How your weight affects your heart health!

heart health

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and if you are overweight or obese, you are putting yourself at a high risk for a heart attack.  As February is heart health month, I want to give you tips and tools to protect your heart and what better place to start than to address weight loss or weight management!

Facts About Weight and Heart Disease

  1. Central Obesity (fat around the midsection) puts you at the greatest risk for heart disease.  People who have a normal BMI, but have excess belly fat are at the greatest risk!
  2. A waist circumference 40 or great for males and 35 or great for females will put you at an increased risk for heart disease
  3. Waist to height ratio is a much better predictor for heart disease risk than waist to hip.  Your waist should never be more than half of your height
  4. Just loosing 10 pounds can reduce your risk a great deal!

slim body - losing weight series

Steps to Improving Your Weight or Fat Distribution

There are some simple steps to get started with to start changing your body and reducing your risk for heart disease.  If you already have these things in place, GREAT!  If you don’t, you can start today!


To start with I want you to commit to removing two ingredients from your house and your grocery car.  Stop consuming foods with corn syrup or corn sugar and hydrogenated oils.  These two ingredients are like poisons to your metabolism and heart health.  They get stored as fat very quickly and create a lot of inflammation in your blood vessels leading to problems with your heart.

In order to do this effectively you need to read your ingredients.  If you are not an ingredient reader, start now.  How can you be aware of what is going into your body without reading ingredients?  Now, ideally you eat a diet that contains very little packaged foods.  The best foods are one ingredient foods – broccoli, chicken, avocados, etc.

So, if you have not read ingredients take some time to go through your refrigerator and cupboards and see if any of the packages have any form or corn syrup or sugar in ingredient list or any type of hydrogenated oil.  I love hearing from people who have seen dramatic improvements in their health and weight just by removing these two ingredients!

Increase… vegetables in grocery bag

On a positive note, there is one type of food I want you to increase – PLANTS!  Vegetables and fruits give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to nutrients.  They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are going to be beneficial to losing belly fat and protecting your heart.

Sometimes people get really sick of vegetables, have you ever tried roasting your vegetables?  It is a simple way to bring out great flavor in your vegetables.  A basic recipe for roasting your vegetables is as follows:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut up a variety of your favorite vegetables.  Toss your vegetables with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat and season with sea salt and pepper.  Roast for 10 minutes and stir.  Roast for another 5-10 minutes, or until desired doneness.  To get creative you can add your favorite seasonings or fresh herbs.

The current recommendation for servings of vegetables and fruits is 9-13 servings per day.  The recommendation has increased, because our plants just do not contain the same level of nutrients as they used to.  This may seem like a lot, but I encourage people to aim to get vegetables at meals and fruit at snacks to fit it all in.

Getting a variety of vegetables is very important.  Studies have shown that having variety in your plant servings is even more beneficial than serving size.  A good way to be sure you get good variety is to eat every color everyday.

Here are some suggestions:

Red – tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers

Green – leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, Brussels sprouts

Yellow – yellow peppers, lemons, summer squash

Orange – butternut squash, oranges, orange peppers

Blue/Purple – eggplant, blueberries, blackberries

Your health is a gift and every positive step you take in your lifestyle of eating is going to start turning your health in a better direction.  Take this month to really focus on making lifestyle changes that are going to improve your heart health.

I love to hear success stories and new ideas!  Share what you are doing and help others out in the process!


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