The topic of ‘weight loss for women’ is nothing new. If you do a search online you will find thousands of resources on the subject. So why is this a topic worth writing about yet again? And why are women still looking for weight loss tips when there is clearly a ton of information already available? The most likely reason you and other women are still looking for the best weight loss tips is because it is difficult to determine what is true and what is simply click bait. There is so much noise and misinformation out there about weight loss for women! The best tips for women are not complicated but they do require a high level of commitment.
Track your food
Tracking your food is the first step to getting started on your weight loss journey. It is easy to underestimate the number of calories you eat each day – especially if you regularly order food from restaurants. When you start tracking your food you may be surprised to learn that salad you thought was a good choice at your favorite restaurant is actually high in sodium and calories. You may also be surprised to learn how much food you consume between meals. The act of recording each bite of food that goes into your mouth throughout the day will make you cognizant of what you are eating and how often.
Tracking your food is about so much more than simply recording calories – it is about facing the reality of what you consume. You will learn when you eat, how often, how much, and exactly what you are consuming each day. Seeing that information on paper (or on an app) can help you quickly recognize patterns and identify areas where you can make changes. As you learn to identify the appropriate amount and type of food you need – and create new habits – you will eventually be able to make the best choices without detailed tracking.
Make strength training the priority
The idea that tons of cardio is the key to weight loss is a deeply held belief for many women. And, the fear of becoming ‘bulky’ holds a lot of women back from making strength training a priority. (We have addressed the problems with using only cardio for weight loss – you can read a detailed post on the subject here.) Both of these beliefs are misconceptions and can impede you from reaching your weight loss goals. Cardio has its place in relation to endurance and cardiovascular health. But if your focus is weight loss, strength training needs to be a priority. Strength training builds muscle; increasing your muscle mass improves your metabolism; and a higher metabolism helps you lose weight and keep it off. It‘s a virtuous cycle.
What about getting bulky? The women you see in bodybuilding competitions who have large, bulky muscles put in a great deal of effort to look that way. They often eat extreme diets, use muscle-building supplements, and have trainers who take them through months of intense workouts designed to build large muscles. You are not going to get bulky using a strength training program that is designed for weight loss. A quality strength training program will actually speed up your weight loss process and help you get the fit-looking body you want.
Ramp up your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) describes the energy you use each day for everything other than sleeping, eating, and exercising. Any movement that happens throughout your day outside of those three areas still counts toward your total level of energy expended. If you are intentional about ramping up your NEAT activity it can help with your weight loss efforts. Something as simple as standing while you work can increase your NEAT.
Focus on what you can add to your diet
An important aspect of effective weight loss is getting your mind right. If you view your weight loss journey as a time where you are constantly deprived of the things you want and love, it will not go well. You can ease your way into making better food choices by focusing first on what you can add to your diet. Drink more water. Try a new vegetable. Explore exotic spices. These are much easier to accept and implement than: Give up alcohol. Avoid bread. Eliminate Sugar. Focusing on what you can add to your diet (rather than what you’re giving up) can help you make lasting changes.
The science of losing weight is straightforward. But the reality of long-term behavior change is a lot more complicated. Getting your weight off and keeping it off is a process that requires time, consistency, and support. Focus on those elements and you will achieve lasting weight loss.