:: Health Conditions - Obesity
- Obesity and Diseases
Obesity and the Risk for High Cholesterol and Heart
If you are overweight, you can lower the risk of developing
coronary artery disease by losing weight.
Benefits of weight loss include:
- Reducing LDL cholesterol.
- Increasing HDL cholesterol.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Improving your body's use of blood sugar (glucose) and
helping to prevent or control diabetes.
- Lowering triglycerides.
Even small amounts of weight loss enhance the LDL cholesterol
reduction that results from a low-fat diet. A weight loss
of 5 lb (2.27 kg) to 10 lb (4.54 kg) can double the LDL cholesterol
reduction of a low-fat diet.
Increasing physical activity and reducing calorie intake
are the keys to long-term weight reduction. The goals for
a weight-loss program need to be practical and individualized.
Losing weight is especially important if you have high triglyceride
levels and low HDL levels and are overweight with a large
waist measurement (metabolic syndrome). This means more than
a 40 in. (101.6 cm) waist for men and more than 35 in. (88.9
cm) for women.
- If you are trying to lose weight, it is recommended that
you lose no more than 1 lb (0.45 kg) per week. This can
be done by reducing the daily calorie intake by 250 calories
and increasing exercise to burn 250 calories a day (for
a net reduction of 500 calories per day).
- Very low-calorie diets (500 to 800 calories a day) and
rapid weight-loss programs usually don't work in the long
run and can be harmful.
Cutting calories for weight loss
A low-calorie diet for a person who is overweight or obese
provides 500 to 1,000 calories less per day than the recommendation
for a person with a healthy weight. You should continue a
weight-loss diet for 6 months and then reevaluate your weight-loss
goals with your health professional.
Recommendations for a low-calorie diet include:
- A total calorie intake of 1,000 to 1,200 calories per
day for women and 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for men.
- Reducing fat to no more than 20% to 30% of your total
calorie intake. Fat substitutes such as olestra may be used,
but they have not been shown to lead to weight loss. 1
- Getting more than 55% of your total calorie intake from
complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables,
- Getting 15% of your total calorie intake from protein.
This should come from low-fat meat or fish, or high-protein
foods such as tofu.
- No more than 1 alcoholic drink for women and 2 for men
per day, with meals.
- 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day.
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