Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > High Cholesterol: Making Lifestyle Changes
High cholesterol is treated with lifestyle changes and medicine. You and your doctor may decide to first try treating your high cholesterol without medicine. Changing some of your habits may be all you need to do to improve your cholesterol levels. Your doctor might suggest that you take medicine too.
A program called Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) can help you create healthy habits that improve your cholesterol levels. TLC is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
You might have to make a few changes to follow the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) program. The truth is that making lifestyle changes takes some work. And making lifestyle changes that become part of your normal routine is harder still. The key is to make small changes and make them a habit. And when you've turned one small change into a lifelong habit, start again with another small change.
Below you'll find some tips for making small changes that can help you get started on healthy changes.
Here are a few tips to get you started on making small changes at home:
At the grocery store:
You don't have to run out and join a gym to get active. Start small, and try to make exercise a part of your daily routine.
For some people, some forms of physical activity might be unsafe or should only be started after talking with a doctor. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise or fitness program.
Here are a few tips if you're just starting out:
Remember that getting more active to raise your HDL is not a one-time thing. Activity is something to build into your daily life, for the rest of your life.
Here are a few tips for taking the next step.
If you need to lose a few pounds to reach a healthy weight, don't think you have to try a radical fad diet.
The best way to lose weight is to eat better and move more. Eating smaller portions of healthier food will make you feel better. And along with exercise or even light activity, eating better can help you lose extra pounds if you have them.
Look back at the tips for healthy eating and staying active. Make these changes into a habit, and you'll be on your way to a healthy weight.
Quitting smoking can help you raise your HDL. It's one of the best things you can do for your health. But it isn't easy. Here are a few tips for when you're ready to quit:
Other Works Consulted
Grundy SM, et al. (2001). Executive summary of the
third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel
on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults
(Adult Treatment Panel III). JAMA, 285(19):
November 9, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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