First, I’d like to apologize to any readers who may have noticed I’ve been somewhat sidetracked lately. This blog is about living life to its full potential. Occasionally other passions put me off target. Having said that, I’m back to writing about things in my life which I have limited control over but are important to me: love, family, good health, proper nutrition and exercise, fond memories, good friends, spirituality, adventure and community.
Notice I did not mention weather. We were hit with another Nor’easter today; however it’s not nearly as bad as the hurricane was. Our first snow fell this afternoon and actually the sight of white snow blanketing our green lawn and orange pumpkins was quite pretty. Pretty does not mean I want it to linger; I hope it will melt soon.
Now back to concentrating on the next meal plan I’m going to tackle. I’ve done quite a bit of research and found a site (U.S. World and News Report) that summarizes some of the best plans to date. I’ve decided to try the TLC Plan (#2). Notice the numbers at the end of each diet indicating whether or not people found the plan to be effective. Of the first ten diets, only three, 2 Vegetarian and Weight Watchers, had more positive feedback than the others.
The remaining 15 on the list, which I am not illustrating here, were:
- Eco-Atkins Diet Abs Diet
- Flat Belly Diet Medifast
- Jenny Craig Nutrisystem
- Macrobiotic Diet Glycemic Index Diet
- South Beach Diet Atkins Diet
- Raw Food Diet Paleo Diet
- Slim-Fast Diet Dukan Diet
- Zone Diet
The challenge for me is finding a plan I believe I can stick with. If I have to avoid a certain type of food that I’ve enjoyed all my life, it will only make me crave it more. That’s part of my addictive personality I suppose. Of more concern is trying to find a plan which my husband can manage, as he needs to keep his cholesterol under control. As it is, convincing him to eat more fruits and vegetables will be no easy task.
Here is an overview of the TLC Diet:
- Type: Low-fat.
- The aim: Cutting high cholesterol.
- The claim: You’ll lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol by 8 to 10 percent in six weeks.
- The theory: Created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet (TLC) is endorsed by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy regimen that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cutting back sharply on fat, particularly saturated fat, (think fatty meat, whole-milk dairy, and fried foods), strictly limiting daily dietary cholesterol intake and getting more fiber, can help people manage high cholesterol, often without medication.
Our goals are to both lower LDL and lose weight. Therefore, I’m planning daily caloric intake of approximately 1,800-2,000 for my husband and 1,200-1,300 for me. Saturated fat intake will be less than 7 percent of daily calories and no more than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day. On TLC, we’ll be eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, and skinless poultry. I’ll be working with a dietitian to formulate daily meals that are feasible for our lifestyles as well as working in an appropriate exercise schedule we both can enjoy.
The goal is to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 8-10 percent and lose between 10-20 lbs. within six weeks. At least with this plan, we’re in it together. I won’t have to prepare separate meals all the time. My biggest challenge is being creative; incorporating fruits and vegetables into meals without being obvious.
I have a few more days to prepare my meals and get ready to begin anew on Sunday. Thank goodness for whiteboards; they’ll come in handy to chart daily meals and weight loss. I’m looking forward to engaging in another plan which will help encourage healthy eating and physical exercise. Time to get out the ball, band and weights again! Just as long as I don’t have to get out the shovel…yet.
“To lengthen your life, shorten your meals.” ~ Proverb