Like many Americans, do you believe heart disease affects mostly men? In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Heart disease, according to The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, written by members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is one of several cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessel system. Others include stroke, high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease.



There are so many misconceptions about weight loss and diets that it can be hard to know what to believe. Here are some common weight-loss myths.   Snacking and eating fast food are bad ideas.    Actually, eating small, healthy snacks between meals could help you eat less so you don’t overeat or binge later. Dietitians recommend having five small meals a day, instead of just three. Snacking has a bad rap because of some of the snack choices we make, such as potato chips, cookies, candy and other fattening items.



Summer is finally here, and you want to get your weight down and be in the best shape ever. This summer, make it your mission to reach your weight-loss goals – the same ones you probably set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start down the path to health and wellness. Follow the guidelines below so you can put yourself on a fast track. Turn these tips into lifelong habits to ensure lasting success.


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contouring candidates are adults whose weight has stabilized; healthy people without medical conditions that impair healing or increase the risk of surgery; non smokers; people with a positive outlook and realistic goals; and people who are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness. You need to wait until your weight has stabilized because if you continue losing weight, you will also lose the benefits of the body contouring procedure and see sagging again. Options for body contouring include facelift, breast lift, tummy tuck, lower body lifts, medial thigh lift and arm lift.

Overall, there are great benefits to weight loss. “From a health perspective, you will have improved blood pressure, better controlled blood sugars if you have diabetes and back or knee pain will improve because 1 pound of weight loss is 4 pounds off the knees,” said Planells.

It is important to lose weight gradually. And a gym membership is not necessary.

“Most people think of the gym in an unpleasant way,” Planells said. “If you want to just start walking, use a pedometer and try to get as many steps as you can in a

When you are educated about what to expect and have a plan in place, you can look and feel better after extreme weight loss. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports about 70 percent of Americans are overweight, and more than one-third are obese, so there is a real push to lose weight in this country. While you may think people are always ecstatic after losing weight, it can also be a complicated transition.

“If people lose an extreme amount of weight, there will be a change in strength because it is not just fat we lose; we also lose muscle mass,” said Angel Planells, dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “If you lose 30 to 40 pounds, the biggest drawback is you will have to upgrade your wardrobe because your body size has changed.”

You may also notice you have loose skin, whether you lost the excess weight through diet and exercise or surgery. If you lose weight at a slow rate, it is easier to get your skin’s elasticity back. Experts agree the most effective means of removing excess skin is through body contouring. Some say body contouring should be a routine part of bariatric surgery, which leads patients to lose another 10 to 15 pounds of excess skin alone. Due to its psychological and physiological benefits, many insurers even cover body contouring, which makes it more appealing. The American Academy of Plastic Surgeons says in general, good body



Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

day to start getting active. Try to strength train two to three times per week if possible. Or you can get 2-pound weights and do reps at home to make your metabolism stay up and keep burning more fat throughout the day. I encourage people to cross train and do things they have never done, like yoga, Pilates or hiking.”

The AHA suggests setting realistic, short-term goals that are easy to achieve. The association stresses the importance of managing portion sizes, making smart choices and getting 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. It can help to have a support network of friends or neighbors who understand you are focusing on building new healthy habits. If you are going out to eat, look at the restaurant menu in advance to make sure the food offerings will not interfere with your diet. It’s OK if you experience a setback as long as you get back on track. Make an effort to bake, boil, broil, grill, roast or stew your food instead of frying it in oil.

“Be mindful of what you are eating but do not deprive yourself,” said Planells. Balance is the key. “We want to make sure people try to eat a wide variety of foods especially fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Tell your primary care physician about your weight-loss goals. This way, you can figure out the ideal weight and body mass index for your height and make sure you are in a healthy range. A registered dietician can help you maintain the weight loss.