We women are always on the lookout for diet tips, ones that are sure to tip the scale a bit lower with as little effort and confusion as possible. But where can we find diet tips for women that work, ones that are tried and true and steeped in fact and science, not myth? I can help! I’ve talked to my doctor and my personal trainer, and spent hours scouring scientific papers, and now I have these 3o diet tips for women you should know. Let’s get started!
1. It’s Dangerous to Starve Yourself
First are foremost, to lose weight, you absolutely cannot starve yourself. It’s dangerous, uncomfortable, and it will not help you lose weight and keep it off. With so many other diet tips for women on this list, you won’t need to starve yourself, either.
2. Fiber is Your Friend
Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, helps your body absorb nutrients, and can even help you feel fuller, longer. We’re supposed to get about 25 grams per day of fiber, but most of us don’t. A dieter especially wants to eat this fiber, to keep her body healthy and happy.
3. Eat Smaller Meals, More Often
To keep your metabolism rocking, and to keep feeling full, try eating five small meals a day, rather than three large ones. This will indeed keep your metabolism going steady all day, and it will also keep you from feeling hungry, which makes you less likely to snack on junk food. Bonus!
4. Don’t Delete the Carbs!
No matter how popular the Atkins diet is, no matter how many people swear it works for them, the bottom line is simple: you cannot delete carbs from your diet. It’s dangerous, and it won’t work in the long term. Think about it this way: how can a diet that encourages you to eat three hamburger patties but not a whole-wheat bun possibly be healthy?
5. Aim for Five
According to the USDA, we’re all supposed to eat five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day, but most of us don’t eat anywhere close to that. If you aim for five servings per day, as snacks, you’ll notice that you’ll feel more energized, and you won’t feel hungry… fresh fruits and veggies make excellent healthy, diet-friendly snacks!
6. Skip the Soda
Soda is, plain and simple, a load of empty calories. Even the low-cal or no-cal soda isn’t a healthy choice, since scientific studies have suggested that the artificial sweeteners in them can cause cancer. Skip the soda, and drink water with lemon, or mixed fruit juices, instead.
7. Ditch the Fast Food
Did you know that one fast food value meal can contain all of the calories you’re supposed to eat in one whole day? Even the supposedly healthy options at fast food restaurants are loaded with hidden calories; a salad comes with cheese and dressing, adding calories, and some even come with battered fried chicken.
8. Frenemies Are Ferocious
So many of us underestimate the power of positive thinking and the effects of negativity. When you’re dieting, it’s important to surround yourself with supportive, encouraging friends… and to ditch the frenemies who simply can’t do enough to sabotage your success. This applies to all dieters, but this is a diet tip for women, especially, since we tend to be the cattiest to each other.
9. Drinks Count, Too
During your girl’s night out, remember, the calories in your cocktails count, too… and so do the calories in your morning latte. In fact, your cocktails and coffee drinks can be loaded with calories! Choose low-fat or skim milk in your coffee drinks, and skip the whip.
10. Exercise is Important
Here’s a diet tip for women we tend to forget, conveniently: exercise is important for long-term, safe and effective weight loss. Sure, you can lose weight without exercise, but it will be more difficult, and you’ll end up being, in the words of my personal trainer, “the skinniest fat girl out there.”
11. Go by Size, Not by Weight
Here’s another diet tip for women we never hear: your weight isn’t the best way to measure how effective your weight loss is. When you’re losing weight through a healthier diet and regular exercise, you’ll lose fat but gain lean muscle, which weighs more than the fat you’ve lost. So rather than depend on the dreaded scale to track your progress, consider how your clothes are fitting, or what the tape measure says.
12. Know a Serving Size
Most restaurants serve about two portions on one plate, and we’ve been trained to think we’re supposed to clear our plates, so what’s a dieter to do? While eating out, keep in mind this diet tip for women: one serving of meat ought to be about the size of a deck of cards, and one serving of a side dish ought to fit in the palm of your hand. When your meal arrives, eyeball the proper serving, and immediately set the rest aside to enjoy later… as a second meal.
13. Dine in
If you’re not confident enough in serving sizes at restaurants, and if you’re not supposed to eat fast food, then where are you supposed to eat when you’re dieting? Cook at home! If you’re dining in, you’re much better able to control serving sizes and you’ll also know exactly what’s going into your meals.
14. Get Your Partner on Board
It’s so much easier to diet successfully if your partner is on board with your diet. First of all, you’ll only have to cook one set of meals if you’re both dieting. And since, more often than not, we women are the ones who do the mal preparation, he doesn’t really have a choice, does he?
15. You’re Setting an Example for Your Kids!
Keep in mind, too, the example you’re setting for your children. This is one diet tip for women we all can appreciate if we’re mothers, too… seeing us eating healthier and exercising regularly makes our children much more likely to make these healthier lifestyle choices, too!
16. Shop the Perimeter
We women also tend to do the grocery shopping, so here’s a diet tip for women to use while shopping. When you’re at the grocery store, stick to the outside edges of the store, and push your cart directly to the checkout without running down the middle aisles. Why? Because the healthy fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and whole grains are around the perimeter of the store, and the junk foods and prepared foods are in the inside aisles.
17. Brown Bag It
Just like cooking meals at home can help you reduce calories, bringing your lunch from home, rather than eating out of the vending machine or at the cafeteria, will help you diet successfully. Again, it’s about making healthy choices ahead of time, rather than making food choices when you’re already hungry and more liable to be tempted by high-fat, high-calorie snacks.
18. Reward Yourself
We tend to reward ourselves with food, especially our favorite high-cal comfort foods… it’s time to change that! Why not reward your weight loss achievements with something more tangible and healthier, like a pedicure or a new pair of jeans?
19. Get Inspired
Who inspires you to make the right choices, to keep at your diet even when it’s difficult? Find your inspiration, and keep him or her in mind when the going gets tough and the bag of crisps in the cupboard is calling your name.
20. Hooray for Whole Grains!
Sometimes making simple swaps is a great way to boost your diet success. An example? Swapping your tasteless, chemically-altered white bread for delicious hearty whole grain bread. Whole grain bread is tastier, and it’s loaded with nutrients (like fiber!) that are bleached (literally) from white bread.
21. There’s No Magic Pill
Sadly, there’s no magic pill that will help you lose weight. If only! But no, the only effective way to lose weight, and to keep it off, is to eat a well-balanced, healthful diet and to exercise regularly and strenuously. Any product or pill that promises otherwise is a scam, and a waste of your time and money.
22. It Will Take Time
If you’re dieting effectively, by making simple changes and exercising regularly, expect to lose about one pound, maybe a little more, each week. To lose 20 pounds, set a reasonable goal of about three months. If you reach your goal before then, great! But if it takes you the entire 3 months, that’s fine too… you did it!
23. It’s Math Time
For the accountants and engineers and other math-oriented types, here’s a diet tip for women that involves math. Weight loss really is about a simple math formula, anyway. To lose weight, make sure the calories you consume are LESS THAN the calories you burn. It’s that simple!
24. Know Your Weaknesses, and Keep Them out of the House!
If you have a weakness for ice cream before bed, then don’t buy it! If you crave salty BBQ crisps while watching TV, t hen don’t buy them! Are you seeing a trend here? If you have a particular weakness or craving, don’t buy it, and you’ll avoid the temptation.
25. Hormones Are Hellish
Here’s another diet tip for women that we often forget: our weight loss and cravings are tied to our monthly menstrual cycles. Keep this in mind when you’re having a craving-filled week, or when you’re feeling puffy and bloated. You’re not failing at your diet, or feeling weak because you have no willpower — it’s just your cycle. It’ll be fine in another few days. Hang in there!
26. There’s an App for That
There’s an app for everything, including weight loss! Download a few free apps and see what works for you — a calorie counting app, an inspirational/motivational quotes app, a workout tracking app. My favorite? The free app by Kellogg’s Special K. Try it!
27. Be Clever
We women can be so clever… it’s time to use your trickiness, and sneak in workouts when everyone least expects them! Bounce on the trampoline with the kids, chase the dog around the yard, go for a jog or a bike ride with your sig other. See? These are all workouts, but they’re also good bonding time. Sneaky!
28. Plan Ahead
I’ve already mentioned that planning ahead can be very helpful when you’re dieting, and I want to talk more about that. Each week, plan your menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you know what to buy when you go to the grocery store. Again, planning ahead means you’ll be making healthier choices ahead of time, so you’re not making poor choices in the heat of a hungry moment.
29. Find a Friend
Why is it so much easier to diet and exercise with a friend? Find a workout buddy and a diet partner, someone who can encourage you when you’re feeling like being lazy, someone who can share recipes with you… and some who can help you celebrate your successes!
30. Consult a Pro
If you’re not getting the results you want from your diet and exercise regimens, it might be time to consult your family doctor or a personal trainer. These people are dedicated to helping you make healthier choices, and they can sometimes make suggestions that make all the difference in your diet.
With so many diet tips for women, and so much of your own willpower and cleverness, you’ll be sure to lose weight and look and feel great, and soon! Which of these tips do you think you’ll find most helpful? Or do you have another diet tip for women to share?
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