DASH Diet Weight Loss & Maintenance

Weight Loss

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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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An accurate article detailing some of the health benefits I have experienced during the past 9 years, following a 1500mg sodium/day DASH diet. Moreover, in addition to a 90 pound weight loss with DASH diet and complete elimination of hypertension 7 years ago, I also experienced cessation of almost nightly, intestinal pain.

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I thought this was a helpful, short summary of the DASH diet, although I have followed a 1500 mg per day sodium limit for the past 9 years, rather than 2300 mg per day limit.  Before my 90 pound weight loss with the DASH diet, I was seriously hypertensive 170/90, so I follow the 1500 mg per day limit to keep my blood pressure in check.

 

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I started following the DASH diet in June 2009, on the recommendation of my doctor due to hypertension. My systolic pressure had reached 170 and he said it was an unacceptable level for someone only in their early forties.
He initially suggested medication or going on the wait list for weight loss surgery. He believed a substantial weight loss would go a long way to lowering my blood pressure. I decided against medication and surgery in favour of his final and last suggestion/possible solution, the DASH diet.
After he gave me a pager information sheet on the diet. I went home and did additional research and discovered that the effects of the diet could be enhanced for those with hypertension, by also making it very low sodium. I decided to go this route, along with with calorie restriction to lose the weight. I still follow a 1500 mg sodium limit per day to keep my now normal blood pressure, low.
After an 18 month weight loss process with DASH, ending in 2011, I lost 90 pounds and have not regained the weight since.

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The DASH diet that I have followed now for almost 9 years come this June, to lower my blood pressure and lose 90 pounds, just won best diet again for the 8th year in a row!!  All diet’s were rated by medical professionals and experts.  Check it out and if you are interested in learning more about DASH, you can also follow my facebook page here.

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The DASH diet is a plant based diet, but it is not a vegetarian diet, although you could easily design it as vegetarian. For vegetarian DASH options, substitute lentils, nuts, beans, tofu, etc., in for meat as your protein.  The diet actually encourages these foods and meatless days as well.  An easy way to eyeball plant based, is to look at any meal and determine if half of it is fruit and veggie.  If half your plate is filled with these then you are golden!

I eat 8-10 servings of fruit and veggie everyday.  I find it easier to get my fruit servings in,  so for the veggies, I double up, sometimes even triple or quadruple servings to get the veggies I need each day (e.g instead of half a cup of steamed broccoli and cauliflower with melted cheddar cheese, I eat 2 cups).  This helps keep my fibre intake way up and my appetite under control.  Sure fills me up!

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