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Weight Loss Programs for Heart Month

Just because Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it doesn’t mean that you won’t need to think about hearts anymore. The entire month of February is “Heart Month.”

Heart Month is a month dedicated to the promotion of heart health and heart research. One of the key aspects of Heart Month is drawing attention to the risks of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes in Canada and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

Being overweight is a risk factor. Over 60% of Canadian adults are overweight and obese. Therefore, weight loss programs that help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight are important. Here are a few tips for weight loss programs and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Tips for Weight Loss Programs

Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight basically comes down to two things: eating a healthy diet and being physically active regularly.

Eating Well & Weight Loss Programs

As a part of weight loss programs and reaching a healthy body weight, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of nutritious foods. It’s also important to pay attention to portion size. This is especially true when you are eating at restaurants. Restaurant portions are often significantly larger than they would be at a home cooked meal.

In general, a healthy meal is a plate where half of your plate is filled with vegetables, a quarter is whole grains and another quarter is meat or meat alternatives.

Aim for meals that are low in trans fat and ones that contain complex carbohydrates, protein and plenty of fibre. A healthy, balanced diet is an important part of all weight loss programs.

Regular Exercise & Weight Loss Programs

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Spreading this physical activity over several days each week is beneficial for weight loss and heart health. Physical activity is crucial to weight loss programs and to having a healthy heart.

Look for opportunities to incorporate more physical activity in your daily life. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to school, work or to to run errands, or wash your car by hand instead of going to a car wash. All of these tasks may not seem like much, but they add up throughout the week.

When it comes to other exercise, find a physical activity that you like, make a schedule and stick to it. It often helps to work out with a friend, coworker or personal trainer. Having someone to exercise with isn’t just more fun, but it also helps you stay motivated, which is an important aspect of sticking with weight loss programs.

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