You heard it a million times before ~ lose weight to stay healthy. Of course excess weight will take it's toll on your body in many ways such as your joints, your ability to move freely, as well as, increasing your chances of diabetes. The one organ that will suffer the most however, is your heart.
Here you'll find a few facts about weight and your heart.
Obesity is the medical term synonymous with overweight. You can also be "morbidly" obese if your BMI (body mass index) number is off the charts. If you have ever watched The Biggest Loser show, you will see people who are morbidly obese. Some people think that being overweight is about looking or not looking good. Overweight is so much more than that! Being overweight is about your health and the medical issues related to obesity.
A normal BMI is between 20 and 25. You are considered overweight if you have a BMI between 25.1 and 30. Obesity comes if you are over 30.1. What do these numbers mean?
If you are carrying too much weight for your height and age, you are at risk for many other diseases. First of all, your heart has to pump harder to get blood through your circulatory system when you have excess body fat. Simply moving around or walking up a flight of stairs takes more effort and makes your heart work harder.
Obesity is an epidemic in this country not only amongst adults but also children. Children who are obese are at risk for heart disease risk factors early on in life.
One risk factor that can be caused by obesity is high blood pressure. Your blood pressure gets higher because of all the fat you are carrying on your body. Add to that unhealthy eating and you increase your cholesterol stores. If it’s good cholesterol that’s one thing, but it is usually bad cholesterol that is rising.
Increases in blood sugar levels in the body can lead to diabetes, another risk factor for heart disease. All of this contributes to weakened and stressed blood vessels that are carrying your blood.
When your level of LDL cholesterol is raised, there is a greater risk of plaque formation in the vessels. Combine that with high blood pressure and you can have a traveling blood clot or plaque in your system. These roaming troublemakers can get lodged in a smaller vessel stopping blood flow. This can cause pain in limbs and also a heart attack in a coronary vessel.
Turning It All Around
Losing weight is not easy, but it is a risk factor that causes others to come into play. On the flip side, reducing your weight can reverse those other risk factors as well.
Maintaining a healthy weight restores your body to balance. Blood sugar is no longer out of whack, which can cause insulin levels to return to normal. Your heart rate and pressure will lower as your body becomes better conditioned. With higher levels of HDL from eating better food sources, bad cholesterol doesn’t have a chance to gum up artery walls.
You didn’t gain it overnight so you won’t lose it that fast either, but you will improve your health one day at a time if you start now. Eat a little bit less at dinner. Use a smaller plate for your meals so the food doesn't look lost on your plate and make you feel slighted. Don't feel like you can't have anything 'tasty' anymore. There are quite a few great recipes, found on the internet or local library and bookstore, with recipes for tantalizing foods that will have you asking yourself, am I allowed to eat this? Eat more fruits and vegetables and less starches and processed foods. Combine your fruits and vegetables. Experiments and take risks when you're cooking. Try to spice your dishes with new tastes. Lower your weight and save your heart.