The TLC Diet

The TLC Diet

 The TLC Diet (3 / 5)

The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet, more commonly referred to as the TLC Diet, is an overall lifestyle adjustment that aims to improve heart health. This is accomplished by drastically reducing the amount of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol that is consumed on a daily basis. Special attention is paid to saturated fat, which is the substance that builds up in the arteries, raises one’s internal cholesterol count and can eventually cause strokes and heart attacks. The TLC Diet has the full endorsement of the American Heart Association.

The diet works by limiting daily calorie intake based on what the dieter’s goals are. There are different tiers for both men and women who would like to lower their bad cholesterol, lose weight or both at the same time. In addition to the calorie restrictions, there are also limits to how much saturated fat and cholesterol can be consumed. Dieters are instructed to introduce plant stanols and fiber into their diets if they do not achieve noticeable results within the initial phase of the diet.

Benefits of the Diet

Dieters can eat any foods they want as long as they do not exceed the daily calorie, saturated fat and cholesterol limits. The TLC Diet is easy to maintain for a long period of time because, although no foods are overtly restricted, dieters eventually learn how to choose the foods that are the most filling within the parameters of their calorie restrictions; the transition to healthier eating is gradual and natural, as opposed to the forced manner implemented by other diet plans that often leads to cheating and binging. Sample meal suggestions are available for people who need some guidance in the beginning, but they do not have to be followed exactly. The flexibility of the TLC Diet makes it a plan that can be easily followed by almost everyone.

Drawbacks of the Diet

The diet’s flexibility depends on the dieter’s willingness to do the work of choosing and cooking all of her meals herself. Dieters who are not already conscious of food labels and serving sizes will have to teach themselves how to decipher the numbers and keep an accurate daily count. There may be a period of trial and error at first, leading to bouts of frustration. Since the diet is geared toward preventing heart disease first and foremost, weight loss goals may not be met by following this plan. The ability to eat whatever one pleases within calorie constraints may result in good, moderate levels of caloric intake while not providing enough vitamins or other nutrients. Dieters who choose the TLC Diet may want to start taking some vitamin supplements while they are following the plan. The TLC Diet also does not recommend any specific exercise regimen. The caloric reduction is sufficient on its own to improve health, but a comprehensive plan should ideally factor in the additional benefits of daily exercise, particularly during the middle phase of the diet when the weight loss may plateau due to changes in the metabolism.


The TLC Diet is more or less a basic calorie restriction plan with a fancy name. It is guaranteed to work, but only for as long as the dieter keeps restricting her intake indefinitely. The ultimate goal of this diet is to trigger a lifelong lifestyle change, but the likelihood of this occurring depends on whether or not the dieter’s body ever adjusts to feeling satisfied on a subsistence of between 1,200 and 1,800 calories a day. Men do not have a much easier time with this diet, being limited to 1,600 to 2,500 calories daily. This diet is best suited to people who already have the desire to eat healthfully but just need a bit of guidance. Those who are not already in the habit of preparing healthy food for themselves for every single meal would be better off with a more controlled plan such as one that delivers pre-packaged meals to dieters’ homes. Weight Watchers is a more suitable middle ground for people who want a little flexibility without having to keep track of so many specific numbers. Those plans are a better gateway into dieting than the TLC Diet, which assumes a bit of pre-existing knowledge about food and nutrition on behalf of the dieter.


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