Body weight is a split issue when comparing male and female athletes. When training, males are trying to bulk up while females are trying to slim down. Males consume more calories while working out, while females try to cut calories while workout. This practice can be problematic for a female’s body in the long run.
Cutting calories and performing activities that burn more calories than normal can cause an energy deficiency, a primary cause of the Female Athlete Triad. This is usually a result of the conscious restriction of food intake, the effort to improve body image and the desire to achieve thinness.
With a prolonged behavior to cause energy deficiency, hormones in the body become unbalanced. For the body to fight back, it will first stop menstruating. If a female goes three or more consecutive months without a period she is diagnosed to have amenorrhea- the second part of the triad – which can cause major harm to her body.
The third part of the female triad is bone loss. The body will pull from the bone when it feels it isn’t get the nutrients it needs, which can lead to the weakening of bones. This can cause an increase risk of fractures and a higher susceptibility to osteoporosis later in life.
Reaching the ideal weight with desired athletic performance doesn’t mean cutting calories and losing pounds. It’s about the distribution of weight, fueling your body with energy packed food and training healthy.
Studies have shown that when a female regains regularity in menstrual cycle by reducing exercise intensity and increase calorie intake, her overall health and athletic performance increases as well. The more you exercise and the higher the intensity of your training sessions, the more healthy calories your body requires.