Dieting for weight loss is – scientifically – the same process for both men and women. However, men and women often approach the process of dieting for weight loss differently. On the most basic level, weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you take in. But other factors can impact your ability to commit and follow through with the process. Your perspective, relationship with food, and understanding of how food impacts your body can all affect your weight loss success.
With a long-term perspective
Women should approach weight loss with a long-term perspective. The reality is that lasting weight loss requires lasting change. You cannot go back to the habits that originally led to your weight gain if you want to hold on to your results. Many women look at dieting as a short-term situation where they can eat well for a while, lose a little weight, and then go back to ‘normal’. That ‘normal’ is what led you to gain excess weight in the first place. So, if you approach weight loss with a short-term perspective, you will have short-term results. Instead, look at the adjustments you make to your diet as ‘lifestyle changes’. Choose an eating plan that is sustainable in your life – not too complicated and not too restrictive. And, start thinking of yourself as a person who makes good food choices.
With a focus on increasing the good
Many women are resistant to the idea of dieting for weight loss because it feels like deprivation. You may think that you have to remove all of your favorite foods and drinks in order to reach your weight loss goals. If you focus on the things you give up, it makes the process of dieting much more difficult. Instead, focus on increasing the good in your diet. Add in water. Add in fiber-rich vegetables. Try new spices. This mindset shift can help you start looking for new and interesting things that you can add to your diet. A simple shift like this can turn dieting from feeling like deprivation to being a time of exploration and discovery.
By learning how food impacts the body
Women should approach dieting for weight loss by learning how food impacts the body. Each body is unique which means that there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan out there. Your body may respond well to a high protein diet while someone else will struggle to tolerate high protein. This means that you have to learn how to listen to your body in order to determine the most effective eating plan. One way to describe this process is called ‘intuitive nutrition’. Intuitive nutrition is about considering how food makes you feel, impacts your energy levels, and helps you reach your fitness goals. You can check out the Intuitive Nutrition Guide to get a more in-depth explanation about how to go through the process of figuring out the best eating plan for your body. There are, however, some dieting tips that everyone should follow, which include: cutting out heavily processed foods and increasing water intake.
If you are a woman who has tried to lose weight in the past – without success – it can seem like a complicated and frustrating process. But, when you realize that there are a number of individual factors that can impact your success, you can give yourself a break and start to reframe how you approach dieting for weight loss.