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Are you looking to lose weight to have more energy and feel more comfortable in your body? Learn how to incorporate 7 healthy weight loss tips just for women.
Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.
While dieting sometimes gets a bad rap, healthy weight loss for many people is a reasonable goal. Weight management is important and getting rid of excess weight can help reduce fatigue, increase energy, reduce disease risk, and improve self-confidence. Women have special considerations, though, and so this article is devoted to weight loss tips that are appropriate for women.
7 Healthy Weight Loss Tips for Women
1. Cut back on sugar
Sugar promotes fat storage and disturbs hunger signals. People who regularly consume sugar typically eat more because sugar intake lowers leptin production. Lower leptin levels lead to increased hunger and decreased satiety.
Foods with high sugar content also tend to be high-calorie foods, like desserts and soft drinks. Consuming these high-calorie foods can cause you to overconsume in relation to the amount of energy you expend.
Sugar is an addictive substance that prompts cravings for more sugar. Because it increases hunger, food cravings, and fat storage, sugar can cause weight gain. Reducing or eliminating your sugar intake will help you lose weight. Join my 30-day Sugar Free Challenge for support going sugar-free.
2. Try a 4-week rules-based diet like Whole30, paleo, vegan, or low-carb
Rules-based “reset” diets often have large communities you can join (via online forums, in-person groups, or social media) to keep you motivated and promote success.
Diets such as Whole30, paleo, vegan or low-carb can majorly reduce consumption of processed foods, so they are naturally healthier and often lower in calories. Even a subtle caloric deficit from one of these diets can help with weight loss. Learn the differences between Whole30, paleo, vegan, and clean eating.
3. Eat more vegetables
Vegetables are high in fiber and water content, which will help keep you full longer. Vegetables are very low in calories. Replacing traditional pasta noodles with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles is an easy way to cut calories and carbohydrates with your meal. Vegetables of all colors help your body function optimally and decrease internal stressors than can cause weight gain.
See which foods are the healthiest and what you should be eating every single day.
4. Cook more at home
Restaurant and prepackaged meals are often made of processed ingredients that are designed to taste good. These hyperpalatable foods keep you diving in for more food, even long after you’re full.
Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes. Putting a reasonably sized portion on your plate rather than an oversized portion (as they do in restaurants) can help you tune in to your feelings of fullness. This way you stop eating when you’re full, not just when your plate is empty.
5. Eat balanced meals + snacks only when needed
Eating large enough meals with a proper balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vegetables will ensure you’re satisfied until your next meal. Be aware of your snacking habits. Do you snack out of boredom? Does turning on the TV make you reach for the chip bag? Only eat when you are hungry and cannot wait for your next meal.
6. Eat more protein at breakfast
Eating protein at breakfast can calm your insulin response so you don’t crash an hour later and reach for a snack. Eating a protein-rich breakfast will also help you feel satiated so you’re less likely to overeat in the evening.
7. Keep a food journal
Keeping a food journal is a great way to to improve mindfulness and monitor your progress. You can use a journal to track portion sizes and macronutrient ratios, even if you don’t track exactly. It can help you become more mindful of how much you are eating, what makes you feel satiated, and what is most effective for weight loss.
How can I lose weight fast and naturally?
Keep in mind that losing weight fast is often not the best way to keep the weight off. You can lose weight quickly by drastically cutting calories (often, starving yourself) but once you stop the low-calorie diet, you’ll gain the weight back. Extreme low-calorie diets are not healthy or sustainable.
Still, you can see results in as little as 2-4 weeks on a healthy weight loss diet. The key is to not starve yourself, but to instead reach for naturally lower-calorie whole foods that will provide you with nutrients and satiate you. Feeling satisfaction with your diet is key to maintaining it.
Combining your whole foods diet with moderate exercise (walking, weightlifting, yoga, etc.!) can accelerate weight loss. A slight calorie deficit is helpful for weight loss, as long as you don’t feel tired and mentally foggy during your day.
How much weight can you lose in a week?
How much weight you can lose is very individual and dependent on a lot of factors. Losing 1-2 pounds per week is healthy and sustainable, according to the Center for Disease Control. So, while you could feasibly lose more than that, it would not be healthy and you would likely not be able to maintain it. Don’t forget that other factors like stress, lifestyle, sleep, and underlying health conditions will affect your weight loss.
Is it harder for women to lose weight?
There is nothing that says it is definitely harder for women to lose weight. Weight loss is way more about genetics, lifestyle, and diet than about gender. However, some women struggle to lose weight in comparison to their male partners. This is because women are biologically meant to have more body fat. It can also appear that women have more fat during certain points in their cycle, when this is actually temporary water retention.
The female body can be resistant to weight loss efforts because it perceives caloric deficits as stress. In fact, women who are under a certain weight or body fat percentage may lose their menstrual cycle. Fat storage is a protection mechanism for all humans, but especially for the female body. Read more about what is the best diet for fertility.
Finally, women are more likely to have thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, which can cause weight fluctuations.
If you find you simply can’t lose weight, then you might need to check with your healthcare provider to see if there are any other medical reasons for this happening.
What is the best way for women over 50 to lose weight?
Without the weight-managing effects of estrogen, menopausal women may struggle with weight gain. Hormone therapy has proven to be very effective for many women, not just for weight management, but for mood as well.
If you are perimenopausal, menopausal, or have severe estrogen deficiency, hormone therapy may help you lose excess weight. Be sure that you’ve tried healthy weight loss and checked for underlying conditions first, however.
What are the best weight loss supplements?
Most weight loss supplements have minimal or no effect on weight loss. They certainly cannot do the job alone. You can add some natural supplements to your healthy weight loss plan, if you’d like. Be sure any supplement is safe and does not interfere with any medications or other supplements you are on. Here are some common supplements for weight loss:
- Green tea extract: the caffeine increases body temperature and fat oxidation while providing you with a subtle energy boost (for more movement!)
- Probiotic: repopulating your gut flora with good bacteria can be a key to weight loss. See which foods have natural probiotics and read how to pick a probiotic.
- Grapefruit essential oil: may help regulate appetite, boost metabolism, and increase energy.
Check Your Reasons for Losing Weight
Nearly 40% of Americans are obese and even more may be overweight, with a less-than-optimal fat to muscle ratio. However, it is important to make sure that your reasons for losing weight are valid. Do not attempt weight loss if you do not have weight to lose. Your doctor can provide you with a medical opinion. Your health is more important than looks.
Here are some times when you should be cautious about weight loss:
- Pregnant women, children, and the elderly should be carefully monitored.
- If you are losing weight and you aren’t trying, you should see your doctor.
- Those with body image issues or a history of disordered eating (such as orthorexia) should first see a qualified counselor before attempting weight loss.
- Women who do not have a regular period should ask their doctor before beginning weight loss to be sure further weight loss would not harm hormonal health.
It is also important to address any health conditions that would prevent you from losing weight. These could include:
- Chronic stress
- Orthorexia or disordered eating, which can make the body store fat via the “famine response”
- Hormonal birth control or other hormonal imbalances like PCOS
See all my articles related to healthy weight loss.