model of sitting down all day then going hard-core with high intensity exercise for an hour is not aligned with how our bodies work. This can cause excess stress and even weight gain long term. Some of my favourites are walking, dancing and yoga but you can try anything that is fun for you.
An important element of the feminine energy approach is to listen to your energy levels and be flexible with your routine. Skipping a day of exercise is not going to harm your weight loss efforts and might actually be just what you need. Pushing yourself to the extreme is a recipe for burn out, hormonal imbalance and even weight gain as it is a physical stress on your body even if it does feel good in the moment. Rest and relaxation is a necessary part of weight loss too and might actually improve your results.
Masculine vs. feminine energy approach to mindset and stress
When it comes to mindset, the masculine energy strategy is a tough love approach. You see your body as something to be manipulated and controlled using your mind. You push your limits and set lofty goals. The masculine energy approach is analytical and you might track data and progress towards your goals in a regimented manner. You have strict routines and rituals to boost your productivity and bio-hack your way to success. If you slip up you might criticise yourself and vow to do better next time.
On the other hand, the feminine energy is focused on self-care and self-compassion. You listen to your body and try to meet it’s needs. Routines and rituals that you create in your life are there to make yourself feel better rather tan to achieve more or maximise your time. You focus on reducing stress and tension from your mind and body, knowing that this is the ultimate path to health. Understanding that true health is holistic and cannot be defined by a number or a particular appearance. Slip ups are an opportunity to reflect on whether your lifestyle is working for you. Not in the sense of whether is it helping you reach a specific goal, but if it is helping you to feel how you want to feel.
Journaling or any other reflective practice is a key part of the feminine energy approach to weight loss. You pay attention to how you feel each day and adjusting accordingly. You recognise the signs of stress or disturbance in your body and allow your emotions to come up and to be released. With the masculine energy approach, you are more likely to create additional stress in your body through your diet or exercise. You ignore your body’s signs of stress and suppress any resistance or emotions that come up rather than taking the time for active relaxation.
Masculine vs. feminine energy approach impact on hormones
For women, our hormones affect everything about the way our body functions! Our mood, energy levels and capacities vary throughout the month. I will save the details of that for another post. Here I will give an overview of how the masculine vs. feminine energy approaches to weight loss impact your hormones.
The masculine energy approach completely ignores your hormones. You basically treat yourself like a man who is the same day in day out, week in week out. There is no consideration of your menstrual cycle in your diet or workout routines. You squash down PMS cravings or beat yourself up for giving in to them. And you push yourself to workout during your period, even if you are in pain or tired. If you push yourself hard enough, you might even lose your period altogether or develop signs of hormonal imbalance.
On the other hand, with the feminine energy approach, your hormones are at the centre of your self-care routine. You are fully aware of your menstrual cycle and which phase you are in each week. And you use this information to adjust your diet, exercise and self-care routine accordingly. You know when it’s ok to push yourself and when you need to rest and take more care of your inner world. Rather than criticising yourself when you don’t see linear progress, you accept that being cyclical is the beauty of being a woman!
Summary of masculine vs. feminine energy approach to weight loss
The table below gives a summary of the masculine vs. feminine energy approach to weight loss.
|MASCULINE ENERGY||FEMININE ENERGY|
|DIET||Strict diet rules|
Counting calories or macros
No room for slip ups
All foods allowed
Flexible and fluid
|MOVEMENT||Planned workout regime|
Over-riding body signals and energy
|Movement from daily activities|
Fun workouts to bring joy
Listening to energy levels
|STRESS||Can create additional stress|
No space for self-care
Unaware of stress in the body
|Self-awareness of stress signs|
Active relaxation strategies
Self-care built in to routine
|MINDSET||Tough love no pain no gain|
Punishing and critical
Outcome focused goals
Nurturing and caring approach
Behaviour focused goals
|HORMONES||Ignoring menstrual cycle|
Same routine through-out the month
Physical stress can disrupt hormones
|Menstrual cycle tracking|
Adjust diet and movement to cycle phase
Supports hormonal balance
Above all, remember that all bodies are different and focus on YOUR PROGRESS rather than comparing to others. A huge part of feminine energy is surrender and acceptance of what is. Building healthy habits so you can look and feel like the best version of yourself but knowing when to stop pushing and how to find your balance.
Over to you…
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