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The Heart Beat

with James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Heart disease can be prevented! Your personal choices have a big impact on your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Dr. James Beckerman is here to provide insights into how making small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your heart health.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Flex Diet

When I first told my wife I was going to write a diet book, she thought I was crazy.

“You’re a cardiologist, not a diet guru!” she said, laughing…and it’s true. As a heart specialist with the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute in Portland, Oregon, I don’t believe in fad nutrition programs, flimsy infomercial fitness equipment (although I admit I’ve bought it!), or carb-melting supplements advertised on the back cover of magazines or pitched by your favorite reality television runner-up. So I guess I’m not a guru.

But I am a doctor. And particularly now, during one of the most challenging times ever in health care, doctors are still trying to solve problems. We have all seen the footage on the evening news of faceless, overweight Americans struggling through shopping malls, food courts, and sports venues — with intended warnings about the epidemic of obesity. But the truth is that overweight people do have a face — many faces, really — and they are all different. Most of us have struggled with our weight at one point or another. I have. You might have too. And even though the Internet, mobile phone apps, and social networking sites give people access to helpful information more than ever, we continue to look for solutions.

As a health care provider, I have realized that the science is out there. The research studies have been done. The data is available. But what’s been missing is the message. The health care system has transformed useful recommendations into strict guidelines that seem impossible to achieve. Think about the last time you went to the doctor. Were you given the same tired exercise prescription that was handed out to everyone else? The same laminated dietary advice? It’s time to get personal…and personalized.

Welcome to The Flex Diet.

The Flex Diet

Inspired by my patients and the people here in the WebMD community, I have created a personalized wellness (and heart-healthy weight loss!) program that I believe can be adapted to fit anyone’s lifestyle. The Flex Diet shares 200 evidence-based solutions to eat, drink, exercise, act, and live a more healthful life — on your terms. You pick the ones that work for you. Rather than offer inflexible approaches that are hard to maintain and that invite frustration and discouragement, The Flex Diet is scientifically designed to be empowering — because even with just a few changes in your lifestyle, you will succeed. And success feels good. We’re talking New Year, New You,Your Way.

Start by embracing the idea that small changes yield real results. My hospital believes so strongly in this concept that it is taking the first step in “walking the talk” by providing copies of The Flex Diet to thousands of people here in my community. It’s a different sort of health movement, because it actually begins…with you. Revolutionary, isn’t it? So consider taking a flexible approach to your health in this New Year. The Flex Diet bends so you won’t break.

It’s time for a solution.

Posted by: James Beckerman, MD, FACC at 9:40 am

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