How Can I Lose Weight with a DASH Diet? (Meal Plan Included)
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In this article:
- The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower blood pressure.
- The DASH diet can help you lose weight and improve other health measures.
- The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and reduced-fat dairy products. It limits sodium, added sugars, meat, and saturated fats.
- Lark is a weight loss coach on your phone. It helps you make small changes so your food choices are healthier and good for weight loss.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is one of the best diets. It is easy to follow, heart-healthy, and good for blood sugar. It can even help you lose weight!
The original clinical trial on the DASH diet had stunning results. They were published in New England Journal of Medicine. It took only two weeks of following the DASH diet for blood pressure to drop by 11.4 mm Hg among people with high blood pressure. Participants with normal blood pressure had theirs drop by 3.5 mm Hg on average. A meta-analysis in British Journal of Nutrition found the DASH diet can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
US News and World Reportsagrees. The diet was:
- Tied for #2 in best diet overall.
- Tied for #1 in heart-healthy diets.
- Tied for #3 in best diets for preventing or managing diabetes.
An article in JAMA says DASH diet is an affordable and realistic diet to follow. Here is how you can follow the DASH diet to lose weight!
What to Eat on a DASH Diet
Compared to a typical American diet, a DASH diet has these foods.
- More fruits and vegetables
- More reduced-fat and regular dairy products
- More whole grains
- More legumes, seeds, and nuts
- Less sodium, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
- Less red meat and processed meat
- Fewer sweets and added sugars
- Fewer refined grains
How to Plan a DASH Menu
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) shows you how many servings per day or week to get on a DASH diet. Don't worry if it is too hard to follow. Just scroll down for sample meal plans!
Sample DASH Meal Plan for 4 Days
Here are 4 sample days for a DASH diet. Each day includes about 1,200 calories.
Sample Day 1
Sample Day 2
Sample Day 3
Sample Day 4
You can add healthy snacks as needed. Here are 40 ideas!
Tips for Losing Weight on a DASH Diet
These tips can help you lose weight with a DASH diet.
- The DASH diet includes low-fat dairy products. If you have lactose intolerance, you may still be able to have small amounts of cheese or yogurt. Dairy-free substitutes, such as soy yogurt and soy and almond milk provide calcium, too.
- Choices within groups matter. Leaner, less-processed foods are usually better. Fresh fruit instead of dried fruit or fruit juice, whole-grain products instead of refined, fish over beef, and olive oil over butter are healthier and likely better for weight loss.
- Many foods, such as soups and canned beans, are available in low-sodium versions.
- Cooking with spices instead of salt lowers sodium while keeping flavor high.
- Portion control counts. Serving sizes may be smaller than you think. For example, a serving of pasta is ‚1/3 cup. A plate of pasta can have 6 servings or more!
Of course, ask a healthcare provider before starting any new diet plan!
Losing weight can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and that's not all. When you lose a few extra pounds, energy levels can increase, cholesterol and blood pressure can improve, and clothes fit better. Best of all is that Lark makes weight loss simple!
Lark doesn't just know which choices can lead to weight loss. Lark coaches you on how to make good choices that can become habits. With small changes that fit right into your lifestyle, you can drop pounds and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Your personal coach is available 24/7 through your smartphone so you can get expert tips, track meals, physical activity, and weight loss.
The entire program may be available at no cost to you if your health insurer covers it. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark! You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.