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The DASH Diet for Weight Loss

One of the most sound and respected diets is focused to help you lose weight.

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

The DASH Diet for Weight Loss: Lose Weight the Healthy Way – and Keep It Off – with America’s Most Respected Diet by Thomas J. Moore, MD and Megan C. Murphy, MPH publishes April 17, 2012. The diet, originally created to reduce high blood pressure and hypertension, is also being praised for its weight loss results. Moore worked with a group of 50 researchers to create the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) study. The results exceeded their expectations in reducing systolic blood pressure, halting the development of heart attacks and colon cancer, and finally, it just made people “feel better.”

Once the original DASH diet went public, patients who were following the diet for better heart health discovered a nice perk, they also lost unwanted pounds. Moore collaborated with Megan C. Murphy, MPH to repackage the diet with a focus on weight loss. Megan has a master’s degree in public health from Boston University and has been the program manager of the DASH for Health program since its inception in 2002.

The DASH diet is a common sense approach to dieting with calorie counting, lean protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains at its core. The book begins by explaining the foundation of the original DASH plan and how it can be used for weight loss. The book is a bevy of knowledge packed with information about food, fat, calories, portion sizes and it’s chock-full of handy graphs. While it gets high points for academia, it receives almost none for personality.

PRO
  • Rated #1 Overall Diet for 2013 in U.S. News and World Report
  • Co-authors were involved in the inception of the original DASH study
  • Steers away from fad or restrictive diet approach
  • Encourages a well-rounded diet
  • Offers several meal plans to follow
  • Addresses the importance of exercise in a weight loss program
  • Vegetarian friendly
CON
  • Message and information is delivered in a dry tone
  • Can feel like a lengthy, textbook read
DIET and NUTRITION

The DASH Diet for Weight Loss encourages readers to think of the book as a new healthy way of life, not just a short term diet. The authors reiterate how the study results shaped patient’s lives, not just with lower blood pressure but with weight loss and an overall energetic healthy feeling.

The DASH Diet instructs the reader on how to determine their goal weight from a chart based on weight, height and activity level. Then they explain how to find the appropriate “calorie target,” meaning how many calories should be consumed in a day, and finally, how many foods in a specific food group should be eaten to make up those calories. If it seems daunting, it’s not, it just requires a few moments on a calculator or scribbles with a pencil if you’re a fan of long division.

The book does a nice job of offering meal plans with serving sizes and calories included so dieting newbies can jump right in without much planning.

As an example of how you'll eat on the DASH Diet for Weight Loss, take a look at the 1,800 calories per day plan, day 4:

  • Breakfast: shredded wheat squares, sliced banana, nonfat milk
  • Morning Snack: low-fat fruited yogurt, unsalted mini pretzels
  • Lunch: Hummus sandwich with tomatoes and bean sprouts, melon
  • Afternoon Snack: baby carrots, low-fat creamy Italian dressing
  • Dinner: poached salmon, baked sweet potato, brown rice
  • Dessert: baked banana
EXERCISE

There is only one section on exercise in the book and although it’s small, it provides adequate information. The authors suggest walking as a great exercise to begin with, particularly for individuals who are overweight or very out of shape. Walking is ideal because it's low impact and “you can do it almost anywhere.” Strength training and other exercises are also covered. The goal of the DASH Diet for Weight Loss fitness chapter is to get you to move and encourages real life exercise including stair-climbing, dancing and yard work.

CONCLUSION

The DASH Diet is a comprehensive book with good advice not only for weight loss but for overall healthy eating. The authors are credible, the information is factual and the advice is sound. For those who thrive on an organized specific approach to weight loss including food diaries, calorie counting and measuring, this book is top-notch. However, at 500+ pages, those who simply want to get motivated and begin tailoring their personal plan for success may lose interest before they even begin.

Common Misspellings

DASH Diet, Dash diet for fat loss, New Dash diet

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Related Diets: Weight Watchers, AHA No-Fad Diet, DASH Diet


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