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A weight loss program can look different for every woman. Some need structured plans and more support in the form of online communities, while others may do better with an outline of basic dietary principles and a supplement to help correct a nutritional deficiency. 

Because weight loss is multifaceted, we considered a variety of needs when putting together this list of the best weight loss programs for women. We thought about what struggles women face the most when trying to lose weight and which programs or dietary plans could help support them in their goals.

With that in mind, our team at GGR, which consists of certified nutrition coaches, certified personal trainers, CrossFit coaches, and Olympic athletes, researched and tested over two dozen potential weight loss programs, including weight loss apps, fitness apps, meal delivery services, and supplements.

RELATED: GGR Supplement Testing Methodology

We put them through a comprehensive testing methodology (particularly the apps) and rated them on multiple factors, including:

  • Ease of use: Could the average person follow along with this program, or is it only for the tech-savvy?
  • Progress tracking: Does it just track weight on the scale, or were there other notable metrics (like measurements) that you could dive into?
  • Community: Did it offer access to a community of like-minded people who could help support you?
  • Scientific validity: Is there any scientific evidence to back up the program, dietary plan, and/or supplement and its claims?

We also asked registered dietitian Perry Nix for her thoughts on the topic of healthy diets for women and advice on what you should look for. After our research and testing, these are our picks for the 10 best weight loss programs for women.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

Best Weight Loss Programs for Women

  • Best Weight Loss Program for Women Overall: WeightWatchers
  • Best Personal Training App for Women: Future 
  • Best Meal Delivery Service for Women for Weight Loss: Diet-to-Go
  • Best Fitness App for Women: iFIT
  • Best Meal Planning App for Women for Weight Loss: PlateJoy 
  • Best Weight Loss App for Women: Cronometer
  • Best Weight Loss Diet for Women: Mediterranean Diet
  • Another Weight Loss Diet Option: MIND Diet
  • Best Weight Loss Supplement for Women: Vitamin D Supplement
  • Best Appetite Control Supplement for Women: Protein Powder

Best Weight Loss Program for Women Overall: WeightWatchers

Good for: Women who want a supportive community and an easy tracking app

Best Overall


GGR Score: 4.23 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Designed specifically for weight loss
  • Targeted quizzes to find the right plan for you
  • Two membership options, starting at $23 per month
  • Online-only or hybrid memberships available
  • Works on a point budget system—no “off-limit” foods
  • 24/7 support chat

Pros & Cons


  • Point system allows you to tailor the plans to your preferences
  • Online or hybrid options provide more flexibility
  • Can choose a plan that works within your budget
  • Includes an app for easier tracking


  • Assigning Points to food is hard to translate to real-world eating when off the plan
  • Tracking can be tedious
  • Requires weekly weigh-ins, which can be problematic for some

Bottom Line

WeightWatchers is a flexible weight loss program that allows you to tailor your diet and lifestyle to your needs and preferences. There are two membership options: one for those who prefer in-person support, and one for those who are looking for an online program.

WeightWatchers earned the best weight loss program for women overall because of its tried-and-true (it’s been around since 1963) approach to sustainable weight loss, and it even has some research to back it up. 

woman eating food, phone showing tracking in WW app

In a controlled trial1, researchers compared the effectiveness of an online Weight Watchers program with a weight loss newsletter (control group). They found that people in the Weight Watchers group lost significantly more weight in the first three months, and after a year, more participants had lost 5% of their body weight than in the control group.

And the diet is sustainable (for the most part), too. There are no off-limits foods; instead each food is assigned a point value that corresponds to its calorie, saturated fat, protein, sugar, and fiber content. 

“Unlike other diets that eliminate certain foods or food groups, Weight Watchers takes an ‘all foods fit’ approach. This may enhance the sustainability of the program for those pursuing a balanced approach to weight loss,” says registered dietitian (RD) Perry Nix.

But it’s not just the clinical evidence we like. Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, and GGR Head of Content tested the Weight Watchers app and gave it really high scores overall. She scored WW a 5 out of 5 for features because it has more than 11,000 available recipes and can track several activities and body metrics. It also syncs with Apple Health and other fitness apps, so you don’t have to manually input all your exercises.

Tracking food in WW app

She also scored it a 5 out of 5 for community because of the sheer amount of people on the app and social media who have used it and/or are currently on the program. You can connect with these people for support along your weight loss journey. And it starts at just $10 per month which is really reasonable for a comprehensive weight loss program.

The only real negatives, according to Kate, are that the app can take some getting used to for those who aren’t tech-savvy and there are not a ton of tracking options—you can monitor activity, sleep, food, weight, and blood sugar, but that’s about it.

For more, check out our in-depth WeightWatchers review

Editor’s note: Weight Watchers utilizes telehealth services as part of their platform that may have affiliations with GLP-1 agonists; we aren’t evaluating or condoning that part of their program, just focusing on the whole-food approach the brand takes to weight loss.

Subscription optionsMonthly
Available oniOS and Android

Best Personal Training App for Women: Future

Good for: Women who don’t mind paying a little more for structured personal training.

Best Personal Training App


GGR Score: 4.3 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Virtual training from qualified coaches
  • Personal plan designed to help reach your goals
  • Great interface
  • Use our link for 50% off your first month

Pros & Cons


  • Incredible user interface; very well designed and intuitive
  • Choose your own coach based on your personal preferences and goals
  • Lots of variety in your workouts


  • No real-time coaching from your trainer
  • $199 per month membership cost

Bottom Line

An online training program that's staffed by real-life humans, and one of our favorite fitness apps.

While eating habits have the biggest impact, exercise has been shown to promote weight loss and help prevent weight regain once you reach your goal. In a 2013 study21, researchers found that adults who exercised for 200 or minutes per week lost more weight when compared to those who exercised less than that. Women who combined exercise with a calorie-restricted diet also maintained the weight loss longer. And if you’re looking to build lean muscle and change your body composition while you lose weight, you can’t skimp on regular workouts.

Woman FaceTiming with her online personal trainer

If you need some guidance but don’t want to commit to an individual personal trainer at the gym, the Future app is an excellent solution. Future is a personal training app that connects you with trainers and coaches who develop personalized plans.

When signing up, you’ll answer some questions about your goals then the app will connect you with someone who’s a good fit for you. You’ll meet for a brief video introduction, after which most communication is done through the app (no video). 

Your trainer will drop in weekly workouts complete with video instructions on how to perform each exercise, and you can share progress and/or feedback. Your trainer can also leave notes for you and adjust your plan (and form) as needed along the way.

We’ve tried over 500 Future workouts and think it’s an excellent option for accountability and flexibility. We also gave it a 5 out of 5 for ease of use because the app is really user-friendly. Coop himself has been using the program for over three years now, and Kate Meier, CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, and GGR Head of Content, adds, “I admit: I didn’t think I’d still be with Future after doing the initial review, but two years later, and I’m still with it. The program has actually helped me after I suffered a weightlifting injury that needed surgery.”  

Screenshots of the Future fitness app

Future is on the expensive side—it’ll cost you $199 per month—but you get unlimited workouts and you can sync to most wearable devices so you can look at your stats all in one place. When compared to regular personal training, you’ll likely save some money, but it’s definitely still an investment.

For more, read our in-depth Future app review.

Subscription OptionsMonthly
Available OniOS and Android

Best Meal Delivery Service for Women: Diet-to-Go

Good for: Women who want a week’s worth of pre-cooked meals sent right to their door.

Best Meal Delivery Service


GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Meal delivery service with 5 diet plans
  • Ready to heat chef-prepared meals
  • Mediterranean diet and low-carb options
  • Choose up to 21 meals per week
  • Customized meal plans available
  • New meals every 5 weeks

Pros & Cons


  • Appeals to a variety of diets
  • Meals are ready to eat in 3 minutes
  • Can order all 21 meals for the week
  • Meal plans are curated for you, but you have the option to customize it


  • Very limited customization
  • Doesn’t offer any organic options
  • Calories are very low on the standard plan

Bottom Line

Diet-To-Go accommodates a number of dietary preferences and restrictions, but the menu doesn’t have as much variety as some of the other programs. These are heat-and-eat meals, so they’re ready to eat in three minutes.

There are a lot of meal delivery services that may help you lose weight, but Diet-to-Go was built around weight loss. This is why we’re calling it out specifically as the best meal delivery service for women trying to eat better and lose weight. There are five menus to choose from—and the menu consists of pre-made meals set on a five-week rotation.

Cover Image_woman Eating Diet To Go Meal

RELATED: Best Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss

“Diet-to-Go is super convenient for people who want to lose weight by improving their diet but don’t have the time to cook meals. Meal plans include options for those following a keto, Mediterranean, or low-carb diet, which can promote short-term weight loss,” Perry Nix, RD, LD, says.

When signing up for a plan, you can choose five or seven days per week and whether you want two meals (lunch and dinner) or three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The two-meal plan is good for those who want to prepare their own breakfast or are planning to supplement their plan in other ways, while the three-meal option is better for those who want everything done for them. 

The downside is that some of the meal calories are a little too low; the women’s plan has just 1,200 calories for the whole day. 


“Most Diet-to-Go meals contain between 300-500 calories, which isn’t enough to sustain healthy, long-term weight loss. Unfortunately, eating too few calories for a prolonged time can actually damage your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight,” Perry says.

Because of this, Diet-to-Go is really better as a short-term solution, and even then, we recommend that you add some healthy snacks or other small meals to your day, especially if you’re active.

As far as the meals themselves? GGR lead product tester and expert reviewer Lindsay Scheele gave Diet-to-Go a 5 out of 5 for meal variety, saying there were plenty of options, including vegetarian and keto meals, and a 3 out of 5 for taste, saying “Some meals were amazing and perfectly seasoned, others were really bland and fell short.” 

PricingStarts at $9.71 per meal
Examples of meals we triedA Whole Chicken with Cauliflower Purée; Mushroom and Vegetable Ravioli; Pork Tenderloin with Indian Seasonings; Burger Patty with Green Beans
Diets supportedLow-calorie, keto, Mediterranean, vegetarian

Best Fitness App for Women: iFIT

Good for: Women who want to follow along with workouts, but don’t want 1:1 training

Best Fitness App


GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Over 16,000 live and on-demand classes
  • More than 60 types of workouts
  • Immersive experience
  • Classes filmed worldwide
  • Live races and events
  • World-class trainers
  • Syncs with Nordictrack and ProForm equipment

Pros & Cons


  • At-home training
  • World-class coaches
  • Immersive training experience
  • Vast library of workouts
  • Record and track workout metrics
  • Individual and family memberships available
  • Free trial


  • Pricey for some
  • No true path for progression

Bottom Line

iFIT offers fitness lovers versatility with machine-based classes and classes that do not require anything more than a towel or mat. Anyone looking for a home-exercise program will be hard pressed to find a more technology forward, expansive and inclusive platform than iFIT.

If you want structured exercises to follow but don’t want to shell out the $200 a month for Future, consider iFIT instead. iFIT used to be solely for use on NordicTrack and ProForm machines, but the fitness app has become somewhat of a behemoth in the fitness space—and you don’t need exercise equipment to use it anymore.

RELATED: NordicTrack Promo Code

You won’t get one-on-one guidance like the Future app; instead, you’ll get a library of thousands of on-demand and studio workouts that you can access at any time. 

There are tons of different workout types, from running and HIIT to stretching and yoga, and the app recently added cooking classes taught by chefs and nutritionists so you can learn how to prepare healthy foods for the most effective weight loss.

iFit monitor close up

It’s worth noting that the most “connected” experience does require compatible equipment. For example, if you own a connected NordicTrack treadmill, it will respond to iFit workouts by automatically adjusting speed and/or incline. But you can manually follow along with your own cardio machines or choose workouts that don’t require exercise equipment. If you’re looking for a community aspect, you’ll get that, too. There are even fitness challenges where you can compete with others.

GGR senior editor and tester, Erin Chancer uses iFIT with her NordicTrack S22i indoor bike and says, “I would recommend iFIT to anyone who needs a low-impact way of getting in their daily exercise. The program [and equipment] can be a little bit of an investment, but I found that this made me more motivated to use it regularly because of the money I was putting in.”

On the other hand, GGR tester Caroline Lubinsky expressed some frustration with the programming, saying, “Something I don’t like about the iFIT app is the inconsistency when it comes to announcing the weight needed for various strength classes. I understand that everyone isn’t at the same level, so suggesting only one type of weight might be silly. However, I think suggesting a range of weight is useful for the participants. This is something I believe iFIT can improve upon in the future.”  

While the price is up there for an app, you really do get a lot out of it, especially if you have a compatible machine.

For more, read our in-depth iFIT reviews.

PricingIndividual: $15/month or $180/year, Family: $39/month or $396/year 
Subscription OptionsMonthly (family plan) or yearly (individual and family)
Available OniOS, Android, iFit devices

Best Meal Planning App for Women: PlateJoy 

Good for: Women who need help meal planning, but don’t necessarily want to track weight via an app.

Best Meal Planning App


GGR Score: 3.38 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Nutrition app providing meal plans and grocery lists
  • Grocery lists have optional Instacart delivery
  • Large database of recipes based on groceries
  • Can personalize meal plan for family, dietary preferences, and more

Pros & Cons


  • Simplified grocery shopping for healthy eating
  • High customer ratings
  • Adapts to different preferences


  • Expensive service
  • No free app, just a free trial

Bottom Line

PlateJoy is an app that simplifies healthy eating through customized meal plans and simplified grocery lists. Additionally, you have the option of purchasing groceries through the app with Instacart delivery.

PlateJoy isn’t a weight loss program per se, but research shows that regular meal planning can lead to greater weight loss2 and is associated with lower odds of being overweight3. If you don’t currently track your meals, or you’ve been relying on pen and paper and are looking for a more efficient way, PlateJoy may be the answer.

GGR Senior Writer and certified sports nutrition coach (CSNC) Amanda Capritto tried this app and has mostly positive things to say about it. She gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars for ease of use and functionality, sharing that it’s easy to use with an aesthetically pleasing interface. The half a point came off because of a slightly clunky weekly menu planning system, saying in our PlateJoy review, “You get used to the process quickly, but the first time I created a menu/shopping list, there was a little bit of navigational confusion.”

Keep in mind that this isn’t your typical food tracking app—it’s more of a menu and shopping planner than a macro or calorie tracker. It does give you nutrition information for your planned meals and shows you daily calorie and macro totals, but there’s a big difference between this and other trackers like MyFitnessPal or WW.


Instead of eating food and logging it, you’ll select recipes from the app’s menu lists, and it will then calculate everything for you. This makes it really easy for those who prefer to have an app do most of the meal planning. But you’ll have to make sure you’re following the recipes exactly as written—otherwise all your numbers will be off.

One major downside is that there’s no community component of the app or social feed for sharing with other users. This may not matter much to you if you like to do things on your own, but if you’re looking for a way to connect with your peers, you won’t get that here. 

And while the meal planning and grocery features are “very robust,” according to Amanda, it’s notably lacking in educational components like articles or short daily lessons. Basically, it serves as an excellent tool for meal planning, but you won’t learn much about the “why?” behind everything.

Pricing$70 for 6 months; $100 for 12 months 
Subscription optionsAnnually or biannually 
Available oniOS and Android

Best Weight Loss App for Women: Cronometer

Good for: Women who want to track a lot of their health stats.

Best Weight Loss App


GGR Score: 4.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Nutrition tracker that tracks macros, micronutrients, exercise, and more
  • Free and ad-free Gold version with fasting tracking and custom reports and charts
  • Monthly or annual payments for Cronometer Gold
  • Access to community through social media and forum for questions and answers
  • Can sync with compatible fitness trackers

Pros & Cons


  • Large community
  • Monthly subscription choice
  • Track up to 84 nutrients
  • Can sync with compatible fitness trackers


  • Free version has ads
  • Pricier subscription
  • Number of things to track can be overwhelming

Bottom Line

Cronometer is a robust nutrition tracker, allowing you to track up to 84 different nutrients in your diet. The app can sync up to fitness trackers, which will then input data from exercise into Cronometer. The app is able to help log and track various diets and eating plans, from Keto and Vegan to dietitian-prescribed plans. There is both a free and Gold version, which allows for further tracking and customization in your plans.

If you’re into tracking your weight loss and other stats via an app, you really can’t beat Cronometer. 

According to expert product tester and certified nutrition coach (CNC) Erin Chancer, there’s so much that can be tracked with this app. Of course, it covers the basics like weight, meals and exercise, but it gets even deeper into measurements (like biceps, calves, and hips) for women who want to see body composition progression and don’t want to rely on scale numbers alone.


There’s also general health tracking, like heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, mood, and sleep. And if there’s no automated tracking for something specific you want to measure, you can add it to your daily diary and see progress that way.

There are two things to note here, though. First, Erin says for some biometrics, the tracking can be very generic. For example, she could only enter numeric values (1-5) when trying to track her mood. Second, there’s so much available in the dashboard that it can get overwhelming at times. If you’re new to weight loss apps, you might want to ease in slowly and then add more stats once you start feeling comfortable.

Aside from that, Erin says the app is really user-friendly, rating it a 4 out of 5 for ease of use and functionality. The dashboard is easy to navigate, and there are visuals and charts that you can reference to make it easier to see the big picture.


Erin also gave Cronometer a 5 out of 5 for the community aspect, saying it has “a vast social media presence and access to forums where you can ask and answer user questions.”

All in all, if you’re looking for one place to keep track of your weight loss progression and value peer support, this is a good option for you. There is a free version of the app (which Erin used for her assessment) but the paid subscription will give you more access and may be handy if you’re an intermittent faster.

PricingFree; $8.99 per month (Gold); $49.99 per year
Subscription optionsMonthly or annual
Available oniOS, Android, and desktop

Best Weight Loss Diet for Women: Mediterranean Diet

Good for: Women who want a well-researched diet plan, but don’t need a structured program.

An image to represent the Mediterranean diet

The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is one of the most studied and revered diets in the nutritional world. Plenty of research connects following a well-balanced Mediterranean diet with weight loss, especially if that diet is calorie-restricted and combined with exercise.

That said, there is trial evidence4 that the Mediterranean diet may be more beneficial than low-fat diets when it comes to long-term (or sustainable) weight loss, and according to a review published in the British Journal of Nutrition5, the Mediterranean diet is also beneficial for weight management once you’ve reached your weight loss goals—just make sure you’re getting enough protein.

RELATED: How Much Protein Do I Need?

Not only that, the Mediterranean diet is also connected to better heart health. Plenty of research6 also shows that this method may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, other cardiovascular diseases, and stroke. It may also help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation7, which can make you feel “puffy.”

So, what is it exactly? The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, fish, and olive oil. Dairy and red meat have their place, but should be limited. Basically, it’s all about plant-based foods and healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. 

There’s really no emphasis on calorie-counting or macro-tracking with a traditional Mediterranean diet, but if you’re following one to lose weight, you’re going to want to pay attention to portion sizes.

We’re firm believers that there’s no one-size-fits-all “healthy diet” that works for everyone, but if you’re looking for a place to start, we feel comfortable recommending the Mediterranean Diet to most people with registered dietitian Perry Nix’s caveat, “In order for this to work for weight loss, it would be up to you to determine the quantity of food you eat. For someone who isn’t in tune with their body’s hunger signals, this could be challenging to navigate.”

 If you want to learn more about the Mediterranean diet, there are plenty of free resources and diet plans available on the internet to get you started.

BenefitsWeight loss, heart health, reduced inflammation
Key food groupsVegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, olive oil

Another Weight Loss Diet Option: MIND Diet

Good for: Women who want a brain-boosting diet may also contribute to weight loss.


The MIND Diet (or the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay Diet) is a hybrid version of the Mediterranean diet that combines similar principles with the DASH diet’s (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet) low-sodium approach. 

This diet is less extensively studied for weight loss specifically, but there is 2023 research8 that suggests that sticking to the MIND diet may help with weight loss and weight management, while also potentially improving your lipid profile. 

Where the MIND diet really shines, however, is in enhancing cognitive function. It was developed to protect the brain and reduce the risk of neurodegeneration, which is connected to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And there is research that shows the MIND diet may help enhance cognition and cognitive resilience9, especially in older folks. 

The TL;DR? While weight loss is certainly a notable shorter-term goal, the long-term potential of this diet for brain health cannot be understated.

There are no really strict guidelines for the MIND diet.

Basically, you build your diet around the following foods:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Other veggies (mostly non-starchy)
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Poultry
  • Wine (no more than one glass daily)

And avoid or limit:

  • Red meat
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Fried food
  • Sweets and desserts

If you want to know more about the specifics of the diet, this 2015 journal list from the National Library of Medicine10 is a great resource.

BenefitsWeight loss, weight management, enhanced cognitive function
Key food groupsVegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, healthy fats, lean meat, legumes

Best Weight Loss Supplement for Women: Vitamin D

Good for: Vitamin-D-deficient women who want to make sure they’re getting enough of the nutrient.

Vitamin D

Thorne Vitamin D/K2 Drops

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Each serving provides 25 µg (1,000 IU) of vitamin D3 and 200 µg of vitamin K2
  • Formulated to support bone, muscle, cardiovascular, and immune health
  • Self-dispensing top designed to provide exact dosing
  • Manufactured in a GMP facility and certified by NSF International yearly

Pros & Cons


  • Easy-to-take and convenient
  • Flavorless
  • Made in GMP facility
  • Quality assurance process
  • Clean ingredients
  • Affordable price


  • Dispenser may be tricky
  • Reports of damaged packaging

Bottom Line

Thorne Vitamin D/K2 liquid supplement is a convenient and affordable way to increase your intake of both vitamin D3 and vitamin K2.

While no single supplement is going to be a magic pill for weight loss, there is some proof that Vitamin D can help those who are deficient in this nutrient maintain a healthy weight. An estimated one billion people11 worldwide don’t get enough Vitamin D, so there are good odds you belong in that cohort.

In one small 2019 study12, researchers found that vitamin D supplementation reduced weight, body mass index (BMI), and overall fat mass in obese participants with a vitamin D deficiency. In this study, supplementation also helped reduce inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency has also been connected to abdominal weight gain13 specifically.

An image of the best vitamin d supplements

If you’re interested in taking a vitamin D supplement, you want to get one that has an active form—preferably vitamin D3—and is combined with vitamin K for optimal health benefits14. We like the Thorne Vitamin D/K2 Drops because they’re high-quality and easy to take.

You’ll still need to put in the time and effort to achieve your body weight goals, and there’s no replacement for healthy eating, regular exercise, and lifestyle changes. 

Recommended daily allowance600-800 IU (depending on age)
Tolerable upper intake level4000 IU15
Why it’s importantYour bones, muscles, nerves and immune system all rely on adequate amounts of vitamin D for optimal function.

Best Appetite Control Supplement for Women: Protein Powder

Good for: Women who have trouble feeling full or want a way to manage cravings

Protein Powder

Kaged Whey Protein Isolate

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Whey protein isolate
  • 25 grams of protein per serving
  • Available in 5 flavors
  • Third-party tested

Pros & Cons


  • Affordable
  • Good macro profile
  • Reviewers claim it's easy on the stomach
  • Tastes good


  • Clumpy when mixed
  • Certain flavors out of stock frequently
  • Only 5 flavors available

Bottom Line

Kaged Whey Protein Isolate is a fast-digesting protein available in five flavors with 25 grams of protein per serving.

High-protein diets have long been linked to lower body weight16 and improved body composition (decreased fat mass and more lean mass). That’s because protein can help regulate your metabolism17, reduce appetite and cravings, and help you manage your overall calorie intake. Yet, as a whole, adults, especially older adults, still aren’t getting enough. 

Gainful Protein Powder Review

RELATED: High-Protein Meal Delivery

In a 2014 study18, researchers looked at postmenopausal women and found that the healthiest among the group were consuming at least 1.1 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The ones who weren’t were not only seeing unwanted changes in their appearance, but they also had less adequate functioning in both their upper and lower extremities.

While getting enough lean protein from whole food sources is always recommended first and foremost, that can be really difficult for many people. That’s where protein powder shines. One scoop can give you anywhere from 20 to 30 grams of protein, which is often considered the optimal amount19 to take at one time.

Aloha Protein Shake Drinking

And 2020 trial evidence20 shows that whey protein, specifically, can decrease hunger and increase satiety. It does this by increasing the amount of circulating amino acids in your blood and stimulating GLP-1, which delays stomach emptying. GLP-1 also plays a role in insulin and blood sugar management, which is important for sustainable weight loss and your overall health.

There are plenty of protein powders to choose from, but we rounded up our favorites in this best protein powders list. If you’re on a plant-based diet, we have recommendations for vegan protein powders. And for those on a keto diet or avoiding carbohydrates, here are the best keto protein powders.

Recommended daily allowance0.8-1 gram per kilogram of body weight
Tolerable upper intake levelN/A
Why it’s importantMay help with appetite control, satiety, and weight management; also vital for blood sugar management and muscle protein synthesis

Other Weight Loss Plans We Researched and Tried

Nutrition Apps

Noom: Noom got an average to above-average rating (3.67 out of 5) during our testing, but GGR expert tester Sarah Price noticed some inaccuracies in the data and didn’t like that it doesn’t track macros. It also has a color-coding system for food, which can be misrepresentative for people starting on a weight loss journey.

MyFitnessPal: We love MyFitnessPal and don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with it—we gave it a score of 4.42 out of 5 overall. There are just a lot of features, and it can get overwhelming for those who are just starting out or just want more support.

FatSecret: FatSecret is very similar to MyFitnessPal, but during testing we found it really hard to get in touch with a customer service representative (3 out of 5). When you need support on your weight loss journey, you should be able to contact someone easily.

Fooducate: Fooducate seems to be accurate when tracking food, but Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, says the activity tracking is off (3 out of 5). You also have to upgrade to the paid version to access the community, which is off-putting when other similar apps offer this for free.

Fitness Apps

Nike Training Club: The Nike Training Club app is completely free and has a ton of workouts, but the audio controls can be finicky, and sometimes it’s hard to see on-screen metrics. Even though you have to pay for iFit, we like the experience better.

Peloton: We really like the Peloton app overall, but barbell classes are virtually non-existent, and the membership fee is pretty hefty at $44 per month. This may be the move to make if you use the Bike or Tread often, though. Check out more in our full Peloton app review.


Vitamin B12: Like vitamin D, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with weight gain or being overweight. But many of these studies were done with animals22, so it’s harder to say whether or not this translates to humans. 

An image of Nature Made B12

Iron: Iron deficiency is also connected to weight gain and obesity23, but there are plenty of nuances to consider when taking an iron supplement (such as should you even take an actual iron supplement or get your iron from whole foods?). Consuming too much iron could also lead to health problems, such as damaged organs. Because of this, we don’t feel comfortable making any blanket recommendations about it.

Iodine: Iodine supplementation is generally most helpful for weight loss if you have thyroid abnormalities24. If you suspect hypothyroidism may be linked to weight gain or difficulty losing weight, check in with your doctor.

Meal Delivery Services

HelloFresh: HelloFresh prioritizes quick, home-cooked meals but doesn’t cater to weight loss or specific dietary preferences, according to Perry Nix, RD, LD. Because of this, it’s not the best fit for women looking for a dedicated weight loss program. To provide further insight, our testers gave HelloFresh a 3.5 out of 5 for meal plans and customization.

Hello Fresh Meals And Cards

Home Chef: Home Chef is similar to HelloFresh. There are some calorie- and carb-conscious options, but overall, doesn’t cater to weight loss specifically.

Factor: While many people lose weight with Factor (AKA Factor75), it’s not a weight loss program per se, which is why it didn’t make the main list. However, there are keto, high-protein, and low-calorie plan options available, so if you feel comfortable putting your own weight loss plan together, it’s a decent option.

How We Picked and Tested the Best Weight Loss Programs for Women

We narrowed down our list of the best weight loss programs for women through a combination of extensive research and firsthand testing from our expert testers at GGR.


Research is a big component of everything we do. While we try to test as many things as we can firsthand, we typically have to narrow the testing pool through extensive research first.

When looking at weight loss programs, we assessed them holistically. We wanted to see if they were realistic, or made claims that were too good to be true. We’re not big on marketing around here, so any programs that over-promised didn’t make our initial list.

We were also wary of any programs or diet plans that cut out specific food groups or required a lot of restriction. While these types of diets do work for many people, they’re typically not ones we choose to recommend to the general public.

Expert Verification

Most of these programs were personally tested by experts on the GGR team. This includes certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, CrossFit coaches, and registered dietitians—many of whom have gone through their own weight loss journeys. 

Once the programs were narrowed down from a research perspective, we tested them over several weeks and rated them on a variety of factors. The fitness apps, for example, were tested using several factors, including ease of use, features, accuracy, progress and stat tracking, and community.

Of course, not all of these options fit into the same bucket, so the rating scale varied a bit depending on the type of program or service we were assessing.

Woman eating a meal from Snap Kitchen

Benefits of Weight Loss Programs

Weight loss programs can serve as a support system to help guide you and keep you on track when you feel like the process is getting overwhelming. 

Instead of going at it alone, you can sign up for a structured program and have much of the planning and calculating done for you. Some programs also offer access to robust communities, so you have that peer support that can be vital to your success.

The specific benefits of a weight loss program will depend on which one you choose, but here’s a quick breakdown of what you get when signing up:

  • Convenience
  • Community
  • Targeted support
  • Time saved
  • Less overwhelming
  • More structure
  • A greater chance at success

What to Consider When Selecting a Weight Loss Program for You

Community and Support

Community and support are factors that can make a huge difference in your success. While some people do well on a solo weight loss journey, a study in the International Journal of Medical Informatics25 shows that, in general, support from peers and/or social communities make you more likely to hit your goals. 

Many weight loss programs have communities built into apps or on social media, but others make you work more independently. Before committing to one, consider this aspect and how important it is to you. 

You don’t necessarily have to choose a weight loss program that has a community built-in either—you can find like-minded people in social media groups if you’re comfortable going that route.  

Accessibility and Compatibility

You also want to consider how you are going to access the program. If it’s an app, is it available on your preferred operating system (iOS or Android)? If you have to access it through a desktop computer, do you have the right equipment to fully engage? Some programs rely on video capabilities, while others are text-only.

Along these lines, you’ll also want to consider whether or not the program you choose can sync with other devices you use. For example, if you track activity in Apple Health, can you automatically sync your exercise to your preferred program so you don’t have to manually input the information?

ifit app


Price may be the most obvious consideration, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. Structured weight loss programs and fitness apps aren’t necessarily cheap. You may be on the hook for $10 per month, or your cost can go up to as much as $200. There’s no correct answer about what you should look for here, but make sure you’re factoring this recurring cost into your budget.

Weight Loss Programs for Women: FAQs

What’s the fastest way for women to lose weight?

Weight loss is not a race, and you shouldn’t focus on speed as much as sustainability. If you lose weight too quickly, you’re more likely to gain it back—and you probably won’t learn valuable lessons along the way that can contribute to your long-term success. 

Instead of rushing weight loss, focus on creating a slight calorie deficit and incorporating regular physical activity into your routine. You should also be incorporating other healthy habits that contribute to weight loss and your overall wellness, like managing stress levels and getting enough sleep.

What is the best diet for women going through menopause?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, as every menopausal woman is different. Instead of getting caught up in diet dogma and trying to assign a name to your eating plan, focus on eating fresh, nutrient-dense foods and eliminating processed foods as much as possible. You also want to make sure you’re drinking enough water and getting regular exercise.

Can you lose 25 pounds in 2 weeks?

While it may be possible to lose 25 pounds in two weeks, it’s not recommended or healthy. The current recommendation26 is to aim for a weight loss of about 0.5 to 2 pounds per week. This means you should be targeting about 2 to 4 pounds over a two-week period.

What are the best weight loss programs for women?

The best weight loss programs for women (or anybody for that matter) is not one-size-fits-all, and comes down to adherence, or the ability to stay consistent with the program.

Here’s our expert-approved list of weight loss plans for women to help get you started:

Best Weight Loss Program for Women Overall: WeightWatchers
Best Personal Training App for Women: Future 
Best Meal Delivery Service for Women for Weight Loss: Diet-to-Go
Best Fitness App for Women: iFIT
Best Meal Planning App for Women for Weight Loss: PlateJoy 
Best Weight Loss App for Women: Cronometer
Best Weight Loss Diet for Women: Mediterranean Diet
Another Weight Loss Diet Option: MIND Diet
Best Weight Loss Supplement for Women: Vitamin D Supplement
Best Appetite Control Supplement for Women: Protein Powder

Do any weight loss programs for women actually work?

The short answer is they can work depending on the effort that is being put in. There’s no such thing as the best way to lose weight for women other than consistency in a healthy, well-balanced diet and regular exercise made up of strength or resistance training and cardio.

That said, there are diets and programs that can be helpful, such as WeightWatchers, because it gives you the tools to become more mindful of the types of food you regularly eat and make healthier choices.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.


1. Thomas, JG, Raynor, HA, Bond, DS, et al. Weight loss in Weight Watchers Online with and without an activity tracking device compared to control: A randomized trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017;25(6):1014-1021. doi:10.1002/oby.21846

2. Hayes, JF, Balantekin, KN, Fitzsimmons-Craft, EE, et al. Greater average meal planning frequency predicts greater weight loss outcomes in a worksite-based behavioral weight loss program. Ann Behav Med. 2021;55(1):14-23. doi:10.1093/abm/kaaa021

3. Ducrot, P, Méjean, C, Aroumougame, V, et al. Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017;14(1):12. doi:10.1186/s12966-017-0461-7

4. Mancini, JG, Filion, KB, Atallah, R, Eisenberg, MJ. Systematic review of the Mediterranean Diet for long-term weight loss. Am J Med. 2016;129(4):407-415.e4. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.11.028

5. Poulimeneas, D, Anastasiou, CA, Santos, I, Hill, JO, Panagiotakos, DB, Yannakoulia, M. Exploring the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and weight loss maintenance: the MedWeight study. Br J Nutr. 2020;124(8):874-880. doi:10.1017/S0007114520001798

6. Martínez-González, MA, Gea, A, Ruiz-Canela, M. The Mediterranean Diet and cardiovascular health. Circ Res. 2019;124(5):779-798. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.313348

7. Itsiopoulos, C, Mayr, HL, Thomas, CJ. The anti-inflammatory effects of a Mediterranean diet: a review. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2022;25(6):415-422. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000872

8. Fateh, HL, Muhammad, SS, Kamari, N. Associations between adherence to MIND diet and general obesity and lipid profile: A cross-sectional study. Front Nutr. 2023;10:1078961. doi:10.3389/fnut.2023.1078961

9. Dhana, K, James, BD, Agarwal, P, et al. MIND Diet, common brain pathologies, and cognition in community-dwelling older adults. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021;83(2):683-692. doi:10.3233/JAD-210107

10. Morris, MC, Tangney, CC, Wang, Y, et al. MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11(9):1015-1022. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2015.04.011

11. Sizar, O, Khare, S, Goyal, A, Givler, A. Vitamin D deficiency. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; July 17, 2023.

12. Lotfi-Dizaji, L, Mahboob, S, Aliashrafi, S, Vaghef-Mehrabany, E, Ebrahimi-Mameghani, M, Morovati, A. Effect of vitamin D supplementation along with weight loss diet on meta-inflammation and fat mass in obese subjects with vitamin D deficiency: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2019;90(1):94-101. doi:10.1111/cen.13861

13. Mansouri, M, Miri, A, Varmaghani, M, et al. Vitamin D deficiency in relation to general and abdominal obesity among high educated adults. Eat Weight Disord. 2019;24(1):83-90. doi:10.1007/s40519-018-0511-4

14. van Ballegooijen, AJ, Pilz, S, Tomaschitz, A, Grübler, MR, Verheyen, N. The synergistic interplay between vitamins D and K for bone and cardiovascular health: a narrative review. Int J Endocrinol. 2017;2017:7454376. doi:10.1155/2017/7454376

15. National Institutes of Health (November 8, 2022). Vitamin D – Fact Sheet for Consumers. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved September 9, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/

16. Moon, J, Koh, G. Clinical evidence and mechanisms of high-protein diet-induced weight loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020;29(3):166-173. doi:10.7570/jomes20028

17. Leidy, HJ, Clifton, PM, Astrup, A, et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(6):1320S-1329S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.084038

18. Gregorio, L, Brindisi, J, Kleppinger, A, et al. Adequate dietary protein is associated with better physical performance among post-menopausal women 60-90 years. J Nutr Health Aging. 2014;18(2):155-160. doi:10.1007/s12603-013-0391-2

19. Lonnie M, Hooker E, Brunstrom JM, et al. Protein for life: review of optimal protein intake, sustainable dietary sources and the effect on appetite in ageing adults. Nutrients. 2018;10(3):360. doi:10.3390/nu10030360

20. Rigamonti AE, Leoncini R, De Col A, et al. The appetite-suppressant and GLP-1-stimulating effects of whey proteins in obese subjects are associated with increased circulating levels of specific amino acids. Nutrients. 2020;12(3):775. doi:10.3390/nu12030775

21. Swift, DL, Johannsen, NM, Lavie, CJ, Earnest, CP, Church, TS. The role of exercise and physical activity in weight loss and maintenance. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2014;56(4):441-447. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2013.09.012

22. Zheng, Y, Ma, AG, Zheng, MC, et al. B vitamins can reduce body weight gain by increasing metabolism-related enzyme activities in rats fed on a high-fat diet. Curr Med Sci. 2018;38(1):174-183. doi:10.1007/s11596-018-1862-9

23. Alshwaiyat, NM, Ahmad, A, Wan Hassan, WMR, Al-Jama,l HAN. Association between obesity and iron deficiency (Review). Exp Ther Med. 2021;22(5):1268. doi:10.3892/etm.2021.10703

24. Lopez, Y, Franco, C, Cepeda, A, Vázquez, B. Constant iodine intake through the diet could improve hypothyroidism treatment: a case report. J Physiol Biochem. 2018;74(1):189-193. doi:10.1007/s13105-017-0605-x

25. Hwang, KO, Ottenbacher, AJ, Green, AP, et al. Social support in an Internet weight loss community. Int J Med Inform. 2010;79(1):5-13. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.10.00326. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, December 7). 6 proven strategies for weight-loss success. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047752#

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