Eat right for healthy heart and weight loss  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- The more unhealthy weight we carry, the more chances we have of developing heart disease.
- We try small and big diet plans and then give up.
- Here is what a cardiologists says you can easily do to keep the weight down, calorie intake low and have a healthier heart.
Harvard doctor ‘s 3-step-plan toward weight loss and a healthier heart
Harvard Medicine School Publishing, from time to time, publishes blogs and learnings by doctors and medical authorities. One such article by Dr Ami Bhatt, a Family Medicine Doctor certified by the American Board of Family Medicine has shared “Three simple steps toward weight loss and a healthier heart.”
Dr Bhatt says that she has observed that many people make a commitment to getting heart healthy and while January sees an uptick in gym memberships, by the time February rolls around, dedication to working out becomes challenging. Dr Bhatt is a cardiologist and says that exercise is, of course, heart healthy and everyone should make an effort to stay physically active. But, few people can lose weight with exercise alone, and for weight loss, this dreaded phrase still rings true: count your calories. After a decade of devising many approaches to help motivate her patients, she writes that she has realised that perhaps the simplest plan has been our most successful.
She shares on the Harvard Publishing site, her “Three simple steps toward weight loss and a healthier heart”:
- Get a plate that has three sections. Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner on that plate. Place a different food group or item in each section. It ensures variety, nutrition, and enhances the scope of healthier eating as you have more choices. You could have veggies or egg in one – a load of proteins. Something with carbs in another section. And other vital minerals-loaded food in the thirds – perhaps fruits etc.
- Say No to second-helpings: It’s really that simple. Mindful eating is an exciting method that is catching on, generally with people who already are into a healthy lifestyle. If family and friends are partaking in “seconds” while you are at the table … slowing down your pace and enjoying your food is your only defence. “No seconds” breeds mindful eaters.
- Have three bites of anything yummy and delicious: Whether you have a sweet tooth or it’s the savoury items that excite you, three bites is the limit. The first bite is because you want it. Enjoy it. A second bite is an act of defiance. Revel in it. The third bite is the last and should be savoured the most. It is the last one because you respect yourself and have a laudable goal that you will achieve. Some people have asked whether we could stretch that out to five bites. When the idea is to curb calories, five bites could help you polish off a lot more than you promised yourself, and you suffer because YOU cheated. So, no. Three bites it is.
Your individual Road Plan for Healthy Heart and Healthy Life:
Despite it being an article on a site as reputed as Harvard – the ace in medicine – the cardiologist contributing to this heart-healthy eating piece says that this plan may not work for everyone. For those who can afford dieting systems with prepared foods, or are facile with calorie-counting apps, those may be better. But for the average person, who just wants to see some progress in his or her weight loss, this might be for you.
“Some people hear this and think it will be easy until they start. Others are concerned that it seems too restrictive, but the process is actually easier than they thought. Most people are able to stick with it long enough to see some small gains (actually, losses), which is sometimes all the motivation you need to dedicate yourself to the plan for a bit longer. Whatever your plan, make it approachable, stick with it, and forgive yourself if you stray — but get back on board quickly,” Dr Bhatt addas.
So what’s your plan? Or, rather what’s your excuse? How about resolving to get back on the health wagon and getting started? Now or never, it is.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.