Need a female weight loss diet that works? There are things that should be included in any healthy meal plan, but you also need to know how to make it all work for YOU!
As women age, weight loss can be difficult due to a slower metabolism and hormone changes – but it’s still possible when you've got a sustainable plan that fits into your lifestyle.
The trick is to choose a weight loss plan specifically designed for women, eat the right foods, and take supplements as needed to meet your daily nutritional needs.
With the right diet plan in place, weight loss might be easier than you ever thought possible!
Whether your goal is weight loss or healthy weight maintenance, the right female weight loss diet will help you achieve optimal health, meet your body’s unique nutritional needs, lower your risk of chronic disease, and look younger as you age!
Follow our tips and tricks below and start creating YOUR sustainable meal plan!
Can't lose weight no matter what you try? Here's why!
Creating Your Female Weight Loss Diet
Creating an effective diet plan is a step toward optimal health, but it can be overwhelming if you’re doing it on your own.
Following a few simple tips and tricks can help!
First off, you don’t have to count calories or micromanage your macronutrients!
But, knowing exactly what to eat and why you’re eating certain foods is essential, which will ultimately help you stay motivated.
There are certain times of the day when you should eat more protein, more fats, and fewer carbs (like breakfast) for optimized fat-burning and energy.
There are also certain times of the day when you should eat a balanced portion of protein, fats, and carbs (like dinner).
This (and so much more) is all laid out in our FM30X program, which gives you everything you need to succeed!
Which Foods Should I Eat?
Weight loss foods have a few things in common.
They're high in fiber, protein, and/or a good source of healthy fats.
Examples of foods to include in your healthy meal plan include:
- Fruits: melons, berries, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, bananas, apples, etc.
- Vegetables (non-starchy): leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery, zucchini, green beans, etc.
- Vegetables (starchy): sweet potatoes, corn, peas, black beans, etc.
- Protein foods: lean meat, poultry, fish, seafood, tofu, eggs, etc.
- Whole grains: quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.
- Calcium-rich dairy foods or plant alternatives: low-fat milk, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, protein powder, plant milk, reduced-fat cheese, etc.
- Heart-healthy fats: avocados, plant oils, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olives, etc.
Choose a wide variety of foods from each group!
When planning menus, aim to fill each plate:
- 1/2 full of non-starchy vegetables
- 1/4 full of grains or starchy vegetables
- 1/4 full of protein foods
Add some healthy fats to each plate and consume two to three servings of calcium-rich dairy foods or plant alternatives daily for extra calcium, vitamin D, and satiating protein.
We call this the Perfect Plate!
Which Nutrients Are Important?
There are several important nutrients every woman should get plenty of to achieve optional health and ideal body weight.
Most Americans lack sufficient vitamin D, and it is especially important for adults over 40, as this essential nutrient helps your body absorb calcium and is necessary for strong teeth and bones.
It’s also needed for proper immune function, your nervous system, and your muscles.
Vitamin D is abundant in the following foods:
You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure, multivitamin supplements, and vitamin D supplements.
As you get older, your bones might become less dense due to normal aging and hormone fluctuations associated with menopause.
Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, and proper muscle and nerve function.
Aim to consume two to three servings of calcium-rich foods daily and take a multivitamin supplement containing calcium (or an additional calcium supplement if your doctor recommends it).
Foods rich in calcium include:
- Cow’s milk and plant milk
One serving of dairy foods generally provides about 30% of your calcium daily value.
Getting enough omega-3s in your diet daily is important for good heart and brain health.
Plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in:
- Flax seeds and flax oil
- Walnuts and walnut oil
- Soybeans and soybean oil
- Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil
- Canola oil
Omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are also crucial for heart and brain health, and may minimize cognitive decline associated with aging.
These omega-3s are abundant in fish, fish oil, algae, and algae oil.
Your body can convert ALA (in small amounts) to DHA/EPA, but if you’re not eating at least two 3.5-ounce portions of fatty fish – such as tuna and salmon – weekly, ask your doctor about taking omega-3 supplements.
The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) and the National Heart Foundation of Australia recommend adult women consume at least 500 milligrams of DHA plus EPA daily for optimal heart health.
Probiotics are good bacteria that inhibit your digestive tract. They are associated with the following:
- Better digestive health
- Improvements in mental health
- A stronger immune system
Harvard Health Publishing reports that probiotics are linked with improvements in mood, decreases in stress and anxiety, and better overall cognitive function.
Foods rich in probiotics include:
You can also take probiotic supplements containing at least 1 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) per dosage daily.
Protein helps diminish muscle loss associated with aging, keeps your metabolism high, and helps boost satiety – which is extremely beneficial if you’re trying to shed pounds.
Older adults and athletes have higher protein needs than the general population to maintain or build lean muscle effectively.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein in women is 46 grams per day, but many women benefit from consuming additional protein.
For example, active adults often require 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, which equates to about 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of your weight each day.
- Fish and seafood
- Tofu and other soy products
- Plant milk
- Protein powder shakes
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butter
Choose foods rich in protein at each meal and snack to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
Fiber is an essential nutrient needed to optimize digestive health, and it boosts satiety, just like protein.
Fiber is abundant in nutritious plant foods – such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
Aim to ingest at least 25 grams of fiber daily by eating a well-balanced diet.
Ask your doctor about taking fiber supplements to enhance weight loss as needed.
Some of the richest food sources of fiber are peas, dried beans (such as black and pinto beans), broccoli, turnip greens, chia seeds, pears, raspberries, quinoa, oatmeal, and cooked barley, just to name a few.
Each of these foods provides about 5 to 16 grams of fiber per serving.
Sample Menus For Your Meal Plan
Examples of nutritious meals in a diet plan for women over 40 may look like this:
Sample Menu 1
- 3/4 your plate: an omelet made with bell peppers, olives, and asparagus
- 1/4 your plate: cooked oatmeal topped with sliced almonds
- Coffee or tea
- A protein powder smoothie made with almond or soy milk plus blueberries
- A leafy green salad with grilled chicken or tofu plus whole-grain croutons, sliced avocadoes, and Italian dressing
- Plain Greek yogurt topped with banana slices and pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 your plate: salmon or cod
- 1/4 your plate: brown rice mixed with pinto beans (prepared with olive oil)
- 1/2 your plate: broccoli or cauliflower
Sample Menu 2
- 1/4 your plate: meatless breakfast sausage or meatless veggie bacon
- 1/4 your plate: cooked quinoa topped with walnuts
- 1/2 your plate (1 large glass): vegetable juice blend
- Coffee or tea
- Low-fat cottage cheese with kiwi fruit
- A greens salad topped with taco-seasoned, very lean ground turkey (prepared with olive oil), black beans, sliced avocados, and olives
- A protein powder shake made with almond or soy milk plus cherries or raspberries
- 1/4 your plate: tempeh or tofu
- 1/4 your plate: wild rice (prepared with olive oil)
- 1/2 your plate: green beans or asparagus
Sample Menu 3
- 1/4 your plate: scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu
- 1/4 your plate: whole-grain toast topped with avocado
- 1/2 your plate: sautéed mushrooms and spinach (or other veggies)
- One orange plus reduced-fat cheese
- A turkey or veggie burger on a whole-grain bun topped with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and avocado slices
- A protein powder shake made with almond or soy milk plus greens powder and banana slices
- 1/4 your plate: shrimp or crab
- 1/4 your plate: whole-grain pasta plus olive oil
- 1/2 your plate: Grilled zucchini or other non-starchy veggies
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on building a female weight-loss diet.