Lose a Little to Keep Your Heart Risk in Check

Did you know having psoriasis puts you at a higher risk for heart disease? It’s true, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In fact, if you have severe psoriasis, you have double the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Researchers still aren’t sure why, but they suspect that underlying inflammation may be a factor.

Here’s more: A study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that people with psoriasis seem to have higher levels of the hunger hormone leptin, and researchers at Harvard are currently trying to learn more about the link.

Another reason to trim down: Extra pounds put folks with psoriasis at higher risk for psoriatic arthritis. A survey in Archives of Dermatology found those with psoriasis who were obese at 18 were more likely to get psoriatic arthritis by age 35.

Now for the good news: You can help your body shed excess pounds by making these small tweaks—not only will your heart and waistline benefit, but you’ll also give your confidence a boost!

Keep a food journal

Simply jotting down what you eat—you don’t need anything fancy, a little notepad will do—has significant pound-paring powers. The proof: A paper published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that dieters who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who did not.

Make food the focus

Catching up with email during your lunch hour or snacking while watching TV could be causing you to pack on the pounds. Why? Munching away in front of your glowing screen may impair your memory of exactly how much you’ve eaten—and cause you to overeat, according to a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you can’t break the habit, be sure to portion out a reasonable amount to keep your intake in check!

Drink water before you eat

Downing H20 about 30 minutes before meals promotes weight loss. In a study published in Obesity, folks who drank two cups of water before chowing down lost 4.5 pounds more on average than those who did not. And in Virginia Tech research, folks who drank water before meals cut calorie intake by 13%.

Add a mini-burst of speed

You don’t have to be a super-sprinter to make exercise work for you. Try interval training, which involves stepping up your activity for just a few minutes. For instance, participants in an Australian study who did 20 minutes of interval training on a stationary bike three times a week—they cycled at a slower pace, then added a burst of speed before returning to slower cycling—lost 6 pounds of body fat over four months versus just 2 pounds for those who cycled at the same speed for 40 minutes.

Published August 2011

Healthy Living
Psoriatic Arthritis
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Quiz: Test Your Psoriatic Arthritis IQ

Real Life: How One Woman Thrives
    Despite Psoriatic Arthritis

Anti-Inflammation Recipes

Heart Disease & Obesity
Lose a Little to Keep
    Your Heart Risk in Check

Tips for Heart-Smart Living
Heart-Healthy Food Swaps
Diet Changes to Try Today
Obesity: Why Weight Loss Matters
Advice for the Kitchen, Gym
    and Restaurants
How Exercise Can Help Combat

Finding Relief From Depression
Stress Reduction Techniques
3 Ways to Manage Your Emotions
Break This Common Cycle
    in 6 Steps

What You Need to Know
    About Talk Therapy

Searching for a Therapist?
    10 Questions to Ask

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