One month to change your life (Part 1)

The ultimate weight-loss ‘programme’

Management and maintenance of a healthy weight is central to cardiovascular risk and health. Many of the cardiovascular ‘risk factors’ which predict your future health are linked and driven by an unhealthy diet, lifestyle and excess weight. This insidious process starts in early adulthood — as demonstrated in autopsy evidence of young men from the Vietnam war which showed early fatty streaks in coronary arteries — and slowly but silently progresses in the background until you develop the early signs, usually in middle age.

I try to encourage my patients not to consider high blood pressure or cholesterol an inevitable consequence of aging or an isolated illness. A better view point is to see these numbers as a ‘thermometer’ (or gauge) of your general health . . . a pre-illness that can be reversed — the gauge can swing in both directions but will naturally progress if not addressed. If you have just been diagnosed with high blood pressure it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to treat the symptoms or sign with tablets (although these are important treatments) but more importantly the underlying cause — in most cases that you are out of shape (are not exercising enough), are eating poorly and are overweight. If you are further along this health pathway and require important tablet treatments then its still not too late — you can reverse the journey.

Many of the patients that we now see with heart disease have had these silent but progressive pre-illness diagnoses for some time but unfortunately did not identify or address the problem appropriately. ‘Metabolic syndrome’ refers to the individual who is overweight, has high blood pressure, borderline or overt diabetes and an unhealthy cholesterol profile — this is a powerful cocktail for atheroma formation (fatty plaque deposits in arteries). If you want an image of ‘metabolic syndrome’ think of a middle aged man with a large beer belly — he probably also snores loudly at night and has ‘obstructive sleep apnoea’ (expanded on in due course, see READ). Therefore for many of us weight management will improve blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and overall risk. Also it makes you feel better about yourself, improves energy, fitness, reduces breathlessness, arthritic pains (by reducing the load on your joints and your bodies general inflammation) etc. etc. . . not only does it improve your prognosis (i.e. how long you live), it also improves your quality of life.

If you want to lose weight and improve your blood pressure and cholesterol (without committing to a future of long-term and escalating tablets) then you can make dramatic and exciting improvement in the short term as long as you are consistent. Many of us in the specialist medical and scientific community are massively frustrated by all the misinformation, spin and propaganda that exists in this arena — it’s a huge industry and many unqualified sources have forged a whole career around this subject without any expertise. If you think about it, its not in their interest for you to find a long term simple solution that leaves them out of the loop. The food industry has made things worse via marketers ‘adding value’ to diet products or foods or deciding how they can exploit the latest health fad.

The following is not a ‘plan’ or ‘programme’ — it is simply a list of basic and fundamental dietary and lifestyle rules, based on contemporary evidence (and I’m not talking about an obscure new ‘ground breaking’ bit of lab research that the media love to report or ‘cherry-picking’ of research studies to prove a pre-conceived opinion) that if followed will lead to guaranteed weight loss without too much effort but needs motivation and commitment.

One month to change your life . . .

8 comments

  • How do I take part? Get a Cardiokit…it’s been suggested by my GP and I’m also aware myself that I need to address my weight, food intake due to my blood pressure, cholesterol readings. My GP is Dr. Janice Patrick @ The Bradford on Avon and Melksham Health Partnership. I am 54 years old.

    Binky, 29th May 2017 at 8:10 am -
    • Hi! I have delivered the CardioKit packs to Bradford on Avon. Just ask your GP to give you one. Let me know how you get on.
      Best Wishes,
      Mary.

      Mary, 30th May 2017 at 3:03 pm -
  • Good morning !
    I am involved with Food for Thought, a social enterprise rugby Bath Mind and we would be very interested in introducing Cardiologists Kitchen to our clients in a practical way. Would you be able to get in touch if you would like to talk further.

    With many thanks and best wishes

    Judith Green.

    JudithGreen, 1st July 2017 at 9:38 am -
    • Hi Judith!
      Thank you for your message. I will be in touch.
      Best Wishes,
      Mary.

      Mary, 3rd July 2017 at 9:00 am -
  • Hi
    I read about this in the OElink magazine. My GP is in Malmesbury. Do I live too far away? I could pick up a kit in Bath if that was possible.
    Best wishes
    Fi

    Fi, 17th October 2017 at 12:40 pm -
  • Have just read an article in takea break magazine so I’ve joined your email as I had a heart attack last August and I need to lose weight

    Coral, 7th July 2018 at 10:27 am -
    • Hi! Welcome. We’re glad to have you on board. Although our advice is for heart health rather than weight loss, you will see from the STORIES page that many patients following our recommendations and recipes have lost significant amounts of weight. We hope you find our website useful.

      Mary, 13th July 2018 at 6:47 pm -

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