Though there are many pricey choices out there when it comes to diet programs, women don’t have to pay an arm-and-a-leg in order to get healthy and/or lose weight. Eating healthy is something that women can do for free using the proper resources that are based on scientific facts and proven studies. Free diet plans are available online for women, and the healthiest choices are those that include well-balanced, nutritious meals and limit sugar and salt consumption.
Women need fewer calories each day on average when compared to men of the same age, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This comprehensive report states that adult women aged 19 to 30 years need to consume about 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day. Women 31 to 50 years old should aim for 1,800 to 2,200 calories each day, and women over 50 years old require slightly less at 1,600 to 2,200 per day. The exact number depends on age, body type and daily physical activity levels.
According to 2007 statistics at WomensHealth, over 60 percent of American women are overweight. This is significant because being overweight increases your risk of developing any number of obesity-related diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. An effective diet plan can help women lower the risk of these diseases by promoting healthier foods, smaller portions and limiting unhealthy food choices.
Women can take advantage of several types of free diet plans available to them depending on their lifestyle. One effective diet plan that women can use for free is MyPyramid. MyPyramid gives you a free meal plan and daily calorie target for weight loss or maintenance; the recommendations are based on the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
One of the central topics surrounding most any diet plan for women is portion control. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, portion sizes in restaurants, grocery stores and vending machines have gotten larger in recent years. The CDC recommends being weary of large portions when dining out, and limit yourself to a single helping at mealtime instead of several. Switching over to smaller plates can be psychologically helpful in that it tricks your brain into thinking you’re eating as much as before when, in fact, there are fewer calories on your plate.
Women need to be cautious when searching for free diet plans because some of them may be unhealthy or even dangerous. For instance, fad diets that eliminate certain essential nutrients from your diet, such as carbs or fats, can prove to be ineffective in the long term or even cause health issues. It’s best to consult your doctor before trying any new diet plan to make sure that it’s a good choice for you.