Your weight can make a difference in your risk of coronary heart disease. Being obese is a risk factor, but weight is also linked to other conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which can also increase your risk of CHD.
When it comes to getting the weight off, everyone wants to lose weight quickly, and there are many diets out there promising instant results. But while they might work in the short term, more often than not they are difficult to stick to and so the weight quickly comes back on.
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When choosing a diet lookout for some of these common diet myths and fads to help you spot the types of crash diets that are best avoided.
How can I lose weight for good?
We asked Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian, at the British Heart Foundation, for her top tips for losing weight in a healthy way:
‘While any weight loss will require a change to eating habits, it shouldn’t mean missing out on nutrients or cutting out whole food groups. Aim for regular meals and a balanced diet but also take care of your portion sizes. You might be eating a healthy balance of foods, just too much of it.
Changes to your food aren’t the only thing to consider either. The most effective weight loss approaches combine changes to diet with increased physical activity and also address some of your behaviors around food to help you understand your own eating pattern and responses to food at different times or in certain situations.
Diets that involve removing – or severely limiting – specific foods or food groups that are nutritionally important are not going to be a long-term solution. The more extreme high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets limit fruit, vegetables, and fiber, particularly in the early stages, while faddy diets based on single foods (cabbage soup, anyone?) involve eating a lot of one type of food and not much of others.
Some diets also drastically limit calorie intake so you get results fast. However, a very low-calorie intake can leave you tired and hungry, so you give up, regaining the weight as quickly as it came off.
National guidelines recommend that, for sustainable weight loss, a reduction in calorie intake of about 600 a day is needed. This could lead to a weekly weight loss of around 0.5kg (1lb). While it may not sound a great deal next to the promises of many quick-fix diets, it allows you to incorporate healthy eating habits into your lifestyle permanently, so you’re more likely to keep it off for good.’ BBC