It seems like finding the best weight loss diets for women should be easy, doesn’t it?
After all, with so much free information on the internet these days finding the right diet should be a cinch. Right?
This is the problem: too much information. And it’s mixed in with a lot of misinformation.
So finding the best diets for women can be harder than finding a needle in a field of haystacks.
And doesn’t it seem like each person you meet swears by a different diet?
Well, here’s the deal: even though the majority of diets for women have different strategies, they cause weight loss by adhering to the same principles.
There is more than one way to cook a chicken.
So in this guide I am going show you the right principles so you can find the best diet for you.
Luckily, there are only two principles you have to focus on:
- Caloric load
- Blood sugar normalization
The amount of calories you eat (i.e., caloric load) will ultimately control your rate of weight loss. And your levels of blood sugar will determine the quality of your weight loss – how much fat versus muscle you lose.
Ignoring all the chatter and focusing on these two principles alone will allow you to lose as much weight as you want.
And this reminds me of another important point: there is no single best weight loss diet for women. Rather, the best diet is one that you modify according to your particular lifestyle and body type.
Again, this is why understanding principles is more important than understanding the mechanics behind a diet. So you can effectively manipulate your diet according to your unique needs.
There are a million ways to control the amount of calories you eat. Which one is best?
Well, I recommend using a progressive approach here. Start off with the least invasive methods and if the weight doesn’t come off, start using the more involved methods.
As a starting point, you are going to have to control portion sizes. An extremely effective yet simple way to do this is with the palms of your hands. Have on palm-full of protein, one palm-full of carbohydrates, one tablespoon-full of fat and as many dark colored vegetables as possible in each one of your meals.
Using the palms of your hands will automatically adjust your portion sizes according to your body size and metabolic rate.
Now if this approach doesn’t work for you – wait at least a couple weeks – I suggest keeping a food journal of everything you eat. Then, either upward or downward adjust the calories you eat depending on your rate of weight loss.
Then, if this doesn’t work either you’ll have to weigh and measure everything you eat. Although not recommended, this is the only way to prevent “calorie creep.” A situation where hidden calories sneak into your diet and prevent weight loss.
Measuring and weighing everything is the only way to fully prevent this, although most women never have to go to this extreme!
Blood Sugar Normalization
There are two hormones in your body that control weight loss: insulin and glucagon. If insulin goes up, glucagon goes down. If glucagon goes up, insulin goes down. They oppose each other.
And blood sugar influences how much insulin your body has to secrete.
So the lower your blood sugar is, the less insulin you’ll secrete and the more glucagon you’ll have circulating around.
And this is exactly what you want – more glucagon for more weight loss.
In fact, the best weight loss diets for women raise your levels of glucagon the most.
So how do you lower blood sugar for maximum glucagon production?
Again, there are multiple strategies you can implement here and I recommend using the easiest and only transitioning to the hardest if absolutely necessary.
Now the easiest way to lower your blood sugar is by eating balanced meals with slow digesting carbohydrates. To do this, pick one food item from each group every time you assemble a meal:
Of all of these, carbohydrates will have the biggest impact on blood sugar. So try to make beans and legumes your primary sources of carbs – they lower blood sugar the most.
Now if eating balanced, portion controlled meals doesn’t work you can consider a cyclical carbohydrate diet.
By cycling carbohydrates in and out of your diet you’ll lower your blood sugar even further without entering ketosis – a state in which your body runs off of ketones.
Unfortunately, ketosis is brutal and of all the different weight loss diets for women it leads to the largest weight gain rebound.
But you can avoid this by cycling carbohydrates. So how is this done?
On the days you are exercising maintain a regular carbohydrate intake. And on the days you aren’t exercising eliminate carbohydrates.
Just keep in mind that you may not be able to tolerate eliminating carbohydrates even if it’s for just one day. So listen to your body and adjust accordingly. If you can only eliminate carbohydrates from half of your meals on your non-exercise day, that’s completely fine.
Now if you are working with an extremely tight deadline, if you needed results yesterday, be more aggressive with your carbohydrate restriction and supplement your diet with caffeine tablets, loose leaf green tea and/or loose leaf yerba mate.
All of these will energize you and keep you productive on the days that you restrict carbs.
But what about all those other “best diets for women?”
Well, let’s review some of the popular diets and see how they might apply to you.
High Protein/Low Carb Diets For Women
This involves lowering your blood sugar to the extreme. You stop eating carbohydrates, crank up protein intake and watch the weight fly off of your body.
But there is a catch…
The catch: most of the initial weight loss is water.
Also, these diets are not sustainable and lead to lean muscle tissue breakdown.
Having said that, these diets do have their place if you are trying to go from lean to super duper lean. But if you are reading this article you most likely do not fall into this category.
And even if you were trying to reach a ridiculously low body fat percentage, you wouldn’t want to follow this type of diet for too long.
High Carb Diets For Women
The idea here is that calories control weight loss and as a result, you can eat as many carbohydrates as you want as long as you are within your caloric “allowance.”
Unfortunately, although calories do control weight loss, you cannot ignore blood sugar and insulin.
And if you lead a sedentary lifestyle (i.e., work at a desk) you should not be eating a massive amount of carbohydrates.
You only need a lot of carbohydrates if you are doing a tremendous amount of physical activity. So if you are an endurance athlete, by all means eat as many carbs as you want.
But for the rest of us, a high carb diet will not be the best diet here.
Low Fat Diets For Women
Yes, a gram of fat has twice the amount of calories in comparison to a gram of protein and carbohydrates.
But this does not mean that a low fat diet is best here. You see, dietary fat affects too many critical processes that regulate weight loss.
For one, the membranes of your cells need dietary fat to maintain their permeability. This means that a diet with insufficient fat will lead to higher amounts of nutrients getting shuffled to fat cells.
Dietary fat also influences your ability to recover from exercise and your ability to produce fat burning hormones.
I hate to sound cliché, but you do need to eat fat to burn fat.
Liquid Diets For Women
The main problem with liquid nutrition is that it digests too quickly which in turn makes your levels of blood sugar go up.
Also, solid food is much more satisfying than a shake. And remember that “meal replacement” powders will never be able to rival the nutrient synergies found in natural foods.
One more thing: slower digesting, solid food will lead to less lean tissue breakdown which in turn will preserve your metabolism.
Fasting/Detox Diets For Women
Yes, stop eating and the weight will come off. But once you start eating again it will all come back with a vengeance.
Not to mention that you are more at risk for all the nasty side effects with this type extreme dieting – hair loss, brittle nails, gall stones, etc.
Keep in mind that your body will make a lot of adjustments it you diet too aggressively. Your fat storing hormones will up regulate, your fat burning hormones will down regulate, your metabolism will slow down and life will become miserable.
You are better off coaxing your body to lose weight, don’t force it.
Your Hormonal Nemesis: Estrogen
Now one of the biggest challenges you will face when losing weight is overcoming estrogen. The good news is that you only have to do two things here:
- Lift weights
- Eat 25-30% of your calories as fat
And remember that lifting weights burns so many calories that you will actually get smaller, not bigger.
Weight Loss Diets For Women: My Final Thoughts
Your best strategy here is to absorb the principles outlined above and then modify a diet to your particular needs.
Most importantly, take action.
Just start eating right and course correct along the way.
You will learn the most about your body and the type of diet it responds to best by taking action.
So stop reading and start dieting!