The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, aka The TLC diet, is a diet regimen that was designed to reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Endorsed by the American Heart Association, the TLC diet focuses on low fat, limiting saturated fat found in many of the foods we consume today.
For an example, cutting out fatty meats, whole milk, fried foods and snacks will help cut out saturated fats. Limiting saturated fats will help reduce high cholesterol, claiming to lower levels by up to 10% in six weeks. Lowering you LDL cholesterol reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
You can start the TLC diet at any time. First, you should decide on what caloric intake is right for you. Choosing you calorie intake will determine how you manage your weight while on the diet. If you are focused on primarily maintaining your weight while lowering you LDL cholesterol, men should try to consume the maximum of 2500 calories per day and 1800/ per day for women. Often times, people want to try to lose weight while lowering their LDL cholesterol.
For weight loss, men should aim for around 1600 calories per day and 1200 for women. When consuming the number of calories for desired result, cut the saturated fats and limit dairy that is high in fat. Dairy products that are high in fat are whole milk, butter and some cheeses.
While on the TLC diet, it is important to focus on the consumption of fruits, vegetable, low fat dairy and whole grains. For meat consumption, stick to fish and poultry while limiting red meats, which can put you at risk for hypertension leading to heart disease and stroke. In addition to the specific food consumption and limitation, it is important to remain active on any diet. On the TLC diet, it is recommended that you maintain an average of 30 minutes of physical exercise per day. Being active will help reduce your risk of heart disease as well as diabetes.
What are the benefits?
There are multiple benefits, such as weight loss or maintenance but of course a healthy heart! Known as the ‘heart-healthy’ diet, the TLC diet’s claim to fame is the promise of lowering LDL cholesterol levels by 10% in just 6 weeks. It is an easy diet to follow. All of the foods you need are all of the foods you have always known are easy to find in the grocery store.
Fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, poultry, milk and cheeses- they are all food we love but now we need to watch the saturated fats making sure we choose low fat dairy products and eat more fresh produce.
While on the TLC diet, you might feel like you aren’t eating as much. Because of your increase in fruits and veggies, your fiber intake increases as well as leaving you feeling full and satisfied longer. You will find yourself reaching for snack foods less often throughout the day. You might find the absence of butter and sugars make fresh produce less desirable but you would be surprised at just how tasty spices and natural sweeteners like Stevia actually are.
When the TLC becomes a lifestyle change, you will begin to prefer these options over the more harmful ones. You don’t have to give your sweet tooth entirely, just make sure you choose low fat options, like frozen yogurt instead of high fat whole milk ice cream.
To help begin the TLC diet, you can check out this book for guidance: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the TLC Diet. This book is a great companion for anyone wanting to begin the TLC diet but do not know how or where to begin. It will guide you through a successful approach to the TLC diet. It will educated readers on what is good and bad cholesterol while delivering a structured program on how to obtain this healthy lifestyle by cooking healthy and exercise.
The TLC diet has been ranked #2 in best overall diets by US News Health and is medically proven to help lower LDL cholesterol and maintain a healthy weight and heart.