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FirstLine Therapy Diet

By Janet Renee, MS, RD

The FirstLine Therapy diet is a medically-monitored therapeutic lifestyle changes program, or TLC, designed to promote weight loss and improve health. The FLT program is a multidimensional approach to weight loss your doctor might recommend if you have, or are at risk of developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, in addition to being overweight. A number of wellness clinics throughout the United States offer FLT or a similar TLC program.

Distinction From Other Diets

While most diets typically focus on weight loss, the FLT program addresses a variety of issues that influence health. FLT helps address cardiovascular disease issues, Type 2 diabetes and blood sugar dysfunction, metabolic syndrome and obesity. FLT can also address gastrointestinal health, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, hormonal imbalance and mood issues, according to the Integrative Family Medicine Center in Leesburg, Virginia.

Multidimensional Approach

FLT involves 12 weeks of personalized lifestyle changes designed as a first line of defense in treating and preventing chronic conditions. Some of the goals of the FLT program are to help you lose weight, increase muscle, lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol and reduce your waist and hip circumference. The goal is to promote a healthier body composition. Often, building a better body composition alone exerts positive benefits on metabolic parameters such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

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What to Expect

During the first week, a clinic staff member conducts comprehensive testing to check baseline levels of health measurements such as cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure. At your consultation, a clinician reviews the results and determines your health goals. You'll receive a guidebook, instructions and the dietary and lifestyle advice you need to get started. You can expect to attend weekly meetings for lifestyle counseling. A clinic staff member retests you to evaluate your progress at week six and week 12. A maintenance program is prescribed if you achieve your goals. Otherwise, you may choose to continue the program to meet your goals.

Dietary Component

A clinic staff member creates a completely individualized diet based on your comprehensive test results. Dietary advice for someone with high blood pressure, may not be the same for someone with elevated blood sugar. The FLT program provides meal plans and recipes for your individual health goals. For example, if you have blood sugar problems, your meal plan may focus on low-glycemic meals. The glycemic index measures how quickly food items raise blood sugar. If you have high blood pressure, your meal plan may focus on reducing your sodium intake.

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