Discover the ultimate guide to achieving successful and healthy weight loss for women with these nine essential tips.

Due to women’s complex balance of hormones and unique body composition, weight loss between males and females can look very different. But with the right tools, sustainable weight loss is totally possible!

We’ve rounded up the top nine tips for women to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

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Here are nine tips for healthy, effective weight loss in women:

  1. Eat more protein
  2. Fill up on fiber
  3. Tame your stress
  4. Focus on whole foods
  5. Use an app or food journal
  6. Reduce sugar intake
  7. Get support
  8. Make sleep a priority
  9. Do an exercise you like

And now, a deep dive into the deets!

Protein is the most satiating of the three macronutrients — so when you eat more, you’re more likely to feel full throughout the day. For hunger-slashing meals and snacks, load up on minimally processed protein sources like meat, eggs, seafood, beans, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

Much like protein, fiber is super filling. Keep cravings at bay by choosing high-fiber foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans. One study found that dietary fiber promoted weight loss, regardless of calorie intake!

Between answering career demands, running after kids, and doing household chores, women tend to try to do it all. But high-stress levels can stand in the way of weight loss. Making time for self-care can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which may promote losing weight.

In recent years, research has linked ultra-processed foods — containing high sodium levels, additives, sweeteners, artificial colors, and other funky ingredients — to weight gain.

Convenient as foods like packaged chips and pastries may be, they could contribute to your waistline. As much as possible, stick to whole or minimally processed foods. Example: Nosh on an apple instead of a sugary granola bar for a snack or a sandwich instead of a microwave meal at lunch.

A few bites here, a few sips there — do you know what you eat daily? A food tracking app or food journal is a great way to get an accurate look at the contents of your diet. Apps like My Fitness Pal and Noom not only let you keep tabs on your intake, they calculate calories for you, too.

Science shows that women crave sugar more than men — but sadly, sweets aren’t precisely weight loss-friendly. Added sugars in foods like cakes, candies, and cookies (not to mention beverages like soda and energy drinks) load you up on empty calories.

When your sweet tooth starts calling, consider a low-calorie dessert like fresh fruit with a spritz of whipped cream or a piece of good-quality dark chocolate.

Having a friend in your corner can only boost your weight loss efforts. Get a workout buddy to walk and talk with, an accountability partner to check in on your progress, or a pal to do a weight loss program.

The secret weapon to effective weight loss might not be just the time you put in at the gym or what you put on your plate. Healthy sleep could make all the difference. It’s essential for women since women are more prone to sleep problems than men. To support weight loss, be sure to practice healthy sleep hygiene.

The best exercise for weight loss is the kind you’ll do! Whether it’s weight training, tap dancing, or lap swimming, seek out physical activity that’s legit fun for you. You’ll feel far more motivated to get up and burn calories when you do.

Men and women have differences in *lots* of areas — but for now, let’s zero in on weight loss. Because men tend to have more muscle, while women carry more fat, men often burn calories faster. (Muscle is considered more “metabolically active” than fat.)

Plus, since men are generally larger than women, they can consume more calories while still losing weight. (Lucky!)

Hormones also play a role in the weight-related battle of the sexes. When you undergo hormonal fluctuations — as in menstruation or menopause — you may be more likely to crave sweet or high-calorie foods, which fuel weight gain.

Dropping 20 pounds in a month may sound like a dream goal before a high school reunion or bikini season… but it’s probably not a healthy plan. Quick weight loss typically doesn’t yield lasting results — and it can even be counter-productive since you might be creating lean muscle loss, not fat loss.

Remember: Slow and steady wins the race. Stick to the proper daily habits, and weight loss will stick, too.

Losing weight may have its challenges, but take heart! Research shows that, over time, weight loss usually evens out between men and women. Regardless of your gender (or any other factor), your weight loss journey is unique — so focus on what works for you.