Ironically the DASH diet was not originally designed for weight loss specifically but in a recent poll it came first for the fourth year running in a major annual ranking of the best weight-loss regimes anywhere.
Fad diets come and go, but for long-term sustainable weight loss you need something that you can stick with, enjoy eating and that is healthy. Yo yo dieting works in the short term but inevitably the weight goes back on, now this could be the way to lose weight and get healthier all in one go.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and first appeared as a diet designed for heart health and the weight loss that a very beneficial and healthy effect.
How does it work?
There is nothing revolutionary here, but it certainly is effective. The DASH eating plan follows heart healthy guidelines to limit saturated fat and cholesterol. It focuses on increasing intake of foods rich in nutrients that are expected to lower blood pressure, mainly minerals (like potassium, calcium, and magnesium), protein, and fibre.
Essentially it is a cholesterol-lowering plan so helps everyone be healthier and is excellent for those with diabetes. Based on 2000 calories a day it can be adapted to your specific needs.
You already know the things to avoid so no high fat, sugar and salty foods and no alcohol in the early stages. This is not a quick fix diet, but it definitely works, and they recommend you start by making gradual changes as you adjust your eating habits.
There is a free online booklet giving you all the information you need to go on the plan including a list of foods containing essential nutrients such as potassium, a diet plan with great tips on how to reduce calories without being hungry, menu ideas and advice on exercise. You will find the link at the end of this article.
Progesterone and weight loss
This hormone acts as a diuretic, helping many women shed pounds fairly quickly, and when combined with a healthy diet is the best long-term plan for sustained and healthy weight loss. It does this first by supporting thyroid function and then its diuretic action encourages the excretion of excess fluid from the body. Such fluid retention is a known feature of oestrogen dominance and helped by rebalancing with bioidentical natural progesterone.
Hormone balance is a key to dealing with weight loss at menopause when oestrogen dominance is so common and bloating and increased fat around the middle can be hard to shift.