As a Nutritionist who reviews food diaries daily, I constantly observe that food choices made by women can sometimes be sub-optimal but in many cases, they can also be actively damaging.
The irony is that many commonly held ideas around diets and “healthy eating’ frequently made in an attempt to improve health or fat loss, often can have the opposite effect.
Insufficient protein intake causes a loss of LBM (lean body mass) along with increased hunger.
Very low dietary fat intake both reduces long term adherence and can negatively impact on menstrual cycle function.
Eliminating red meat (or all) meat can lead to sub-optimal B12, iron and zinc intakes (impairing thyroid function).
While removing dairy can cause calcium deficiency, harming both fat loss and bone density.
The largest effect on overall health in this population comes from the fat loss itself. However, adopting dieting strategies that eliminate food and food categories containing critical nutrients does no good and often causes harm. Essentially, I feel that the way many females approach fat loss and dieting, both in terms of their overall approach and food choices, is more or less the exact opposite of what they should be doing.
Red meat should be consumed by women several times per week (along with other sources of iron and zinc).
Dairy foods should be consumed by women multiple times daily.
Dietary fat should be sufficient (with the right types of fats being chosen).
Sodium should be sufficient albeit balanced by potassium, etc.
When I coach clients, we look at key nutritional considerations on an individual basis. It’s important to create broad nutrient and food recommendations whilst bearing in mind the client goals whether that be fat loss, body recomposition, performance-enhancing strategies, or just general micronutrient
If you would like me to coach you 1-1 on nutrition and appropriate fitness for your age and stage of life, click the link below.