The principle of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) weight loss plan is about ensuring you have the right ratio of fats in your diet to help reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, according to BodyAndSoul.
The diet was initially developed by the National Institutes of Health in America back in 2001 to help lower LDL cholesterol.
However, optimising levels of your HDL or “good cholesterol” can, in some cases, also lead to weight loss. So, this has become one of the more popular diets because of its health benefits.
While (some) desserts are still on the menu, it’s more about number crunching to work out the percentage of fats you should be consuming each day.
It’s also about increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables and lean protein you eat on a daily basis, as opposed to keeping you hungry.
Your recommended daily calorie intake will vary depending on your height, weight and level of physical activity but generally to lower cholesterol it will be approximately 2500 calories per day for men and 1800 calories a day for women.
If weight loss is the goal, then it’s recommended to reduce calories to 1600 a day for men and 1200 per day for women.
Regardless of your daily calorie intake goals, there are some general rules to the TLC diet you can apply straight away.
- Limit saturated fats (such as butter, cheese, red meat, full-fat dairy) to account for less than 7 percent of your total daily calories
- Aim for 25-35 percent of your daily calories to come from healthy fats such as fish and nuts
- Limit cholesterol intake to 200mg per day (just a little more than one large egg, which has 178mg)
- Reduce sodium consumed to 2,300mg or less per day (which is about a teaspoon of table salt)
- Swap white breads and pastas for healthier wholegrain alternatives
- If eating desserts go for options like jelly or frozen yoghurt, which are lower in saturated fats
- No more than one glass of alcohol per day
- Moderate intensity exercise (such as a brisk walk) for 30 minutes each day
You can get more details on the TLC diet here.