Managing Your Weight

Here is a plan that may work for you:

Invest in yourself

  • We spend most of our time worrying about our jobs, money, family, friends and material possessions. You need to make a decision to invest some time and effort in your own health.
  • Learn about a heart healthy diet and healthy, active lifestyle.

Assess your current lifestyle

  • Take a week to estimate your current calorie consumption / day and amount of time you devote to exercise each week.
  • Compare your current lifestyle with what you have learned about healthy diet and physical activity.
  • Identify some of the unhealthy choices you are making.
  • Examples: eating fast food and deep fried foods frequently, taking little/no time for exercise.

Identify your goals

  • Time devoted to exercise.
  • Sticking to a heart healthy diet >90% of the time.
  • Losing a certain number of pounds in a month.

Replace your bad habits with new ones

  • Diet
  • Develop a shopping list based on your knowledge of a heart healthy diet. Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and substituting liquid and tub margarines, canola and olive oil for butter, stick margarines and foods high in saturated and trans fats.
  • Snacks: Substitute fruits, vegetables and nuts & whole grain products for foods high in sugar and fat.
  • Minimize eating out. When you do: avoid deep fried foods & foods with high saturated fat and sugar.
  • Substitute water or diet soda for full calorie sodas.
  • Use the American Heart Association link to find delicious, healthy recipes.


  • Dedicate a certain amount of time each week to exercise, which can be as simple as walking. Recommended goal is >120 minutes / week. Would recommend trying to find at least four 30 minute blocks that you can dedicate to exercise each week.
  • Find something that you enjoy (walking or exercising with a friend, playing a sport, watching TV while using a treadmill).
  • Remember all the benefits of exercise and how much better you feel once you have been doing it.

Monitor your progress

  • Record your weekly exercise minutes and weights on the 3 month calendar provided.
  • Get feedback from your doctor, whether this be a pat on the back or recommendation on how to do better.

Embrace your healthy lifestyle

  • Be a positive influence on your friends and family. This type of lifestyle is beneficial for everyone, not just those of us with coronary heart disease.

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