How To Lose Weight Healthily
The calories in your food and drink give your body the energy and nutrients it needs. Weight gain is generally caused by eating and drinking more calories than you burn off, as the extra energy is stored as fat. Our modern lifestyles dont help, as they often involve sitting for many hours a day, commuting, and eating cheap, convenient foods which tend to be high in fat and sugar.
Being more active and making healthy swaps to what you eat are the simplest ways to get to or maintain a healthy weight. And theres lots of support available. Try some of the ideas below or visit your doctor or nurse to get started.
Make small changes you can stick to
Make small changes to what you eat and how active you are so that you can keep them going for life. Its more about changing your lifestyle for the long term than going on a diet.
There are lots of fad and extreme diets that cut out meals or specific foods groups. While you may see quick results, its really hard to follow restrictive diets in the long-term. Once you go back to eating normally, the weight will creep back on. Making small changes over time will be easier to stick to and work better in the long run.
Pay attention to what youre eatingIts very easy to take on calories without really thinking about it, but it takes a lot of time and effort to burn off the same amount.
Make simple swaps
To eat more fibre:
To control your portions:
What Blood Pressure Is Considered Too High
A blood pressure between 120 and 129 and less than 80 is considered elevated. This means that you do not have hypertension, but you may develop it in the future unless you adopt lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure under control.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
- men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
- spread your drinking over 3 days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week
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How Do You Know If Youre A Healthy Weight
Your doctor or nurse will be able to talk to you about whether youre a healthy weight or not and give you ideas to get it under control.
Your BMI and your waist circumference are both good measures of whether you are a healthy weight, and you can check these for yourself as well.
Your BMI Your BMI is a measure of overweight and obesity, it tells you if youre a healthy weight for your height.
Use the BMI healthy weight calculator from the NHS to find your BMI, or you can calculate it yourself.
You need to know your height in metres and your weight in kilograms, then divide your weight by your height in metres squared. Like this:
Weight in Kg
Height in M2
So if your height is 1m 70cm, thats 1.7 metres. Times it by itself, so 1.7 x 1.7 is 2.89. Then divide youre weight by this number. If your weight is 60kg, it would look like this:
What your BMI means
- less than 18.5 this is considered underweight and you may need to gain weight
- 5-24.9 you are in the healthy range. By eating healthily and keeping active you should be able to stay in the range
- 25-29.9 this is considered overweight and losing weight will help to lower your blood pressure and your risk of disease
- 30-35 this is considered obese. Losing weight will improve your health.
- over 35 this is considered very obese. Visit your doctor for a health check, as you may need extra help to manage your weight and health.
Will Having Hypertension Make It Harder For Me To Lose Weight
Some medications used to treat hypertension can result in weight gain. Our weight loss specialists will work to design a hypertension regimen that minimizes the use of medications that can lead to weight gain, while achieving good blood pressure control. We will also design a healthy eating and exercise plan that will help control your hypertension, and help you lose weight.
In addition, people with hypertension cannot take certain weight loss medications, like appetite suppressants, because they have a tendency to raise blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already too high, it may be dangerous to take these types of medications.
Our weight loss specialists will work with you to design a diet and exercise regimen that will work for both reducing your weight and managing your high blood pressure. Learn more about our weight loss services.
Request an Appointment
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Excess Weight And High Blood Pressure
Being overweight increases the work load of your heart, which has to pump blood through a larger than normal volume of fatty tissue. Fat cells also release substances that have an adverse effect on the liver, increasing the level of inflammatory chemicals produced and making your arteries more likely to constrict. Hormone changes associated with carrying excess fat also promote fluid retention.
When 9,000 Finnish women aged 47-56 years were followed for five years, the results showed their risk of developing hypertension increased by 5% for each excess kilogram of fat they carried. A weight gain of 5 kg increased the risk of hypertension by 25%, but gains of more than 7kg increased the risk by a massive 65%.
Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
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Try Meditation Or Yoga
Yoga, which commonly involves breathing control, posture, and meditation techniques, can also be effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.
A 2013 review on yoga and blood pressure found an average blood pressure decrease of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic when compared with those who didnt exercise.
Studies of yoga practices that included breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as effective as yoga practices that didnt include all three of these elements .
How Does Losing Weight Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you are overweight, losing weight will lower your blood pressure because your heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump the blood around your body. It lowers your risk of many other , including stroke, diabetes and heart disease, and can make you feel better too, giving you more energy to do the things you want to.
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How Much Exercise Is Required To Reduce High Blood Pressure
According to a study in the American Journal of Hypertension, even moderate increases in physical activity can lower high blood pressure in sedentary people. To lower high blood pressure, you do not have to join a gym or decide to become a marathon runner. Start with a small, attainable goal to take 500 more steps, or to fit in 5 more minutes of physical activity today than yesterday. When you make small, attainable goals you can achieve and build confidence each step of your way towards a healthier you.
Can Exercise Lower High Blood Pressure
Add exercise into your plans today as its a simple way to lower high blood pressure. Experts note, in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, that aerobic exercise can be an effective treatment for blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Aerobic exercise is sometimes called a cardio workout, which involves increasing your heart rate with significant movement, but still being able to maintain a conversation . Adding aerobic exercise into your day can be easy it requires no equipment at all! Make it fun by adding music, or involving a friend.
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Can You Get Off Of High Blood Pressure Meds If You Lose Weight
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, increases the risk of heart attack, kidney disease and stroke. The right medications can help lower blood pressure and prevent long-term complications. Medications are more effective when paired with healthy lifestyle changes, such as following a low-sodium diet and exercising regularly. If you’re overweight, weight loss may allow your health care provider to lower the dosage of your medication or you may be able to stop taking it.
How Can I Know If Changing My Lifestyle Is Helping
One of the best ways to know if what you are doing is working is to see for yourself. Consider buying a home blood pressure monitor. Use it to see whether what you are doing is lowering your blood pressure numbers. Ask your doctor to recommend a monitor.
Even if doing the things mentioned in this article dont decrease your blood pressure, they still will promote your overall health and are worth continuing.
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Is Sodium Really Off Limits
Not everyone is affected by sodium. However, sodium can increase blood pressure in some people. Most Americans who have a healthy blood pressure should limit the sodium in their diet to 2,300 mg per day. African Americans, older adults, and people who have high blood pressure should limit the sodium in their diet to 1,500 mg per day. Your doctor may tell you to limit your sodium even more.
To lower your sodium intake, dont add salt to your food. Check food labels for sodium. Some foods, such as potato chips, obviously have a lot of sodium. But you may not realize how much sodium is in food like bread, canned vegetables, soups, and cheese. Also be aware that some medicines contain sodium.
How Much Exercise Is Best To Lower Cholesterol
Research to date hasnt concluded on a finite number of ideal minutes of exercise however, evidence points to including both aerobic exercise and resistance training to benefit cardiovascular health. If you need another little boost to get some pep in your step, know that research shows exercise lowers cholesterol, high blood pressure, and helps you lose weight.
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How Does Manna Blood Sugar Support Work
The Manna Blood Sugar Support supplement is an organic and natural way to help balance blood sugar levels. It does this by slow-releasing the sugar from the food we eat into our bloodstream. This means that it helps prevent the blood sugar levels from soaring through the roof after you have eaten something, and then also obviously helps avoid the subsequent sugar crash.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, or just trying to look after yourself and your own health a bit more balancing blood sugar levels is vital. So why wait?
Reduce Sodium In Your Diet
Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 points.
The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg each day or less. However, a lower sodium intake of 1,500 mg each day or less is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity, including African-Americans, anyone age 51 or older, anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:
- Read food labels: If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
- Eat fewer processed foods: Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
- Dont add salt: Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Instead, use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food.
- Ease into it: If you dont feel you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.
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How To Lose Weight With High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure and body weight are closely linked, and the tendency is that when body weight increases, so does blood pressure.
This being said, it helps lower blood pressure if we lose weight. It is also important to maintain a good weight before we develop signs of high blood pressure. One of the biggest factors that contribute to high blood pressure and weight gain is high blood sugar levels. The blood sugar and blood pressure levels in the bodywork in tandem when the one goes up, so does the other. So by getting blood sugar levels under control, you can also get a grip on blood pressure. And by doing so, you can also lose weight that you might be struggling to shake off. Here are 5 easy steps for balancing blood sugar levels, getting blood pressure under control, and losing weightStep 1:ExerciseExercise in any form can help your weight loss efforts whether it is walking, running, swimming, cycling, or even working in your garden. It helps to regulate the blood sugar and blood pressure levels in the body. It does this by helping to burn the sugar from the food we eat and use it as energy rather than storing it as fat. Ideally, you want to exercise at least 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week.
Step 3: Kick the bad habitsSmoking tobacco products and drinking alcoholic beverages can harm your blood pressure levels. These habits can impact your body in such a way that it makes weight loss more difficult, and increases your blood pressure.
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Smoking Plus High Cholesterol Ups Heart Attack Risk
The DASH diet works by limiting not only salt but also saturated fat both of which can be detrimental to heart health, says Kimberley Rose-Francis, RDN, CDE, a nutritionist based in Sebring, Florida. Sodium-rich salt can drive up blood pressure, which puts unnecessary strain on the heart muscle, Rose-Francis says. Saturated fat, on the other hand, can increase cholesterol levels. Cholesterol has the potential of blocking or decreasing the flow of blood to the heart, Rose-Francis says, adding that restricted blood flow could lead to a heart attack.
The DASH diet also works by increasing foods that provide fiber, lean protein, and other nutrients thought to help lower blood pressure.
Also important to note is people who want to lower their blood pressure should combine the diet with other healthy lifestyle approaches to managing hypertension, such as getting more exercise, losing weight, and cutting back on alcohol consumption. Quitting smoking is also crucial for lowering blood pressure and maintaining good heart health.
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High Blood Pressure: Why Me
- By Naomi D. L. Fisher, MD, Contributor
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
I go to the gym, and I never add salt. So why do I have high blood pressure? Despite its astonishing prevalence of one in three Americans, many people struggle with the diagnosis of high blood pressure, or hypertension. Its worth exploring why, because being an active participant in your care is crucial for optimal blood pressure control.
Certain features make any diagnosis easier to accept:
- First, people are more likely to accept a diagnosis if they have symptoms. A person with cough and fever will believe a diagnosis of pneumonia. But someone who feels fine would not.
- Next, people more readily accept a diagnosis if it is not serious. Most people wont question the diagnosis of athletes foot, because creams can cure it. Diagnoses that carry worse prognoses are usually harder to receive.
- Finally, people accept a diagnosis better when they understand its cause. Some diseases have clear causes: Down syndrome and older maternal age, HIV infection and contaminated needles. A smoker who learns he has lung cancer may not be shocked. But non-smokers who receive this diagnosis usually ask, Why me?
Eat A Dash Diet: 11 Points
A DASH-style diet does it all: protects your heart, piles on the fruits and veggies, and cuts unhealthy carbs. Its not only low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, its also rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.
for our chart of DASH serving sizes and other tips.
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Diuretics And Weight Loss
“Most blood-pressure-lowering medications do not result in changes in body weight,” says Gregg Fonarow, MD, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center i Los Angeles.
Diuretics are an exception. This blood pressure medication does cause weight loss. Also called “water pills,” diuretics are often the first drug of choice when a person is newly diagnosed with high blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic explains that diuretics work by getting the kidneys to rid the body of salt and water. In turn, that causes blood pressure to dip by reducing the amount of fluids flowing through the veins and arteries.
“Diuretics can result in weight loss often in the range of 1 to 2 kilograms,” Dr. Fonarow says. That’s equal to roughly 2 to 4.5 pounds.
However, the downside is that diuretics or diuretics on their own don’t always do the trick when it comes to blood pressure control, the Mayo Clinic says. That may prompt your doctor to add another medication into the mix or withdraw diuretic treatment altogether. In the case of stopping the use of diuretics, the European Society of Cardiology cautions that some patients may experience sudden weight gain due to a resulting increase in fluid retention.