How to avoid obesity and high blood pressure
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming obese and developing high blood pressure, including:
1. Make small changes that are easy to stick to
Your goal should be to make lifestyle changes that are easy to stick to for life — but remember that there’s a big difference between making lifestyle changes and going on a diet. Extreme diets give you quick results but are impossible to maintain and can damage your body.
Here are some of the risks of crash-dieting:
New health problems
Losing muscle mass
Making small changes that are easy to stick to is recommended.
2. Eat healthily
To avoid obesity and high blood pressure, be mindful about what you eat. Consume a healthy, balanced, and nutrient-dense diet containing foods from each of the following groups:
Try to limit or avoid foods that contain lots of fat, sugar, and salt.
Consuming more calories than you burn causes excess fat to accumulate in your body. Research your ideal calorie intake for your age, sex, and lifestyle, and make healthier choices with simple swaps.
For example, instead of drinking carbonated, sugary drinks, choose naturally flavored water or swap regular pantry essentials for low-salt options.
Most people don't consume enough fiber, but if you want to lose weight or prevent obesity, you should try to adopt a high-fiber diet with vegetables, fruits, and wholemeal foods.
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High-fiber foods also help you stay feeling fuller for longer because they release energy slowly, making you less likely to snack on unhealthy foods.
You might want to speak to your doctor or a nutritionist for specialist dietary advice that will help you improve your health and lose weight.
3. Exercise regularly
Getting 150 minutes of exercise a week¹⁰ is recommended to help prevent obesity and high blood pressure. You don’t need to exercise for 150 minutes on one day; you can break it down into manageable chunks.
Find simple and enjoyable ways to keep active, like taking a brisk walk, practicing yoga, or joining a dance class.
You don’t need to join the gym or get a personal trainer to get your body moving and improve your health and fitness.
Talk to your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen to check it’s safe for you.
4. Consider weight-loss surgery
Your doctor might recommend weight-loss (bariatric) surgery if other lifestyle strategies for losing weight haven't worked and you are at risk of serious health problems, including hypertension.
There are different types of weight-loss surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass, but the surgery generally involves making changes to the stomach and small intestines so you consume less food.
Speak to your doctor and carefully review and discuss all your options if you are considering weight-loss surgery. This type of surgery comes with many possible complications and not everyone qualifies for it.
It’s also important to bear in mind that weight-loss surgery isn’t a magic solution to weight loss; you are more likely to see positive results if you maintain a healthy lifestyle before and after your surgery, otherwise, you might regain the weight you initially lose.