Women who want to lose weight do not need to eat special diet foods, but rather should include healthy foods in the right amounts. To slowly and steadily lose the excess weight, as recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians, a daily reduction of 250 to 1,000 calories is advised, which should lead to a loss of 0.5 to 2 lbs. To avoid feeling hungry while lowering the amount of calories consumed, it is important that women choose the right foods to feel the most satisfied with the fewest calories.
Any diet plan should be based on nonstarchy vegetables, which have a low energy density and are more filling as a result, but contain very few calories because of their high water and fiber content, according to the July 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." It is recommended to fill at least half of the plate at lunch and dinner with nonstarchy vegetables and to use low-fat cooking methods and low-calorie seasonings to facilitate the weight loss process.
Fresh fruits, including apples, pears, berries, grapes, citrus, peaches and plums, should also be part of any woman's weight loss program. Two to three servings a day, whether consumed with meals or at snack time, not only provides an array of health-protective phytonutrients, but also adds filling water and fiber, which helps keep hunger away between meals, according to Julia Ello-Martin in the July 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Fruit juices, canned fruits and dried fruits should be limited if trying to lose weight.
Of all nutrients, protein is the one that has the most satiating power, according to Arne Astrup in the July 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Therefore, women trying to lose weight should include a source of lean protein at every meal, whether it is chicken, turkey, lean meat, fish, tofu or legumes.
Bread, rice and pasta often have a bad reputation among women when it comes to weight loss. However, whole grains, such as whole grain bread, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, can be part of a healthy weight loss program if consumed in moderation. The higher fiber content of whole grains contribute to satiety. A serving ranging between 1/3 to 1 cup of whole grains per meal is appropriate for women to lose weight.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat milk, plain yogurt and cheese should also be an important component in the diet of women following a weight loss diet plan. The protein of dairy products contributes to satiety. Moreover, choosing low-fat options helps keep the calorie and fat low to make weight loss easier.
- FamilyDoctor: What It Takes to Lose Weight
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; "The Influence of Food Portion Size and Energy Density on Energy Intake: Implications for Weight Management"; Julia A Ello-Martin et al; 2005
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; "The Satiating Power of Protein--A Key to Obesity Prevention"; David Weigle et al; July 2005
- University of Sydney: Home of the Glycemic Index