Weight loss may seem like an impossible feat, especially if you’re over 40, but don’t give up just quite yet. Following simple weight loss tips for women can make shedding pounds a breeze.
Begin with a few small changes in your lifestyle habits, and watch the weight melt off!
#1 Track Water Intake
Many women have no idea how much water they drink in a day. You might not be meeting daily fluid requirements, which can hinder weight loss.
One of the best weight loss tips for women is to drink water often throughout the day, and aim for 11 to 12 cups as a daily total.
Drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before meals to boost satiety, which is an effective weight loss strategy used in research.
#2 Take Short Walk Breaks
Walk your dog or take short walk breaks daily, to increase calorie expenditure and enhance weight loss.
Brisk walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour helps 155-pound adults expend an extra 84 calories in 15 minutes and 167 calories in just 30 minutes. Every little bit helps when weight loss is your goal.
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#3 Sleep at Least 7 Hours
Get plenty of sleep to increase energy, burn extra calories throughout the day, and regulate hunger hormones to keep your appetite in check.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests women get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to maximize health and wellness.
#4 Eat Protein for Breakfast
Protein increases metabolism, and helps you maintain lean muscle during weight loss. It also increases satiety, according to numerous studies.
Aim to eat protein for breakfast to keep you full throughout the morning.
Choose a protein smoothie, scrambled eggs, an omelet, scrambled tofu, low-fat cottage cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, uncured turkey bacon, or nuts as part of your regular breakfast.
#5 Drink Coffee or Green Tea
Water is often the best beverage choice for weight loss, but coffee and green tea can help too!
That’s because these drinks provide just 5 calories per serving, are loaded with antioxidants, and contain caffeine – which increases energy, helps burn fat, boosts metabolism, and enhances weight loss according to numerous studies.
The extra energy caffeine provides during exercise can improve workouts and increase calorie expenditure.
#6 Eliminate Processed Meat
Processed meat is linked with cancer, and many of these meats – such as hot dogs, sausage, regular bacon, ham, and deli meats – are high in fat, preservatives, and calories.
A 3-ounce portion of sausage contains almost 300 calories, which is more than double the number of calories in the same 3-ounce portion of grilled chicken.
Eliminate processed meats to improve your health and your chance at weight loss.
#7 Reduce Red Meat
Eating large amounts of red meat may also cause certain cancers, the American Cancer Society reports.
Studies show that increasing your red meat intake is associated with weight gain.
Examples of red meat include goat, lamb, pork, and beef. If you do eat red meat, limit it to less than 18 ounces weekly, suggests the American Institute for Cancer Research.
#8 Try Vegetarian Dieting
Research shows that eliminating meat, poultry, fish, and seafood from your diet is another effective weight loss strategy.
In fact, one 2016 study found that vegetarian dieters lost more weight than non-vegetarian dieters, and vegan dieters (people who eat only plant foods) lost more weight than vegetarians who consume dairy foods and eggs.
#9 Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks may be part of your daily routine, but can drastically hinder weight loss. A can of regular soda often contains 150 – 160 calories, which can add up throughout the day.
In addition to soda, other sugary drinks you should avoid for effective weight loss include lemonade, sweet tea, fruit juice, energy drinks, and protein and sports drinks containing added sugar.
#10 Nix Diet Foods and Drinks
Diet foods and beverages contain fewer calories than sweets and sugary drinks (and are sometimes calorie-free), but diet foods aren't the best choice for weight loss.
Studies show that artificial sweeteners in diet foods seem to change your body’s microbiome, alter blood sugar control, and are associated with increased calorie consumption, decreased satiety, and weight gain.
Avoid foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame, advantame, and steviol glycosides when weight loss is your goal.
#11 Eliminate Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates lack the satiating fiber found in whole grains and other healthy starches, which is why avoiding refined carbs is one of the best weight loss tips for women.
Steer clear of white bread, crackers, white rice, regular pasta, white bagels, white hamburger buns, and other white-colored carbs.
Instead, fill one-fourth of each plate with fiber-rich starches like brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, sweet potatoes with the skin, corn, peas, and dried beans.
#12 Use Smaller Plates
When preparing meals during weight loss, use smaller plates to reduce portion sizes and calories.
Know that you don’t have to clean your plate at meals, and stop eating when you feel full.
Fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetable, one-fourth of your plate with protein foods, and one-fourth of each plate with fiber-rich starches.
#13 Replace Sweets with Healthy Fat or Fruit
Sweets often leave you craving more sugar and calories, which is one reason sugary foods hinder weight loss. Instead, replace sweets with healthy fats to boost satiety and keep you full longer.
Consider protein shakes prepared with nut butter – or snack on nuts, seeds, avocado slices, or shredded coconut. Because of its naturally sweet flavor, fruit is also a good option as a replacement for sweet treats.
#14 Consider Probiotics Supplements
Consider taking probiotics supplements, as doing so is one of the best weight loss tips for women you might not have thought about.
Research shows that probiotics, or good bacteria found your digestive tract, may be linked with appetite control.
One study published in 2018 found that probiotics supplements are associated with a reduction in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage.
#15 Increase Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent calorie burner, which is why boosting the duration of cardio workouts can enhance weight loss.
One study found that burning 400 to 600 calories during cardiovascular sessions lasting 45 minutes, five days weekly, improves weight loss over a 10-month period. For best results, combine regular exercise with healthy eating habits.
#16 Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) helps you expend just as many calories as continuous cardiovascular exercise, but in less time.
HIIT alternates high-intensity bouts of cardio exercise with lower-intensity recovery periods. One 2017 study found that HIIT is a time-efficient way to reduce total body fat, body fat percentage, and abdominal fat.
Try sprinting at a high intensity for 30 – 60 seconds, jogging slowly for about 60 seconds to recover, and repeat for at least 20 minutes.
#17 Lift Weights
Lifting weights doesn't always lead to weight loss, but combining it with cardiovascular exercise plus a reduced-calorie diet is an excellent way to drop weight and improve muscle definition.
Even if you don’t notice changes in the scale immediately after begging a weight training program, you’ll likely experience improvements in the way your clothes fit.
To increase muscular endurance, aim to complete 2 – 4 sets of 10 – 25 repetitions for each exercise. Super set exercises for a more time-efficient workout.
#18 Take a Fiber Supplement
Fiber supplements enhance satiety and help reduce junk food cravings. Women should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber daily, suggests the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and fiber supplements help you reach or exceed this goal.
Getting fiber from foods vs. supplements is generally best, but studies show that fiber supplements reduce waist circumference, body weight, BMI, and food intake. Ask your doctor which fiber supplement, if any, is right for you.
#19 Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production, which is beneficial for cavity prevention, and appears to enhance weight loss. Studies show that chewing gum helps reduce the desire to eat, your appetite, and impulse eating.
#20 Drink Protein Shakes
Protein smoothies make excellent meal replacements during weight loss, especially when you’re on the go.
Try weight loss shake recipes – or combine your favorite protein powder with plant milk or water, and blend in fruit or nut butter.
#22 Don’t Starve Yourself
One of the most effective weight loss tips for women is: don't starve yourself! Intermittent calorie restriction, or alternating calorie restriction with normal eating days, works well for weight loss in numerous studies.
However, starving yourself for long time periods can decrease metabolism, lead to fatigue, and increase your risk of overindulging at your next meal.
#22 Do Yard and House Work
The calories you'll burn doing yard work and house chores can add up, helping you expend more calories than you eat for weight loss.
For example, a 155-pound woman burns about 150 calories raking the lawn for 30 minutes, and 167 calories washing windows for the same amount of time.
Every little bit of physical activity helps increase your metabolism and boost calorie expenditure for weight loss.
#23 Enlist Social Support
Having someone keep you accountable for nutritious eating and other healthy habits boosts your chance at weight loss success.
Ask a friend or family member, trainer at your gym, health coach, or weight loss program expert to keep you accountable and motivate you during your weight loss journey.
#24 Weigh Yourself Often
The way you feel and how your clothes fit are important when dropping weight is your goal, but the scale helps you track progress over time.
Weigh yourself at least one time weekly, up to once every day.
A 2015 study found that weighing yourself daily leads to greater weight loss than less frequent weighing. Aim for weight loss of 1 – 2 pounds per week, as this rate is effective for keeping lost weight off long term.
#25 Record What You Eat
Record what you eat to control calories, when dropping weight is your goal. Even if you don’t track calories, studies show writing down what you eat is an effective weight loss strategy.
If you do track calories, aim to consume about 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for weight loss in women.
Try the free U.S. Department of Agriculture online food database or a calorie counting app, such as MyFitnessPal, Cron-O-Meter, or LoseIt!
#26 Strive for Personal Development
Feeling good about all aspects of your life goes hand in hand with weight loss success.
Choose personal development goals of accomplishing things that improve your overall well-being, not just your body weight.
For example, strive to improve your finances, learn how to invest money, read inspiring books, improve health parameters like blood glucose and blood pressure, delve deeper into your spirituality, take college courses, or join volunteer organizations.
#27 Set Goals
Goal setting is associated with significant weight loss in obese adults, according to one 2016 study.
Choose weight loss, healthy lifestyle, and personal development goals that are attainable.
Set goals of losing 1 – 2 pounds each week, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, sleeping at least 7 hours each night, and eliminating sugary drinks and alcohol – just to name a few. Even setting “unrealistic” goals improves results more than not setting goals at all.
#28 Fight Depression
Feeling depressed makes it difficult to achieve lifestyle changes that aid in weight loss, but dropping weight can help ease depression.
Exercise, stress reduction, and being outdoors are natural mood boosters.
But if depression still lingers despite your best efforts, check in with your doctor for solutions.
#29 Nix Alcohol
While drinking in moderation isn't necessarily a problem for many healthy adults, alcoholic drinks contribute to unnecessary calories and can hinder weight loss. Alcohol also increases your risk of certain cancers – such as breast, mouth, throat, liver, colon, rectum, esophagus, and voice box cancers.
Two glasses of sweet wine contain about 330 calories, and eliminating 330 calories daily can help you lose 1/2 – 1 pound per week.
#30 Sign up for Fit Mother 30X
Studies show that participating in a weight management program gives you the accountability needed to stay on track with weight loss, and increases your chance of long-term success.
The Fit Mother Project 30-day program (FM30X) has helped thousands of busy parents shed pounds and maintain healthy weights for life. To get started, sign up for your free diet and workout today! What do you have to lose?
Writer, The Fit Father Project
A 15-year freelance writing veteran, Erin is registered dietitian and health educator who is passionate about health, fitness and disease prevention. Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and mom of two beautiful children.