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Healthy Diet Options for women seem to be everywhere, but which ones really are healthy? As someone that has tried various diets in the past, I totally understand the appeal of finding a magic cure or solution to losing weight. Whether it is a pill to take or a food to eliminate, the promise of dropping weight easily is appealing to most. The problem is, not many of those are truly healthy. So, I am sharing some tried and true healthy diet options that I know are not only safe but work.
Top 5 Healthy Diet Options For Women
To me, a healthy diet option is one that includes a focus on limiting intake while making sure what you do eat is nutrient dense. This can in some cases eliminate a specific food group for various reasons, but typically has more of an “in moderation” approach overall. I know that many have had success with ready-made meals, supplements, shakes, and similar items, but typically the results are not as typical. Those programs also can come with some bad side effects that potentially cause long-term health complications. Not all diet plans are bad, but the ones that I prefer are definitely lifestyle changes.
Before beginning any diet or exercise program, make sure to consult with your physician. It is best to have a routine physical, blood work, and a regular checkup prior to making any dietary changes. This helps not only keep you safe should you need to eliminate some things from your diet (sugar, salt, cholesterol), but it also gives you a solid baseline to compare your results to periodically.
Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers has been a popular diet method for many years. Popular with women and men alike, the in-person groups are great for accountability. Weight Watchers is low-cost to join and has multiple options for online and local group meetings, accountability, and chat forums. One of the best things about Weight Watchers is that they do not eliminate any food groups. Everything is calculated and you are given a set number of points per day. This means you can eat anything you want, you simply have to account for it. However, the recent change to their program helps you to make wiser and healthier choices by calculating things like saturated fats to make those not so great food choices look less appealing. I love the flexibility. I also love the apps, calculators, tons of recipes, and ease of finding foods to fit into your daily plan almost anywhere.
Calorie Counting: This goes back decades and is still a popular method for many to learn portion control. Setting up a specific number of calories per day and making sure you calculate each food item and account for it helps you to learn better eating habits. It definitely helps you to quickly determine which foods are worse choices. You’ll see that a big bowl of carrot and celery slices with hummus is a must healthier choice than the donut for a snack. You will begin making healthier choices that are satisfying and stay within your calorie range for the day. It’s also simple to calculate as you learn to measure portion sizes of favorite foods.
Gluten-Free: In recent years the trend of eating gluten-free has gained popularity. Primarily, this diet regimen is focused on those who have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, it has also gained a lot of popularity in the diet world since the elimination of a lot of common bread products tends to lead to easy weight loss. While I am typically against eliminating any food group unless there is an allergy, eating a primarily gluten-free diet does seem to have a lot of health benefits, reduced inflammation, and can be healthy and easy to follow.
Whole 30: I love the idea of the Whole 30 or Paleo diet. This plan focuses on eating things that were available easily for the cave man centuries ago. It simply revolves around as little processing or refining as you can manage. That means you are probably eating lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You won’t be including processed products, many sauces that aren’t homemade, or added preservatives in your diet. For some, this is a wonderful way to not only drop weight but to learn how to manage blood pressure and blood sugar with simple dietary changes. I love the book, The Whole 30, as a great beginner resource.
Vegetarian: This is another of the healthy diet options that does eliminate major food groups, however, the focus is not just on eliminating meat and dairy, but on feeding your body healthy options. The term vegetarian can mean many things, and can be simply removing meats but continuing to keep dairy in our diet, or you can become vegan and eliminate all animal products entirely. While this is much harder to follow, I find that the health benefits of getting to know your body and your own nutritional needs is a big part of this. Most who adapt to a vegetarian diet, do so after a lot of research and truly understand what is needed. This is, however, one diet where I would recommend meeting with a nutritionist or dietician to make sure you understand the best places to naturally get calcium and protein sources. The New Becoming A Vegetarian is an old but updated resource with a ton of amazing information on beginning this journey.
As you are looking to get healthier and lose weight, these healthy diet options are a great place to begin. I find that for most looking for a healthier life, changing what you put into your body is the best method. You can easily find a plan that works for you and your lifestyle, as well as your health.