Return to Index
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Metabolic Syndrome
- Find a weight loss program that is right for you. Programs with frequent reinforcement may be particularly effective.
- Lose weight slowly and steadily. Plan ways to maintain the weight loss. Aim to lose approximately 10% of the original weight in the next 6-12 months.
- Monitor your weight.
Improve your eating habits:
- Sit down at the table for your meals.
- Focus on your food. Do not do other activities, such as watching TV, while you are eating.
- Do not wait until you are completely full before you stop eating.
- Do not eat because you are bored, tired, stressed, or sad.
- When eating out, ask for half of your portion to be packed before your meal is served.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Ask your doctor if the Mediterranean diet is right for you.
- Choose lean cuts of meat.
- Avoid fast foods.
- Bake, broil, or grill your poultry, fish, or meat. Do not fry your food.
- Do not add salt to your food.
- Cut down on saturated fats. Fats are usually found in animal products. They can raise your cholesterol levels.
- Choose whole grain foods. For example, choose whole wheat bread or brown rice) instead of refined or processed foods like white bread or white rice.
- Eat more fiber-rich foods, such as beans, fruits, vegetables.
- Eat less sugar.
- Limit or eliminate soda and other sugary drinks including juice.
- Exercise a little each day. Aim for 30-60 minutes a day of aerobic exercise.
- Commit yourself to more physical activity. Join a health club or plan walks with friends.
Incorporate increased activity into your daily habits.
- Park further away from your destination.
- Use the stairs rather than the elevator.
- Get up to turn the TV channel rather than using the remote control.
- Do small exercises, such as leg lifts or stomach tucks, while sitting or lying in bed.
- Get regular physical check-ups. You and your doctor should monitor your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
- Ask your doctor for advice on a diet and exercise program that is right for you.
Drink alcohol in moderation only.
- One alcoholic drink per day for women
- Two alcoholic drinks per day for men
Chan DC, Watts GF, Ng TW, et al. Effect of weight loss on markers of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein metabolism in the metabolic syndrome. Eur J Clin Invest . 2008;38:743-751.
Cornier MA, Dabelea D, Hernandez TL, et al. The metabolic syndrome. Endocr Rev . 2008;29:777-822.
Deen D. Metabolic Syndrome: time for action. Am Fam Physician . 2004;69:2875-2882.
Ford ES, Giles WH, Dietz WH. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among US adults: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. JAMA . 2002;287:356-359.
Gami AS, Witt BJ, Howard DE, et al. Metabolic syndrome and risk of incident cardiovascular events and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. J Am Coll Cardiol . 2007;49:403-414.
Grundy SM. Metabolic Syndrome: a multiplex cardiovascular risk factor. J Clin Endocrinol Metab . 2007;92:399-404.
Metabolic syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what . Updated January 9, 2013. Accessed February 22, 2013.
NCEP issues major new cholesterol guidelines. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/new/press/01-05-15.htm . Accessed February 22. 2013.
Orchar TJ, Temprosa M, Goldberg R, et al. The effect of diet and exercise or metformin on the metabolic syndrome: The diabetes prevention program randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine . 2005;142:611-619.
Pescatello LS, Blanchard BE, Van Heest JL, et al. The metabolic syndrome and the immediate antihypertensive effects of aerobic exercise: a randomized control design. BMC Cardiovasc Disord . 2008;8:12
Rosenzweig JL, Ferrannini E, Grundy SM, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in patients at metabolic risk: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab . 2008;93:3671-2689
Steinberger J, Daniels SR, Eckel RH, et al. AHA Scientifc Statement: Progress and Challenges in Metabolic Syndrome in Children and Adolescents. Circulation . 2009;119:628-647.
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): Executive Summary. National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3xsum.pdf . Accessed February 22, 2013.
Tjonna Ae, Lee SJ, Rognmo O, et al. Aerobic interval training versus continuous moderate exercise as a treatment for the metabolic syndrome: a pilot study. Circulation . 2008; 118:346-54
1/13/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Salas-Salvadó J, Fernández-Ballart J, Ros E, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts on metabolic syndrome status: one-year results of the PREDIMED randomized trial. Arch Intern Med . 2008;168:2449-2458.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 05/28/2014