Weight Loss Tips for Women
Losing weight is often a difficult undertaking. Losing weight successfully and permanently requires discipline, hard work, planning and organization. The general, ‘tried and true’ advice is to cut down on your caloric intake (count calories), choose filling, low-calorie foods most often, exercise as much as possible and make healthier lifestyle choices. You must be patient. Most experts recommend losing about 2 pounds per week, though you may lose more at first if you are obese. Weight loss tips and suggestions can provide you with ideas to make losing weight simpler, more fun and less burdensome. Try a new tip for the next two weeks to keep your routine interesting!
Basic Essentials – Structuring your meals and snacks
- Eat at least 3 meals a day and 1-2 snacks. In general, women should strive to consume meals that provide about 300-500 calories and men should aim for 400-600 calories per meal. Include 1-2 snacks a day (about 100-200 calories each).
- Half of your plate (lunch and dinner) should be composed of fruits and vegetables. Adult women need at least 2½ cups of vegetables and 1½ cups of fruits daily. Try to eat a green/veggie salad before dinner and at least one raw fruit and one raw vegetable every day.
- Never skip breakfast. Breakfast skippers tend to struggle with weight loss and ultimately, weight maintenance. Whether you choose a poached egg, whole wheat toast and a piece of fruit, whole grain cereal with skim milk and fruit or a protein-rich smoothie…be consistent.
- Build your diet on plant-based foods, as the ‘Choose my Plate’ guide illustrates.
- Try a carbohydrate controlled diet made of ~ 45% of calories from carbohydrate, 30% from lean protein and 25% from healthy fats.
Shopping, Food Selection and Planning
- Read food labels! There are basic rules for choosing healthier foods. First, make sure you can pronounce everything on the label; second, avoid packaged foods with corn syrup solids or high fructose corn syrup; and third, if the label has “hydrogenated‟ listed on it, don’t buy it.
- Choose fiber-rich whole grains over white flour ‘enriched’ bread products. Select breads with at least 2 of grams of fiber per serving and cereals with less than or equal to 5 g of sugar and 4 to 5 g of fiber per serving. The first ingredient listed should be whole wheat or whole grain.
- Plan your meals in advance when possible. To avoid high food costs, select produce that is ‘in-season’ and/or bagged frozen (without sauces or added sugars).
- Make a shopping list and stick to it. In addition to whole grains, legumes and a variety of fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, fill your shopping cart with lean protein foods such as skinless poultry, fish, eggs (egg whites), yogurt and light cheese wedges.
- Pair a carbohydrate-rich food with a food rich in protein and/or healthy fats, especially for snacks. This will keep your blood sugar stable and control your hunger until your next meal. Sample pairings include 5-6 whole wheat crackers with 2 tbsp hummus or 1 piece of fresh fruit with 1 oz reduced-fat cheese.
- To preserve nutrients, cook your vegetables for the minimal amount of time possible. Avoid added fats; grill, steam or stir-fry veggies in a non-stick pan.
- Buy a low-fat cookbook or browse the Internet to help you modify traditional high-fat recipes and introduce quick, healthy, interesting dishes to your repertoire.
- Prepare foods using healthy cooking methods such as broiling, baking meats on a rack, grilling, steaming or roasting.
- Always eliminate “extra” fats from proteins. Trim visible fats from meats and drain/rinse cooked ground meat. Remove skin from poultry after cooking.
- Ditch your favorite salad dressing. Instead try a squeeze of lemon or flavored vinegar with a very small drizzle of olive, sesame or walnut oil.
- Drummond, K.E. & Brefer, L.M.: Nutrition for Foodservice & Culinary Professionals, 7th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New York, 2010.