If you are carrying excess weight it tends to increase your risk of having high LDL cholesterol levels.
However, the good news is that losing weight can improve your cholesterol levels. This includes lowering your LDL and triglyceride levels, and increasing your HDL cholesterol levels.
If you're unsure whether you need to lose weight, you can use the BMI calculation as a helpful guideline. To check your individual BMI score try using the Health Central BMI calculator.
Another very good indication of health is to measure your waist circumference.
A waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women, or 40 inches or more for men indicates an increased risk of obesity-related conditions, such as heart disease.
Aim to lose weight gradually
If you need to lose a few pounds, try to do so gradually. 1 to 2 pounds per week is a reasonable and safe rate of weight loss.
Remember, simply losing as little as 5 percent of your current weight will be beneficial to your health, lowering your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
To lose 1 pound a week it is generally accepted that you need to eat 500 fewer calories per day than you are using up (increased exercise on top of this will help you to lose up to 2 pounds per week).
- For women an eating plan containing 1,000-1,200 calories per day will help you lose weight safely
- For men an eating plan containing 1,200-1,600 calories per day will help you lose weight safely
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes for losing weight.
Rather, you need to change your lifestyle for good, by following a healthy diet, reducing your calorie intake, and becoming more physically active every day.
Remember, your goal is not merely to lose extra weight; it is to keep it off long-term.
Here are 10 tips to help you lose weight and keep it off:
- Reduce your saturated fat and cholesterol intake
- Reduce your total calorie intake
- Eat more vegetables and fruits - they are lower in calories and filling
- Increase your fiber intake, including soluble and insoluble fiber
- Snack on fresh fruit, raw vegetables, homemade soup, and high-fiber cereals
- Drink at least eight glasses of water each day
- Eat slowly - allow your brain time to realize it's full
- Eat at regular times and don't skip meals - this can help reduce overeating
- Make time for exercise most days of the week
- Add more energy to your daily activities
Published On: March 27, 2009