Why Losing Weight Is Good for Your Heart

losing weight is good for your heart

Did you know that 29% of all deaths in Canada are from heart disease? [i]

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation being overweight and obese are associated with numerous cardiac complications such as heart disease and strokes because of their impact on the cardiovascular system. With February being the month for heart and stroke awareness, we’ve outlined some of the important benefits of keeping your ticker and your waistline in tip-top shape. Read on to learn more!

Are You at Risk of Heart Disease?

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute[ii], you can stay out of the danger zone for developing heart disease by losing about five to ten percent of your current weight, over the course of six months.

Your heart is a muscle that has a very important job to do: pumping blood throughout your arteries and veins. Being overweight puts a strain on your heart and makes it hard for you to stay active, in addition to increasing your risk of heart disease. Heart disease happens when fatty materials, also known as plaque, build up in your arteries, making it narrower for the blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms in a narrow artery and blocks the supply of blood to your heart, it can cause a heart attack.

Do I Need to Lose Weight?

It’s important to know the risks of heart disease, and whether you need to lose weight.

There are a couple of ways to determine whether you need to lose weight, one way is by knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI), which calculates your weight to height ratio. You can also apply the old-fashioned method, by using a tape measure to see if you are carrying excess body fat, especially around your middle which can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes.

According to Dr. Philip Schauer, M.D., Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, “obese patients with a BMI above 35 are at a higher risk of developing stiff or clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – all risk factors for heart failure”.

What Can I Do to Lose Weight?

The best way to look after your heart and your waistline is by living a healthy lifestyle. When you’re ready to commit to losing weight and improving your quality of life, the SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre has many weight loss solutions that could help you.

Let’s take a look at those next!

Mini Gastric Bypass

The mini gastric bypass reduces the size of your stomach, restricting the amount you can eat. Next, it reduces the absorption of the food you do eat, by bypassing a portion of your intestines. This dual-stage approach has been shown to be highly effective when combined with changes in eating and lifestyle habits.

Gastric Sleeve

The gastric sleeve reduces the size of your stomach to about the size of a banana. Not only will you eat less, but you will also feel full sooner. The food you eat passes through the digestive tract in the usual manner, allowing it to be fully absorbed into the body. The digestion and absorption of food and nutrients aren’t changed with this solution. Changes to eating and lifestyle habits with a gastric sleeve also help support your progress.

The LAP-BAND® System

The LAP-BAND® is a gastric band that is placed around the upper stomach, creating a small pouch. As it fills, signals are sent to the brain, which responds by thinking the entire stomach is full. Food moves into the lower, larger part of the stomach at a controlled rate with digestion and absorption unchanged. Again, as with all procedures, changes to eating habits and lifestyle help support progress on your post-procedure weigh loss journey.

If you’d like to learn more about how a bariatric procedure might help you improve your heart health, get in touch with one of our program advisors today.

*Results may vary between individuals and depending on the type of surgery received. References can be provided upon request.

[i]  “February is Heart & Stroke Awareness Month” | SmartShape [Online]. Accessible: https://start.smartshape.ca/heart-stroke/a.html Retrieved: 2018-02-05

“Heart and Stroke Foundation” | http://www.heartandstroke.ca/ [Online]. Accessible:

[ii] “Facts About Healthy Weight | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute” [Online]. Accessible: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/healthy_wt_atglance.pdf Retrieved: 2018-02-05