I Lowered My Cholesterol by 30% by The Diet Way

Over the years, I noticed my weight slowly creeping up. As someone who helps others live a healthy lifestyle, this was concerning. Then, a routine blood test revealed my total cholesterol was higher than normal. With heart disease running in my family, I knew I had to make changes.

I committed to losing weight and optimizing my diet over the next 4 months. By the end, I lowered my total cholesterol from 5.81 to 4.81 mmol/L and dropped my LDL cholesterol from 4.21 to 3.27 mmol/L – a 30% reduction!

Here’s what I did to lower my cholesterol in just 4 months:

Step 1: Losing Weight

One of the most impactful things you can do to lower cholesterol is lose excess body fat. Studies show losing just 5-10% of your weight can significantly improve cholesterol levels.

After weighing myself, I set a goal to lose 7-8% of my starting body weight. Over 16 weeks, I lost nearly 7 kg, or around 8% of my initial weight.

Increasing Daily Movement

A big reason for my weight gain was inactivity, especially in the winter months. I knew I had to start moving more.

I started wearing a weighted vest for 30 minutes each morning while walking to get steps in. The vest added about 25 pounds of resistance training as I aimed for 10,000 steps per day. This raised my baseline daily movement compared to before.

The extra activity created a calorie deficit, contributing to my weight loss. But it provided other benefits too. Starting my day with movement set me up for making healthier decisions all day long.

Adjusting Diet for Weight Loss

I didn’t want to create the entire calorie deficit through extra exercise alone. So I also adjusted my diet for sustainable weight loss.

I aimed for a daily calorie intake of 2,400-2,600 calories. With the added movement, this put me in a deficit. My macronutrient breakdown was:

  • 200g protein
  • 275g carbs
  • 70g fat

This combination of diet and extra activity is what enabled me to lose 7kg in 16 weeks.

Step 2: Optimizing Diet Quality

Losing weight helped lower my cholesterol numbers significantly. But I also made specific diet changes to further improve my blood lipid profile:

Reducing Saturated Fat

While the cholesterol we eat has little impact on blood cholesterol, saturated fat does. Foods high in sat fat include fatty cuts of meat, processed meat, whole eggs, and full-fat dairy.

I significantly reduced my red meat intake, limiting it to once a week at most. I also cut back on eggs, having just 1-2 whole eggs per week. These simple swaps lowered my saturated fat intake.

Increasing Fiber-Rich Foods

Soluble fiber directly lowers LDL cholesterol levels. I emphasized getting more daily fiber, especially from sources like oatmeal, oat bran, beans, lentils, and veggies.

Soluble fiber soaks up cholesterol particles and removes them from the body before absorption. It also helps you feel full, which aids weight loss.

Minimizing Alcohol

I didn’t cut out alcohol completely. But I limited intake to 1-2 drinks per week max. The empty calories from alcohol can quickly add up, hindering weight loss.

Step 3: Testing Cholesterol

After 4 months of focus on diet, exercise, and weight loss, I re-tested my cholesterol levels. The results showed:

  • Total cholesterol dropped from 5.81 to 4.81 mmol/L
  • LDL cholesterol decreased from 4.21 to 3.27 mmol/L

My doctor also tested my apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels, which can better predict heart disease risk than LDL alone. My apoB came back at 0.69 g/L, well within the healthy range.

The 30% reduction in my cholesterol levels and healthy apoB results were a huge relief. My doctor was thrilled with my progress through lifestyle changes alone, without needing medication.

Maintaining Lower Cholesterol Levels

Now that I’ve gotten my cholesterol on track, maintaining these results long-term is key. Here are some of the lasting changes I’ve implemented:

  • Weighing myself weekly to maintain a healthy weight
  • Wearing a weighted vest 3-4 times per week for movement
  • Meal prepping plant-based dishes high in soluble fiber
  • Limiting red meat and egg yolks to 1-2 times per week
  • Choosing heart-healthy fats like olive oil over butter
  • Staying active with walking, strength training, and cardio workouts

Reversing high cholesterol is possible with a multifaceted approach. Losing weight, eating more plants and fiber, reducing saturated fat, and staying active all work together to create amazing results.

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