Created by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cholesterol Education Program and endorsed by the American Heart Association, the TLC diet plan is focused on lowering “bad” cholesterol. Similar to the DASH Diet and Ornish Diet, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet offer a very heart-healthy approach to losing weight.
If you’re looking for a healthy long-term diet, it can definitely deliver a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but it can’t match the more dramatic results of other diets. Before embarking on this lifestyle change, find out more about the TLC diet pros and cons, a diet available to everyone through the “Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC” diet PDF.
Pros of the TLC Diet
Besides all the health benefits, the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet won’t leave you hungry and it won’t cost you a lot to follow. It’s also flexible, and it works better for dieters who already know how to read nutritional labels and keep calories in check.
Nutritionally Sound and Government Endorsed
One of the biggest pros of the TLC diet is the fact that it respects all the National Institutes of Health guidelines for a nutritious diet that will lower cholesterol and doesn’t eliminate any food groups. However, fatty meats and dairy are restricted to deliver results.
Healthy in the Long Run
According to the American Heart Association, LDL cholesterol aka the “bad” cholesterol” can be reduced by up to 10 percent in 6 weeks on the TLC diet. Low-fat diets have a proven record of causing weight loss, and the risks of diabetes and heart disease are significantly reduced.
Won’t Leave You Hungry
Unlike many fad diets, this eating plan won’t leave your exposed to hunger pangs. One of the most important pros of the TLC diet is that it’s full of fiber, thanks to the high content of fruits and vegetables.
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Won’t Cost You
Lowering your LDL cholesterol means that you need to restrict fatty meats. Skinless poultry, fish and low-fat dairy make up a big part of the diet, along with whole grains, vegetables and fruits. You don’t need to spend any money on recipes or a book, and eating less meat will balance your grocery bill.
Safe for Everybody
Since it’s perfectly balanced, one of the pros of the TLC diet is that it can be useful for any group of dieters, including teenagers and children. Type 2 diabetes prevention and the heart-healthy aspects of this diet make it a good choice for everyone.
Cons of the TLC Diet
If you’re expecting quick results or a really structured and simple guide to weight loss, you might be disappointed by the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet.
Can Get Complicated
Among the biggest cons of the TLC diet is the fact that you’re mostly left to your own devices. You’ll be responsible for meeting all the guidelines and making sure that you don’t go over 200 mg of cholesterol every day.
Flexibility Can Become an Issue
With a maximum of 5 ounces of fish, skinless chicken or turkey per day, the TLC diet menu guidelines also recommend 2-3 servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy, 6-11 servings of grains (from pasta to rice), along with 4 servings of fruits and 3-5 servings of vegetables. Navigating your daily menu in order to find the perfect balance for at least 1,200 calories is also on you.
Was Not Created for Weight Loss
The fact that is was created with health in mind, not with weight loss, is one of the most important cons of the TLC diet, since it’s doesn’t guarantee quick progress as much as other diets.
Alcohol Intake Is Limited
With the focus on cholesterol and other unhealthy fats, the TLC diet advises women to stick to a maximum of one drink per day. Alcoholic drinks contribute to raising the level of triglycerides, which have been connected to heart disease.
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Includes Daily Exercise
To get the most out of the TLC diet, especially if you want quicker weight loss, you’ll have to exercise daily. That could be one of the cons of the TLC diet for some dieters, who are unwilling or unable to get over 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. However, a half an hour of walking at a brisk pace fits the criteria.