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Weight Management

 

by the Go Red For Women Editors

Weight loss can be an important part of your mission to get heart-healthy. Beyond your heart health, let’s first dig deeper to understand why you should maintain a healthy weight.

Benefits of weight loss, maintaining a healthy weight

The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight go far beyond improved energy and smaller clothing sizes. By losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, you are also likely to enjoy these quality-of-life factors too.

  • Fewer joint and muscle pains
  • Greater ability to join in desired activities
  • Better regulation of bodily fluids and blood pressure
  • Reduced burden on your heart and circulatory system
  • Better sleep patterns
  • More effective metabolism of sugars and carbohydrates
  • Reduced risk for heart disease and certain cancers

The negative impacts of carrying excess weight can be significant, particularly when it comes to your heart health.

Negative impacts of excess weight

Excess weight increases the heart’s work. It also raises blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It can make diabetes more likely to develop, too. Losing as few as 10 pounds can lower your heart disease risk.

Do you know if you’re at a healthy weight or need to lose weight? Here’s one quick way to help find out.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

This is a numerical value of your weight in relation to your height. BMIs are good indicators of healthy or unhealthy weights for adult women, regardless of body frame size. Calculate your BMI using this BMI calculator to help determine whether you’re at a healthy or unhealthy weight.

A BMI of less than 25 kg/m² indicates a healthy weight. A BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m² is considered underweight. A BMI between 25 kg/m² and 29.9 kg/m² is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 kg/m² or higher indicates obesity.

If you are overweight, try the following tips to help you lose weight.

Weight management

Now that you know your BMI, you have a better idea of whether you need to lose, gain or maintain your weight. Now you need to know how many calories you should eat each day for your individual level of activity to find ways to stay within your limits. Find out your personal daily calorie intake and fat needs.

To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. One pound equals 3,500 calories.  To successfully and healthfully lose weight—and keep it off—most people need to subtract about 500 calories per day from their diet to lose about 1 pound per week.

Learn more ways to live healthy on Go Red For Women.