TLC diet Overview :
The most frightening substance in our daily diet that we hear of now is cholesterol; it is the leading cause of heart disease which is almost a third of deaths in the US. It was created and formulated by an alarming national inquiry from the Institute of health, it stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes and its sole purpose is to fight off saturated fats and Trans fat found in red meat, fried foods, dairy and other highly fatty foods that might cause a disruption in the cholesterol situation.
It was solely created to prevent heart disease and heart attacks, as well as increasing activity level. It was also created for long-term health use The basic principle is easy to follow; you first have to limit your intake of saturated fats as low as 7 percent of your entire daily caloric intake, less than 200mg of cholesterol per day, around 15 to 20 percent of your caloric intake should come from protein, 60 to 70 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from healthy complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oats, barley and quinoa, and finally, 25 percent of the daily caloric intake should come from the healthiest fats.
So if we measure that up for an average male 35 years of age whose activity is light, weighs about 180 pounds, the macronutrient intake comes to about 100g of protein, 66g of fats and 340g of carbohydrates in the TLC diet. This individual also takes about 2400 calories a day. The calculations can be done very easily as you need to count the percentages and then divide them per each macronutrient, with protein and carbohydrates being 4 calories per gram and fats being 9 calories per one gram.
This diet was also ranked as the fourth-best diet for heart health in the US, while the US is the country famous for having heart problems; this just goes to show how effective this diet is in increasing heart health and reducing LDL cholesterol in the body.
What is also great about this diet is the fact these calculations can work for anyone, you can cut down your calories to something like 500 below maintenance to burn fat and lose the excess weight, and you can even increase the protein intake if you do a lot of training to decrease inflammation and increase the healing process.
The TLC diet is also very easy to follow and convenient, you can eat out in restaurants except you have to take cautious of cholesterol intake as some dishes are made with a lot of butter and hydrogenous oils just make sure to choose healthier preparation methods such as steamed, broiled, roasted, baked, boiled any method that involves as little fat as possible. You can also make very easy recipes that are going to supply your energy requirements for the day and keep you satisfied, all while preventing you from having a stroke, heart disease and increased cholesterol levels in the body.
Another major component of this diet is physical activity; the TLC diet is highly effective when combined with foods that contain micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, as well as physical activity. You should opt for activities that engage your entire body like jogging, brisk walking, swimming, calisthenics, and swimming.
These activities are going to burn off as much fat as possible while pushing blood into your body faster and more efficiently which will increase the blood flow power, thus decrease the plaque buildup and help the body function better.
Foods to eat on the TLC diet:
When eating on the TLC diet, the first thing you have to remember is that it is a numbers game. You have to keep your cholesterol low by avoiding the saturated fat and Trans fats like butter, cheese and margarine; dairy and its product are also not recommended and they should be consumed with caution. Red meat is another one of those that you have to keep off your table as much as you can.
Meats and dairy:
Recommended: lean cuts of skinless turkey and chicken, chicken breast, fish, salmon, cod, tuna, low-fat dairy, low-fat milk.
NOTE: The amount of foods that should be eaten here corresponds to your daily macronutrient intake in the day.
Occasionally: cheese, red meat, roast beef, etc.
Never: Too much red meat, butter, full-fat content milk, full-fat cheese, etc.
Grains and starches
Recommended: Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, soluble fiber, beans, edamame, steel cut oats, quinoa, lentils, beans, etc.
Recommended: 2 whole eggs per day, egg whites, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs. No more than 2 yolks per day
Never: eggs scrambled with butter, etc.
Recommended: Apples, peaches, berries, bananas, prunes, bananas, plums, pineapple, kiwi, etc…
NOTE: All fruits are highly encouraged in the TLC diet since fruits and berries consumptions have been correlated to better heart health. As long as you’re within your macronutrient goals for the day, you can indulge in eating fruits.
Recommended: At least 6 servings a day from green leafy cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, etc.
NOTE: All vegetables are welcomed in the TLC diet.
Nuts and seeds
Recommended: Since nuts and seed tend to contain a higher fat content, try to limit the amount that you take, but feel free to eat nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.
Oils, fats, sauces, and sweeteners
Recommended: make olive oil your main cooking oil, low-fat sauces, stevia, etc.
Never: Butter, cooking oils, sugar, fast food, donuts, pastries, sweets, etc.
Recommended: At least 9 glasses of water per day, tea, coffee, orange juice, sugar-free drinks, etc.
Never: Beer, liquor, milkshakes, ice creams, chocolate milk, full-fat milk, sweet coffee, and teas, etc.
Sample TLC one day diet:
One egg with three egg whites
Whole wheat bread
Tablespoon of almond butter
Cup of brown rice
Salad with broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes
Small side of vegetables
Tips to help you with your diet:
The first thing to remember about this is that you have to keep your macronutrients in check; you cannot go over the 25 percent in the fat intake of your daily caloric intake while you have a little bit of flexibility in the protein and carbohydrates. Make sure to snack on vegetables and opt for ways of preparation that does not use a lot of oils, you have to also avoid cheese and oily products. So do not forget to read the label on the foods that you consume and try to track your macronutrient intake at least for the first week to gauge your intake.
Avoid salt as much as possible and limit the sodium intake to 2000mg per day.
Make sure you include physical activity at least two to three times a week and stay active throughout the day. The mental state is also important in making your heart healthy so try to avoid as much negativity in your life as possible.
This diet offers great health benefits to the body, you can easily follow it as the rules are not very strict, the only thing you have to remind yourself of is the fact you need to keep fat as much away from you as possible, as well as limiting the sugar intake and maintaining a healthy active lifestyle.
If you suffer from heart disease or cholesterol levels that are unhealthy, then this diet is definitely for you, it can even be implemented in your life even if you don’t have any symptoms and you just want to prevent heart stroke from happening. You can also modify it to your own needs to make it fit your goals; for instance, you can play around with your caloric intake to create a deficit for fat loss and even maintain it and increase physical activity. This diet is definitely for the individual that cares about their health and does not want any health complications down the road.