How and Why to Lose Weight With AFib
Maintaining or reaching a healthy weight is very important if you have atrial fibrillation, even if your heart rhythm is well controlled. If you want to live well despite atrial fibrillation, follow a healthy diet and exercise program.
Consult with your cardiologist or a nutrition expert for individualized advice on AFib and losing weight. Always seek the advice of your cardiologist before beginning an exercise program.
Why Weight Management Is Important When You Have Atrial Fibrillation
Here are some reasons why maintaining a healthy weight is particularly important if you suffer from atrial fibrillation:
You Can Avoid Complications
It is important you do everything possible to keep your cardiovascular system healthy so you don't develop complications. Complications may be painful, require hospitalization, or be life-threatening.
You and your loved ones do not need to experience the stress and financial burdens illness causes. The last place you want to be is in a hospital bed where you may be exposed to serious infectious diseases that may not be curable.
Prevent High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a killer. It can result in chest pain, stroke, heart attack and death. When your blood pressure is elevated, damage is occurring to the capillaries within your organs. Your brain, eyes and kidneys are particularly susceptible to blood vessel damage.
Avoid or Limit Complications Due to Diabetes
Many individuals who have atrial fibrillation also suffer from diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you to keep blood glucose levels under control. Keeping blood sugar levels under control will help you live a longer, healthier life.
Since you have atrial fibrillation, you already are at risk for potentiality fatal blood clot development. When blood glucose levels are elevated, blood is “stickier” and the risk of clot formation rises. Blood clots can cause heart attacks, stroke, pulmonary emboli, damage to organs, tissue injury and death.
Maintain a healthy weight, keep your blood sugar under control, and avoid complications of both diabetes and atrial fibrillation.
How to Reach or Maintain a Healthy Weight
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight involves diet, exercise and commitment. It is a lifelong process. It’s never too late to begin eating better and getting more exercise.
Eat a Heathy, Fresh Diet
Eating a diet composed primarily of fresh, simple foods not only tastes great and helps you to maintain a healthy weight; it enhances the health of your heart and blood vessels.
- Minimize your intake of sugar, fat and salt.
- Hot tasting herbs and spices, such as pepper and ginger, dilate blood vessels and improve circulation while helping to the body maintain a healthy blood pressure. Garlic, onions and shallots reduce levels of unhealthy cholesterol.