Your Weight: The Heart of the Matter

As we’ve previously blogged, being overweight is known to increase your blood pressure – and that can lead to bigger woes, including heart disease, stroke, or worse.

 

One particularly scary stat: People with severe obesity have almost four times the risk of developing heart failure than those with an ideal body weight.

 

According to the renowned Cleveland Clinic, one in three Americans is obese. While I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, I think it’s important you know what the term “obese” refers to – and you determine if you qualify for this dangerous label.

 

The easiest way is to calculate your BMI or body mass index. You can do that here. And once you have your BMI you can compare it to this ranking:

  • Underweight – Below 18.5
  • Normal – 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight – 25.0 to 29.9
  • Obesity – 30.0 and above

*Also note that BMI does not adequately factor in muscle mass, so the more muscle you have, the higher your BMI may read. For more info, check out this article from WebMD.

Now, it’s true that BMI isn’t the only way to determine whether you are obese. A full-length mirror can sure drive home the truth, but some folks note that BMI should be used in combination with knowing the size of your waistline. This is called your waist circumference.

 

According to CardioSmart.org: “In general, having a waist size of more than 40 inches in men or 35 inches in women raises a red flag and can be a concern.

 

“Recent research has found that having a large middle section can have negative health consequences, including a higher chance of developing diabetes or heart disease — and that’s regardless of your BMI. Our waistlines often expand as we age. Excess belly fat can also come from medical conditions such as thyroid problems. Even people who are not overweight or obese can suffer the negative health effects of belly fat, so it’s important to see your doctor regularly and keep your waist in check.”

 

Dropping a few pounds is your first step to better health and a lowered risk of heart disease and a greater chance at a longer life.

 

I’ve shed more than 75 pounds over the past two years yet I still fall into the scary obesity category. I know I’ve lowered my risk of heart disease and other life-threatening ailments. Are you ready to take charge of your health?

 

Losing weight can be as simple as eating better. And that’s what we offer at Meal Plan Map. So, if you are overweight or obese, do yourself a favor and start eating better today.

 

You may want to try our Healthy Heart Plan. The goal is to help lower your “bad” fat and improve your triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol levels while boosting your “good” cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level.

 

Your meals will be offer plenty of lean proteins and contain sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Also on the menu: The healthy fats known to improve blood lipids.

 

Our Healthy Heart Plan automatically populates your meal plan calendar with delicious recipes created by culinary experts and analyzed by registered dietitians. The best part: It’s based on your personal goals and preferences.

 

Try not to be overwhelmed if you and your doctor decide you need to drop significant weight. Even small changes make a big difference.

 

The CardioSmart.org website notes: “… losing just 3% of your body weight can lower blood glucose levels, and losing 5%-10% of your body weight can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you weigh 180 pounds that means dropping just 6 pounds to 18 pounds can make a measurable difference toward reducing your risk of heart disease.”

 

 

John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.

 

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