7 Healthy Weight Loss Tips for Women
Are you looking to lose weight to have more energy and feel more comfortable in your body? This article includes seven non-drastic and practical weight loss tips just for women.
While dieting sometimes gets a bad rap, healthy weight loss for many people is a reasonable goal. Nearly 40% of Americans are obese and even more may be overweight, with a less-than-optimal fat to muscle ratio. Getting rid of excess weight can help reduce fatigue, increase energy, reduce disease risk, and improve self-confidence.
It’s important when trying to lose weight that women don’t trigger eating disorders, upset hormone balance, reduce muscle mass, cause nutrient deficiencies, or increase stress. So, this article is devoted to non-drastic and practical weight loss tips just for women.
As always, please consult your healthcare provider to help determine if weight loss is appropriate for you, and what is the best diet or method for losing weight.
Weight Loss Tips for Women
1. Cut back on sugar
Cutting back on sugar can help promote weight loss and increase overall health. Added sugars in foods such as in cookies and sweets promotes fat storage and disturbs hunger signals. This is because people who regularly consume added sugars typically eat more overall 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 sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas. 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.
One practical way to cut back on sugar is to limit any treats to once a day. Or, try going cold turkey and eliminating any added sugars for a period of time. Then, monitor your weight and see if these changes help you reach your goals over time.
2. Try a 4-week rules-based diet like Whole30 or Paleo
Diets such as Whole30 or Paleo 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.
As an added benefit, these 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. Studies show that having support when you’re trying to lose weight can help improve the results.
Learn the differences between Whole30, paleo, and clean eating.
3. Eat more vegetables
Vegetables are high in fiber and water content, which will help keep you full longer. Vegetables are also generally low in calories. Vegetables of all colors help your body function optimally and decrease internal stressors than can cause weight gain.
Examples of easy ways to eat more vegetables include having a salad with lunch and dinner, replacing traditional pasta noodles with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, or adding cooked squashes into your soups and stews.
4. Cook more at home
Restaurant and prepackaged meals are often made of processed ingredients that are designed to taste good. These hyperpalatable foods can lead to overeating and weight gain.
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 and snack only when needed
Eating large enough meals with a proper balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates will ensure you’re satisfied until your next meal. It’s also good to be aware of your snacking habits. Do you snack out of boredom? Does turning on the TV make you reach for the chip bag?
A good rule when trying to lose weight is to eat three meals on a schedule and to only eat a snack when you are too hungry to wait until the next meal time.
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 weight loss progress. You can use a journal to track portion sizes and macronutrient ratios, even if you don’t track the exact number of calories.
A food journal can help you become more mindful of how much you are eating, what makes you feel satiated, and what is most effective for your weight loss.
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.
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, and yoga) can accelerate weight loss. A slight calorie deficit is helpful for weight loss, as long as you don’t feel tired and hungry throughout the day.
How much weight you can lose is very individual and dependent on a lot of factors. Losing 1-2 pounds per week is considered healthy and sustainable for most women.
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.
There is nothing that says it is definitely harder for women to lose weight. Weight loss is usually 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.
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 than men 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.
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.
You really need to be careful with weight loss supplements, as they can do more harm than good. Some of the common supplements for weight loss include green tea extract, probiotics, and grapefruit essential oil. Matcha tea also has some research showing it can help with weight loss, but you need to be careful not to prepare it with sugar.
Women have unique challenges when trying to lose weight, including maintaining a healthy hormone balance and not triggering disordered eating patterns. This article includes 7 healthy weight loss tips that are non-drastic and practical.