If you have excess weight, you are not alone. 73% of adults in the United States have overweight or obesity.
The impact of your weight on your blood pressure is complex. Diet, exercise, sodium in your diet, and other factors can impact both your weight and blood pressure.
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help you reach your blood pressure goals. Read on to learn more.
Weight and blood pressure are related but we don’t know exactly how. Studies show that as your weight increases so does your blood pressure. If you are not at your goal weight, even small weight losses can decrease your blood pressure. Weight loss between 5 to 9 pounds can decrease your systolic blood pressure between 3 to 8 mmHg. Weight loss also has a positive impact on your overall health. It reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and certain cancers.
Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are two ways to estimate your weight status. BMI is based on your height and weight. Waist circumference, measuring your waist, can help estimate if you have too much body fat. This can put you at risk for conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
The team at Marley Medical can help you with these calculations. If you’d like to do this on your own, check out this CDC site for a calculator and guides. There are a few instances where BMI isn’t the best way to assess your weight. If the number you calculate doesn’t make sense, check with your provider for more information.
After you know your current weight status, if you do need to lose weight, it’s important to do this slowly (1 to 2 pounds a week). It’s a journey to live a healthier lifestyle.
While losing weight isn’t easy, your team at Marley Medical can support you with health coaching and medical management. Before you start make sure to set realistic goals for yourself. Reflect on why you want to lose weight. Set some goals around staying active and eating healthy. Some standards for staying active include:
Eating healthy has many benefits. But if you’ve developed some poor habits over your lifetime it can be a difficult step to take.
Tracking your food for a few days (and longer) can be very helpful. You can use a pen and paper, or apps like MyFitnessPal or Lose It. Some people find it helpful to write down how they were feeling when they ate (i.e. tired, stressed, hungry). As you track your eating consider the following:
Losing weight is one of the best ways to treat high blood pressure. To get started, set reasonable goals that include diet and exercise. Be sure to start slowly and remember everything in moderation. Celebrate ‘small’ wins. Your Marley Medical team can work with you to help you achieve and maintain your weight loss goals.