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Diet Plans for Women

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
http://www.gettyimages.com/license/188027423

Women have different nutritional needs than men, which is why choosing the right diet plan is a must when seeking eating plans specifically designed for females. Knowing more about diet plans for women will help you decide which of the following (if any) are the right fit for you.

1,200-Calorie Weight Loss Diets

While men follow reduced-calorie diets for weight loss just as women do, 1,200 calorie plans are generally designed for ladies (men often need closer to 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day to shed pounds without feeling hungry).

1,200-Calorie MyPlate Diet

One example of a well-balanced 1,200-calorie meal plan is the 1,200-calorie MyPlate diet. This meal plan is designed around the U.S. Department of Agriculture's healthy eating guidelines and is a well-balanced way to cut calories to shed pounds and meet nutritional needs. However, for very active women, 1,200-calorie plans likely won't be enough to prevent hunger.

1,200-Calorie Low-Carb Diet

Another weight loss diet plan designed for women (based on its total calorie count) is a 1,200-calorie low-carb diet plan. As with the 1,200-calorie MyPlate diet, this plan is a reduced-calorie way of eating designed for weight loss in women. It's a diet that's high in protein and fat, which can help you feel full from fewer calories when shedding pounds is your goal. However, lowering your carb intake can lead to side effects, such as fatigue, headaches and bad breath. Other low-carb weight loss plans include the Akins, Zone, and South Beach diets.

Breast Cancer Diet

Whether you're going through breast cancer chemotherapy, in recovery, or simply in breast cancer prevention mode, the breast cancer diet has got you covered. This meal plan is specifically designed for women with (or at risk of) breast cancer and packed with antioxidant-rich and other nutrient-dense foods. It's a plan that doesn't count calories but steers clear of cancer-causing foods (such as processed meats, fatty cuts of red meat, and blackened meats). Because the breast cancer diet is a well-balanced, healthy eating plan, there aren't really any cons of choosing it (unless cutting out junk food isn't your cup of tea).

Thyroid Diet

While thyroid diets aren't specifically designed for women, they are more likely to suffer from thyroid disease than men. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says one in eight women will develop a thyroid problem in their lifetime. Women who follow a thyroid diet can maximize their chance at maintaining healthy thyroid function, which helps prevent thyroid-related side effects like fatigue and unwanted weight gain. The diet is rich in iodine, other vitamins and minerals, fiber, and protein. The only drawback of following a thyroid diet is it's not a guarantee you'll avoid thyroid issues.

Gluten-Free Diet

Many men follow gluten-free diets as well, but Beyond Celiac reports up to 70 percent of patients diagnosed with celiac disease (a disorder where gluten harms the body) may be women. Gluten-free diets have grown in popularity, consist of gluten-free foods, and steer clear of sources of gluten (wheat, derivatives of wheat, rye, barley, triticale, malt and brewer's yeast).

2,000-Calorie MyPlate Diet

Many moderately active adult women striving for healthy weight maintenance need about 2,000 calories per day, suggest the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 - 2020. That's why the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate resource provides a 2,000-calorie sample meal plan for women consisting of 6 ounces of grains, 2.5 cups of veggies, 2 cups of fruit, 3 cups of dairy foods, 5.5 ounces of protein foods, and 6 teaspoons of oils each day.

Which Diets Are Best for Women?

The diet that's best for you is based on your individualized needs and weight management goals. Many diets that are appropriate for women also work well for men (but with varying calorie needs). Diets containing 1,200 calories per day often work well for weight loss in women, and MyPlate diets help ensure you'll meet daily nutritional needs. If you're unsure about how many calories you should eat based on your size, activity level, and weight management goals, check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Super Tracker tool.

Diet Plans for Women