HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE Archives

Are You Having Trouble Losing Weight?

Few things can be more annoying than when a person makes earnest efforts to lose weight and the weight just don’t seem to shift an inch! The tendency is often to quit and take life as one sees it. But that may not necessarily be the wisest thing to do.

At least you embarked on the weight-loss program for well-thought out reasons. Maybe it was to get in shape, to feel better, or maybe it was even for a more critical goal like reversing or reducing a health risk. Whatever your reason, your desire to lose weight is both commendable and achievable.

So why are your efforts not yielding desired results? Could it be that you’re not dutifully following the exercise and diet regimen? Maybe not. Very likely, you’ve actually been exercising faithfully and sticking to a prescribed diet.

The reasons for the poor results may lie somewhere in-between. There are a number of reasons why your weight-loss strategy may not be yielding expected results. Consider the following recent revelations.

The Role Of Biology: Dr. David Ludwig, an Obesity researcher at Harvard university school of medicine states that a person’s genetic make-up and insulin can play a role in stubborn weight issues. In his study involving 73 obese patients, Ludwig found that people who secreted insulin at slow rates appear to lose weight equally well when placed on either a low-fat or a low-glycemic diet.

But those who secreted insulin at a much higher rate clearly lost five times more weight on a low-glycemic diet. In low-glycemic diets, carbohydrate diets like white flour, white potatoes and white rice are replaced with alternatives like whole grain meals.

Could it be that unknown to you, slow insulin secretion is playing a part in your weight loss frustration? Well, if you suspect you have an insulin problem, it is best to visit your doctor for clear diagnosis.

Thyroid-Related Problems: What if a weight-loss diet program that previously worked well no longer delivers the results? Or what if you discovered that you’ve gained weight unexpectedly? Your thyroid levels may be the culprit. According to a report by the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service, a thyroid disorder known as hypothyroidism can cause puzzling weight gains.

Some 5% of the US population is believed to be suffering from this condition. Hypothyroidism occurs when a person’s thyroid gland produces far too little hormone. Besides causing weight gains, this can also lead to frequent fatigue, sensitivity to cold as well as depression.

Again, your doctor is in the best place to have your thyroid checked if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, especially if a diet plan that previously worked for you appears to have become ineffective.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: This one particularly pertains to women. If you’re a woman and you’re having trouble losing weight, it could be that you’re suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). It affects about 1 out of every 10 women in the United States, mostly women of reproductive age.

In addition to weight gain, other symptoms of this condition include irregular menstruation, excess facial hair as well as acne. According to GirlsHealth.com, PCOS is caused by excess insulin which often leads to hormonal imbalance. It can be treated with drugs which regulate these hormones. Women suffering from PCOS are advised to eat multiple small meals per day which should be high-fiber carbohydrates meals and those high in protein.

But before exploring these other causes it’s good to first look inward. Yes, it’s possible that your failure to lose weight is due to the fact that you’re not exercising vigorously enough or frequently enough in addition to eating the right meals consistently. It is only after you have honestly eliminated these other possible causes that you should look into the other culprits listed above.

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Eating Habits that Help Weight Loss

There is irresistible evidence that overweight individuals and people who don’t pay enough attention to their health tend to have more doctor visits. Overweight people are at a high risk of many health related disorders—diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and many more.

Most, overweight people also take longer to recover from illness and, naturally, they pay more medical bills. It is also common knowledge that overweight and obese people cannot get inexpensive life insurance coverage.

These are just some of the reasons why nearly everyone wants to lose weight fast in order to stay healthy and shapely. In order to avoid the disorders associated with overweight and obesity, it is important to keep an eye on your eating habits and your lifestyle.

Skipping meals or starving yourself to lose weight fast is unhealthy, and may even result in new health problems. For one thing, excess hunger which often results from prolonged abstinence from food could make you binge or overeat, resulting in explosive weight gains.

There are simple yet effective changes you can make in your eating habits which will impact positively on your weight loss efforts and your general sense of well-being. It’s all about adopting a sensible nutrition and wellness goal.

You could start with regularly drinking 6-8 glasses of water everyday. This will keep you well hydrated and will ensure that your liver and kidneys have enough fluid to facilitate proper filtration of impurities.

Secondly, gradually reduce the size of meals you eat at a sitting, that is, eat smaller portions even if it means several meals each day. And if you still feel hungry in-between, then fill up on fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables. These will give your body that feeling of fullness it craves but with nearly zero calorie load.

Also, reduce the use of red meat in your food. Red meat is particularly high in calories and other factors responsible for weight gain. In place of red meat, go for poultry or fish both in your home meals and in your choice of burgers or sandwiches.

Poultry, fish, and pretty much all other classes of white meat are low in cholesterol and trans fat, and they are healthier meat options for anyone wanting to lose weight.

You also need to be wary of fried foods. Yes, they are often very tempting, but remember that they are usually laced with calories that would ruin all your weight loss efforts. Junk foods and chips are even worse. Maintain a strict no-no to them if you hope to succeed in your weight loss efforts.

Replace such snacks with dry nuts, fruits, vegetable salads and the like. They give you a sense of fullness while at the same time supplying your body with extra fiber, minerals and vitamins.
You also need to cut down on those carbonated and fizzy drinks.

Sodas and all sweetened drinks are loaded with calories than most people realize. And they go straight to the waist. Same goes for alcoholic beverages. Might these be some of the reasons your weight loss program doesn’t seem to be working? Maybe. For a change, drink plenty of water each day. Drinking enough water everyday will do the following for you: it will reduce your craving for sugary drinks and alcohol, helps clear the body of toxins, and best of all, it will help you lose weight healthily.

These are sensible, easy-to-follow changes you can make in your eating habits which will help you lose weight without harming your health.

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You Too Can Lose Weight! Do Not Give Up!

If you’re experiencing difficulty losing weight, take heart. Your case is not hopeless. There may just be a few things you’re not doing right. You may need to adjust your weight loss goals and tactics. You’ll also need to put a little pressure on yourself to reach your goals and stick to your program.

One way to do this is to tell yourself (and also close friends) how much weight you want to lose by a particular date. The thing is that simply telling yourself you desire to lose weight without setting a target date and deciding how many pounds you need to lose is usually not enough.

Something else that may be standing in your way could be your choice of weight loss program. There are varieties to choose from, depending, of course, on your state of health and how much weight you need to lose, and how soon you want it. But generally, it’s been proven that people find it easier to stick to a weight loss plan (and thus record greater success at losing weight) if the plan is in line with what they enjoy doing.

So what type of sports or physical activities do you generally enjoy—is it swimming, jogging, brisk walking, weight-lifting, or ball games? Ensure you choose your weight loss activity in line with this preference as this will increase the probability that you’ll sustain the interest in the long run. Remember that in the final analysis, it is consistency that guarantees the best results from any weight loss program.

Again, watch out for hidden calories. For example, are you aware that frying your food increases their fat content than boiling them? Do you also know than cold drinks are better for your metabolism than those that are lukewarm? In the case of cold drinks, your body is forced to heat them up before they can be digested, and the process increases your metabolic rate.

To further increase your chances, mind how you eat, besides what you eat. By all means, do not skip breakfast. It is your most important meal of the day. Meal eaten in the morning gives your body necessary energy to remain active throughout the day, which aids metabolism and weight loss.

Much the same thing applies to lunch. For dinner, skip it if you wish. But if you must eat at night, avoid heavy meals such as you’d normally eat during the day. Reason is that you’re unlikely to engage in much activity during the night, and so rather than use the food as energy, your body stores them as fat and deposits them at the wrong places—waist, stomach, upper arm, etc.

In addition, you need to gradually increase the amount of physical exercise you put in. Although 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week is the mean recommendation, you may need to take it a notch higher if that’s not bringing you desired results.

After checking your fitness level with your physician, you may decide to go beyond twenty minutes, though I’d recommend increasing the frequency to, say, five or more times per week. At the same time you should also increase the intensity of the exercise. But it must all be gradual. If you sincerely implement the steps above, you will discover that you too can lose weight.

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Your Weight Increases Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major global health issue. In the United States alone, over 50 million persons are thought to be affected by the scourge. It often starts gradually and if not treated in good time, high BP can go on to become a life-altering health condition—ultimately leading to death.

Your blood pressure is categorized as high if the systolic pressure reading (the lower indicator) is 140 or above, or if the diastolic pressure reading (the upper indicator) is 90 or higher.

The higher the reading goes above these two thresholds, the more severe the problem is. Several factors have been implicated in the onset of high BP, ranging from diets, lifestyle, and weight to genetic predispositions.

We’ll limit our discussion in this article to the role that weight plays in high blood pressure. There is a general consensus among physicians and dieticians that being overweight or being obese greatly increases a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure.

These two conditions also worsen it in the case of those who already have it. Of course, this is the same thing as saying that controlling your weight or working to reduce same is one of the surest weapons against HBP.

But who is an overweight person, and what makes a person obese? These two conditions are determined by calculating a person’s Body Mass Index, or BMI. A person is termed overweight if their BMI is greater than 25. A person having a BMI of 30 and over is categorized as obese.

Both the obese and the overweight person need to do something about their BMI if they hope to avoid a host of health challenges that come with extra weight.

Generally, the more weight a person loses, the lower their blood pressure. Additionally, losing extra weight has also been found to increase the effectiveness of whatever other methods a person employs to combat high BP. Besides constantly watching your overall weight, you should pay particular attention to your waistline.

No doubt your physician is in the best position to prescribe what should be your ideal waistline after taking your BMI and other health statistics into consideration. But as a general rule of the thumb, a Caucasian male should target a waistline below 40 inches.

Anything higher than that is known to predispose a person to high blood pressure. By the same token, a Caucasian female should target a waistline of 35 and below.

We admit that high BP can and are sometimes controlled with synthetic drugs. However, anti-hypertensive medications are known to be discriminatory—they don’t work well for everyone. And even if you don’t mind the costs (which is often high), these drugs are also known to produce adverse side-effects that impair quality of life and thus reduce adherence to the prescriptions.

Certain health abnormalities associated with high BP, such as insulin resistance and hyperlipidaemia, may persist or may even be worsened by certain anti-hypertensive medications. Thus, there is now a great deal of interest in the application of behavioral interventions in the prevention and management of high blood pressure.

Even in the case of persons suffering from acute cases of high BP, experts still suggest that once the readings have been reduced to manageable levels, it’s often best to withdraw medications and introduce series of lifestyle changes, notably weight loss programs and dietary changes.

The correlation between extra weight and high blood pressure is real. Watching your weight is therefore one of the best steps you could take towards keeping your BP pressure reading at comfortable levels.

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Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure are typically given prescription drugs to try reducing the numbers. Sometimes the medications work—but only temporarily. The problem soon resurfaces with greater intensity. Then more drugs? There has to be a better way.

Do you presently suffer from high blood pressure or care for someone who does? What if I show you ways of managing and even preventing high blood pressure? What if the steps I show you require no orthodox medicines?

Best of all, what if it is proven to produce no side effects except a general feeling of well being and increased vitality? Surely it would be worth your while to give it serious thoughts.

First, your blood pressure is categorized as high if the systolic pressure reading is 140 or above, or if the diastolic pressure reading is 90 or higher. The higher the reading is above these thresholds, the more acute the problem is. And yes, it is a problem.

But do you really need drugs to control it, especially in the long run? Not really. The truth is that apart from instances where the reading is dangerously high, high blood pressure issues are better handled without prescription drugs.

Even in those acute cases, experts now suggest that once the numbers are brought down to manageable levels, it’s often best to withdraw the drugs and introduce series of lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure levels and ensure they stay within healthy limits. Here are 5 of such lifestyle changes that work well and without synthetic drugs.

Relax: always create time to relax each day. A constant state of anxiety is bad for your heart and blood pressure. Among other things, restlessness forces your body to release stress hormones such as cortisol which is known to play a big part in raising blood pressure levels. So take a nap, spend time with children or pets or friends—anything that can have a calming effect on you is good for the heart.

Get Active! This may simply mean taking a brisk walk each day. The overall health benefit of exercise has never been in doubt. It is a must for physical, mental, and cardiovascular health. Walking, especially brisk walking helps stimulate your cardiovascular system, which helps lower blood pressure in ways medicines cannot achieve.

The proof is that in societies where people generally walk a lot, such as in northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, there are fewer cases of heart diseases and high blood pressure.

Lose Those Extra Pounds: there is a correlation between extra weight and high blood pressure. Generally, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Additionally, losing extra weight makes it easier for whatever other methods you’re using to fight high blood pressure to work better.

Besides watching your weight generally, you must pay particular attention to your waistline. Although your physician is in the best position to advice you on what should be your ideal waistline, but generally for most Caucasian males, a waistline above 40 inches predisposes one to high blood pressure. For women, the benchmark is 35 inches.

Keep a Healthy Diet: due to acquired tastes, eating habits are often hard to change. But what if your food is killing you? You’d surely want to do something about it. From now on, stick to foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. That also means you should form the good habit of reading labels when shopping for snacks.

Cut the Sodium in Your Diet: look, even a small reduction in the amount of salt in your meals can greatly reduce your blood pressure. Reducing the salt in your diet would mean choosing low-sodium alternatives of the foods and drinks you normally consume.

Generally this also means eating fewer processed foods like potato chips and the like which are typically high in sodium. Additionally, resist the urge to add extra salt to your cooked meals—find other ways to improve the flavor of your meals rather than salt.

This will take getting used to, of course. Remember that tastes are acquired. As you gradually reduce the level of salt in your diet, at first your food may not taste as you’d want it. But your taste buds will eventually adjust to it.

If you eat a healthy diet, find time to relax, skip meals rich in saturated fats, lead an active life and reduce salt intake, you’ll soon see your blood pressure heading south!

REMEMBER YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

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