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Is there one diet that works for all women?

Reviewed by Dr. Mary James, ND

As a culture, we are always looking for the one-size-fits-all miracle diet. But does such a thing exist? Most likely there is some variation in what women need to lose weight depending on their blood type and level of activity. There is some evidence that women with certain blood types do better with more carbohydrates, while others need more protein. But actually these variations are pretty small.

What we can say with confidence is that the Mediterranean diet is a good model for all women to strive for. The Mediterranean diet is comprised primarily of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, fish and poultry, with moderate amounts of red meat, red wine and dairy. This way of eating has been around for more than 5,000 years! And in more modern times, there have been countless studies on the health benefits of this diet as well as its benefits on weight control.

Why does a Mediterranean diet work for so many?

There are several variations on this classic eating approach, but the common denominators are an emphasis on plant-based foods, omega-3 fatty acids and insulin control. Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans come packed with fiber, vitamins and complex carbohydrates. All of these ingredients help signal positive messaging on the cellular level, stave off cravings and keep insulin (the hormone that helps our cells utilize sugar and carbohydrates) in control.

Insulin control is crucial for weight management as well as overall health. Insulin levels can remain high if you are on a high-carb, low-fat, low-fiber diet. And once insulin remains high for long periods, the chances of your cells becoming insulin resistant (and the risks for type 2 diabetes) go up. The healthy fats and fibers abundant in the Mediterranean diet help to slow down the insulin surge and the body’s quick conversion of sugar to fat.

We also can’t forget about the Mediterranean diet’s focus on omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are naturally found in wild salmon, oysters, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed, and they have great power when it comes to reducing inflammation. Omega-3s are linked with prevention and treatment of several inflammatory-related conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and many more. No wonder the Mediterranean diet seems like a miracle!

Road blocks to weight loss — inflammatory foods

Sugar is the number one culprit when it comes to inflammatory foods that undermine weight loss. Sugar can throw insulin levels out of balance, trick our brains into thinking we’re hungry when we’re not, cause cravings and contribute to joint pain, imbalanced gut flora, headaches and long-term health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. If you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, sugar is the number one ingredient to cut out or limit to special occasions.

Gluten and dairy are two other inflammatory foods that can prevent weight loss and health. More and more people are noticing digestive and other sensitivities to foods that contain gluten and dairy. And when your body is managing a food sensitivity, it perceives the situation as a form of stress, increases cortisol and hangs on to extra weight for dear life. But the flip side is that when we remove the foods that are inflaming our systems, often the weight falls off and we feel so much better overall.

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What makes a good weight loss program?

There is so much to choose from when it comes to diets. How do you know what’s right for you? As we said, the Mediterranean diet is a good bet for most women. But here are some guidelines for finding the best plan. A good weight loss program should:

  • Generously feed the body all its necessary nutrients with real, whole foods.
  • Incorporate healthy meal ideas and recipes that taste good.
  • Offer fresh ideas for exercise.
  • Address the importance of emotional wellness.
  • Provide ideas for restoration (stress-relief, sleep and fun).
  • Offer support for weight loss resistance.

We’ve designed a Weight Loss Resistance Package that includes all of the above and more. Our Mediterranean-style diet is easy and family friendly. We also offer herbal metabolism support, a protein snack shake and herbal solutions for any systemic imbalances that may be blocking weight loss in your body. Our exclusive eGuide includes tips on stress-relief, sleep and emotional wellness and our Wellness Coaches and Advisors are right here in Maine to offer phone support if you get stuck.

Find lasting weight loss

View the changes you make to your diet as lifestyle changes and not temporary restrictions that you intend to give up as soon as you achieve your weight loss goal, or you just get tired of trying. We like to tell women to follow the 80/20 approach — strive for perfection 80% of the time and enjoy falling off your diet the other 20%. Find foods you love and learn how to adjust and balance your eating accordingly. It is more about the journey than the destination when it comes to lasting weight loss.

Last Updated: May 10, 2024
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