DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Diet Fads

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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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While DASH diet ranked at the top of the Best diets list, the Whole30 diet ranked at the very bottom. I have never attempted the Whole30 diet, but did try other trendy fad diets (e.g atkins, paleo) for almost a quarter century that failed miserably every singe time.  I always lost weight, but it was always quickly regained.   It’s one of the reason I am so passionately against low carb diets. They messed up my life for years and years!  I beat myself up so badly for failing each time, when it was the diet that was wrong, it was never me!

With DASH diet, I have never regained any of the 130 pounds in total that I have lost since my highest peak weight.

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I thought this was an interesting article on the best Diet wins for 2017, including the DASH diet, which took the number one spot again, 7 years in row. It discusses the challenges of weight loss resistance, metabolism and the importance of making permanent lifestyle changes  to lose weight.

I do very much agree that weight loss from fad diets is a waste of time, having spent 25+ years of my life lost in extreme obesity, fad diets, yo yo weight gain and loss.  Every time I went off these diets, the weight always came back (eg. atkins, paleo).  To achieve permanent weight loss, ensure your new way of eating can be your lifestyle forever.  Choose a Doctor/dietician recommended, heart healthy diet like DASH, that doesn’t eliminate whole food groups, because if you go off of that fad diet, the weight will come back.

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57cf25324018c-imageThe DASH diet is most definitely not a fad diet, rather it is a healthy lifestyle, that has been rated North America’s #1 healthy diet for 6 years in a row now.  I used to follow fad diets like atkins, low carb and paleo and while I achieved some weight loss with them, it always came back, plus a whole lot more.  With DASH diet and exercise, I was able to lose 90 pounds and have maintained a total 130 pound weight loss, without any regains, using DASH for more than 5 years now.

DASH is recommended for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, gout, kidney disease and so much more.

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shutterstock_277247564.0.025 years of yo-yo weight loss and gain, with low carb, fad diets like atkins and paleo, and I ended up 90 pounds overweight, hypertensive and bordering on the development of diabetes.  Fortunately I found the DASH diet and ended the weight gains and yo yo dieting forever. I have maintained my total 130 pound weight loss with DASH diet for 5 years now.

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When I was was restricting calories with the DASH diet to lose weight, I started with a daily limit of 1300/cals per day. Any less than this and I found myself growing dizzy at times, moody and not always thinking clearly.  As I grew lighter, healthier and my exercise intensity and quantity increased, I slowly increased from 1300 to about 1500 cals most days. And that was where I ended, when the Doctor told me to stop restricting calories 18 months later and 90 pounds lighter.

To this day I always get happy in a giggly in a happy way thinking about how much food I can eat on the DASH diet and still lose and maintain weight. It makes me sad to think of 25 years in the past, when I suffered through mornings, not eating, thinking I was saving my self calories by fasting.  I was only making things so much harder for myself, by skipping all important breakfast and other meals.  I gave fasting and meal skipping just as much of my will power as I have given to following the DASH diet.  It was the wrong diets (e.g low carb diets), fasting and meal skipping that sabotaged any and all weight loss progress, over and over.  DASH has made such a positive difference in my life, easing my life long difficult challenge of losing and maintaining weight.

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Good advice to listen to the science! I blame low carb diets for decades of my life lost in the wilderness of obesity and yo yo weight loss and re-gain.

Super important to remember that vegetables are carbs too. There are carbs that are good for you and those that are bad.  It is important to learn the difference between them. I have found the more processed the carbohydrate is, the more likely it is to be a carb, that is not really good for you.

I would estimate that my daily DASH diet is at a minimum 40% carbs and as high as 50%. I tend to sub in more nuts, nut butters and seeds, for some of the calories, I might instead consume in whole grains.

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SUNEXCL_e20a09jpg-_2701711aGiven the dangers of this diet you can imagine my horror approximately 7 years ago now, when I searched for diet information on online and all I could find was stuff about the ridiculous paleo diet or gluten free diet garbage.  How these things get turned around this way, I have no idea, but media needs to do a way better job of promoting evidence based information, instead of pseudo science that sounds good and is the flavour of the day because someone wrote a book.

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It’s a fantastic new trend, a long time coming, that will see people have an easier time with appetitie control and so I am all for it!  I personally eat at least 30 grams a day, but I shoot for more.  When I was on holidays recently, I could feel the increased sodium intake (from eating out at restaurants) and reduced fibre intake, beginning to affect my mood, my guts, my overall good health feeling.

To address this, after the first few days I moved from eating eggs in the morning (e.g omelette) to oatmeal at restaurants, with a bowl of fruit on the side. No matter where you are , this dish can usually be found and is a safe choice on the menu.  My key tip here is, don’t eat all the oatmeal in the bowl. Most often, the serving a restaurant will give you is 4 times or more, the 1/2 cup of serving of oatmeal, I make for myself at home and that will only cause gain weight.   Focus on eating all the fruit to fill you up!

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