In 2014, while working on a different book project, I realized that it was time to address a topic that I had been avoiding for quite some time, one that I had intended to examine but, due to the complexity involved, had so far avoided.
That topic was women’s physiology as it pertained to nutrition, fat loss, muscle gain and training. And it was time to finally address it. For almost the next 3 years I would dive into the research and physiology, realizing that the degree of complexity and the differences present between women and men were immense. The deeper I delved, the more differences I found and what I thought would end up being a fairly short book started to turn into a tome.
The work was exhaustive and I’d end up having to pull out the training sections and divide the book into two volumes (Volume 2 will cover training and will be out, well….I don’t know when exactly).
After all of that. After all of the research, and writing and editing (helped immensely by feedback from Eric Helms, who also contributed an appendix on peak week for physique athletes and making weight for weight class athletes), it was done.
At a staggering 438 pages, containing over 850 scientific references, the Women’s Book Vol 1 covers virtually every possible topic relevant to women’s nutrition, diet, fat loss or muscle gain in detail. Background physiology on fuel use, fat storage and loss, stress, menstrual cycle function and more are all examined in detail. Many of these topics are discussed within the context of how women and men differ physiologically.
Traditionally these differences have been ignored with women being treated as “little men”. Research done on men or training and diet approaches developed by male coaches on male athletes are frequently applied uncritically to women and this can cause problems due to women’s physiologys differing in subtle (or not so subtle ways) to men’s. While the generalities will always hold, the specific of diet and nutrition that may work for men are frequently ineffective or even damaging to women.
This is in addition to the absolutely staggering amount of poor information that exists on the topic of diet and weight/fat loss for women. This is either due to the immense amount of poor information in mainstream media or simply to how women have conceptualized how dieting for weight or fat loss should occur. Simply, many of the approaches that are recommended are used are either ineffective or detrimental to the fat loss process.
The book examines not only women who are normally cycling but addresses other hormonal situations that a woman might find herself in. This includes hormonal birth control, Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome and sub-clinical hyperandrogenism (above normal testosterone levels) along with various types of menstrual cycle dysfunction including amenorrhea. The changes that occur with aging, both peri-menopause and menopause (both with and without HRT) are discussed along with partial hysterectomy (with estrogen replacement). These can impact on nutritional or dietary requirements and specific supplement recommendations are provided for each different situation.
And The Women’s Book has, among it’s goals, providing the best information possible on how to optimize not only overall nutrition but the dieting/fat loss and muscle gain process. In addition to the physiological background, specific recommendations are given for fixing many of the problems women’s face, diet set up, meal patterning and frequency, around workout nutrition, estimating dieting times, identifying and breaking plateaus along many others. Basic exercise guidelines are given along with templates for women with different goals in different hormonal situations.
The Women’s Book Vol 1 is a comprehensive reference and is the only one of its kind on the topic. While other books have certain been written, they are either aimed at a clinical audience or, when aimed at the general public are incomplete or contain incorrect or damaging information. The book is meant to be relevant to as many women in as many situations as possible. Whether lean or carrying excess body fat, whether beginner or advanced trainee, whether seeking general health or improved bone density, sports performance or dieting for a physique contest, the book will provide recommendations on how a woman can optimize them nutritionally (basic training information is provided).