February 10, 2010

Do You Need To Lose Weight? Know Your BMI!

Posted in Heart disease tips tagged , , , , , , , at 1:07 am by keepyourhearthealthy

In my book What To Do When You Have Heart Disease, I do not specify that everyone with heart disease needs to lose weight.  Why would I miss such an important detail when we are always hearing about how overweight the American population is?  Certainly a large number of heart disease patients are overweight and even obese!  BUT, not everyone with heart disease is your typical overweight patient.  My father has had 2 heart attacks and you can barely pinch an inch of fat on him.  I know it seems like a contradiction, but skinny people can also have heart disease!  It would be totally inappropriate to tell someone who is already thin that they need to lose weight because of heart disease.  Of course, everyone with heart disease needs to eat healthy, but there can be a difference between eating healthy and eating to lose weight.  Someone who is already thin does not need to eat less or cut back on their calories like someone who is overweight.  A thin person just needs to change the types of foods they eat to avoid saturated fats.

When SHOULD a person go on a restrictive diet for the purpose of losing weight?  First, you need to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) at the following site: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/  If your BMI is greater than 25, then you are considered overweight and should discuss a weight loss diet with your cardiologist.  If your BMI is 30 or more, then you are considered obese and should go on a weight loss diet as soon as possible.  Being obese puts a strain on your entire body, from your heart to your joints!

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