Do The DASH Diet

DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

I never followed a 1200 calorie per day DASH diet because I felt fuzzy and light headed at that level.  Instead I followed a 1300-1500 calorie per day DASH diet during my 18 month calorie restriction process. The calories increased to 1500 and beyond, as my running program slowly increased. I wanted to share this handy info/visual from myfitnesspal, as well as offer a reminder that myfitnesspal is an excellent tool in itself, for following a specific diet plan/goals and for achieving or even just maintaining weight loss.  The app helped me so much, I gave credit to them as one of my most key tools for successful weight loss in this 18 month photographic journal video of the process with DASH.

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The DASH diet wins second best diet this year.  This is the first year since I started following the DASH diet in 2009, that it has not won the very best diet ranking.  This year it ranks just behind the Mediterranean diet, which I also follow. I still use the DASH diet as my overall framework and do not exceed 1500 mg of sodium per day.  I just default to mediterranean food choices like nuts, fish, etc as possible.

I adhere to a hybrid of the two diets; given the Mediterranean diet is particularly good for brain health.  I need lots of help in that area, as not only am a prone to high blood pressure, which the DASH diet controls for me, but also diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia that run deeply within my family tree.

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I can’t wait to read it!  I have been following a hybrid of the diets for about 5 years now, partly because Alzheimers runs badly in my family, so it is important I am not only maintaining a diet to keep my blood pressure low, but also to keep my brain as healthy as possible!  That means defaulting to Mediterranean choices, within a overall DASH framework for me (e.g. low sodium).

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It is a good article on adherence issues with the DASH diet, but I only eat 5 servings of veggies a day, not 7, at least most days. In fact I don’t recall the diet calling for 7 servings at all, 4-5 per day is more like it. I definitely hit 5 fruit servings too.

Most of my veggies are eaten at my main meal, where I will usually eat at least 2 cups of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc at one sitting, but it has sharp cheddar or some other delicious cheese melted on it to make it yummy.  All that fibre certainly helps to keep me full.
I personally think the biggest issue is you need to make a commitment to follow the diet for a long time, not a short one, because once it becomes ingrained as an eating pattern, it becomes preferred.  Especially strong, is how distaste for salt and salty foods increases the longer the diet is followed.   However it takes awhile to get there…

 

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I eat about 50-60% carbs within a DASH diet framework. So I am in the middle.  I eat 8-10 servings of unprocessed fruit and veggie each day.  I don’t drink fruit or veggie juice much at all.  I prefer the whole fruit and veggie.   If I am trying to lose a few pounds, I move it down to 50%. The DASH diet calls for complex carbs.   I try to obtain at least 15 grams of fibre, much of it from complex carbs (bran, flax, steel cut oats, etc) berries and skim milk in the mornings with a goal of consuming 35 grams each day.

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These are all foods I eat often as part of the DASH diet.  The MIND diet is a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diet.  I pay particular attention to these foods because alzheimers disease runs badly in my family. My mother is currently very ill with this disease and my grandmother had it as well.

I began following the DASH diet in June of 2009 at the recommendation of my Doctor to reduce my blood pressure, because I was at that time hypertensive.  Fortunately, I was able to eliminate the hypertension without blood pressure drugs, using only the DASH diet, weight loss (lost 90 pounds with DASH) and exericse.

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