High blood pressure can be life-threatening. Finding ways to lower your high blood pressure is key to maintaining your health for the years to come. Not only will these tips start you on the way to a lower blood pressure, but also helps with weight loss in the process. While medication can help bring your numbers down, making changes to your lifestyle will have a more lasting effect and can supplement or even delay the need for medication.
Here are some of our tips on weight loss strategies to lower blood pressure and keep it low:
Keep Track of What You Eat
It’s difficult to achieve weight loss and lower your blood pressure if you’re not tracking calories. If you underestimate how much you eat, you’re less likely to succeed with your weight loss goals.
Begin by tracking your meals and the foods you eat, either on paper or with an app, so you can fully understand your food intake. Measuring your portion sizes and estimating calorie count will help you begin reducing calories and portions to the levels you need to achieve weight loss and lower your blood pressure.
Keep Sodium Out of Your Diet
Reducing sodium in your diet can immediately help drop your blood pressure, reducing it by 2 to 8mm Hg. Sodium can be more dangerous and have a greater effect on certain groups of people. In general, you should limit sodium to less than 2300mg daily. However, a diet with 1500mg of sodium or less is recommended for people with greater salt sensitivity, such as:
- Adults over 51 years of age
- Those diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
Just as with other food in your diet, keep track of your food labels to remove sodium from your diet. Eating fewer processed foods and not adding salt to foods will help enormously. Gradually ease into reducing sodium by cutting it over time—don’t go cold turkey. Reducing sodium over time will help treat your high blood pressure and assist your weight loss goals if you stay dedicated to your diet.
Making exercise part of your daily routine (at least 30 minutes most days of the week) can also lower your blood pressure by 4-9mm Hg. Consistent exercise is important to weight loss and treating high blood pressure, and can help prevent prehypertension from turning into hypertension.
Mix up your exercise by trying different activities like walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and even dancing. Talk to a Diet Doc specialist or nutritionist about developing an exercise program designed to reduce blood pressure.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
While there can be potential health benefits to alcohol, it’s only good in moderation. Small amounts of alcohol (such as 1-2 drinks) can have a protective effect, lowering your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. However, drinking too much can raise your blood pressure and lower the efficacy of blood pressure medications.
While one drink a day is fine for adults over 65, and two drinks a day is fine for adults younger than 65, consult your doctor if you’re drinking consistently and your blood sugar stays high.
Follow these tips daily to experience long-term weight loss and lower blood pressure. Reducing your sodium and alcohol while exercising and keeping track of your portions will help you lead a healthier lifestyle and lower your blood sugar. Contact a Diet Doc doctor today to learn more about developing a specific plan for your needs and start living a healthier life.