Overweight and obesity pose major health risks. First, they increase the risk of heart disease. Second, they make you more likely to develop other factors that also increase that risk. For instance, overweight and obesity increase your chance of developing high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol (see following sections), and diabetes—all major risk factors for heart disease.
So it’s important to stay at a healthy weight. There’s no gimmick to achieving this goal. The amount of calories you take in through your diet should not exceed the amount you expend through body metabolism and physical activities. If you eat morecalories than you use up, you’ll gain weight. But, even a small decrease in calories eaten can help keep you from gaining weight.If you are overweight, losing just 10 percent of your current weight helps to lower your risk of heart disease. If you can’t lose extra weight just yet, then try not to gain more.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your weight in check:
- Watch out for portion size. It’s not just what you eat, but how much.
- Choose fewer high-fat foods. These often have more calories than the same amount of other foods.
- But be careful of “lowfat” foods. They aren’t always low in calories. Sometimes, extra sugars are added to lowfat items, such as desserts. They can be just as high in calories as regular versions.
- Be physically active—if you are, you’ve got a good chance of keeping your calorie equation in balance.