AFib and Healthy Weight Management

AFib and Healthy Weight Management

Research shows that you can improve your AFib experience, reduce the burden of your AFib, and give yourself the best odds for AFib prevention by maintaining a healthy weight.

Obesity is clearly linked with AFib. Many people prefer not to talk about their weight, even with their doctors, but rather than avoiding it because of any shame or embarrassment, begin to take small steps toward building a healthier life.

Track Your Nutrition and Physical Activity

You manage what you measure.

The first step to eating right is to figure out what you’re actually eating. Start by tracking your food using a food diary as a means of learning your average calorie intake.

Keeping a food diary, which means writing everything you eat for at least a week, can be very helpful. You may also want to jot down how you’re feeling in general so you can start to understand what drives eating decisions. (Stress? Happiness? Sadness? Boredom?) Reviewing the diary on a regular basis may also help you learn how your eating may change depending on the situation, or whether it’s a workday or weekend.

Tracking Your Activity

It also helps to use an activity tracker to know your activity level and write down intentional steps you take toward becoming more physically active. Many people have found that fitness devices and phone apps have helped them put their best foot forward and make improvement in their level of physical activity.

Make Healthy Changes, But Start Small

Once you have a clear picture of your eating habits and your activity level, focus on small goals that can be easily attained. Setting yourself up for success makes you more likely to remain motivated to keep working toward your larger goals. Even a goal of “one bite less” can be enough to motivate you to get going in the right direction.

Make Healthy Trade-Outs

Set healthy goals for your diet, starting small by substituting heart-healthy options. For example, trade butter, which is high in saturated fat, for a healthier vegetable oil, such as olive or canola, or incorporate more fiber-rich whole grains by substituting a whole-grain wheat bread for white.

Try a Taper-Off Approach

Another approach, is to tackle a big problem area with gradual steps. For example, if you’re overeating sweets, such as having ice cream every night, start by eating half as much each time, then shift to every other day and then once a week as a small treat; that is more realistic than trying to eliminate it all at once.

Celebrate Successes One Meal at a Time

Celebrate successes, even small ones. A big meal out with friends may bust your calorie budget, but focus on eating healthy for the next meal rather than beating yourself up. A small step backward shouldn’t undo all your steps forward.

You’re planning for lifetime of healthy living, so keep working on your changes even if it takes a while to feel the rewards.

Recent Discussions From The Nutrition & Dining Forum
Oceanside avatar

I want to share with you how my electrophysiologist changed my life. After my diagnosis, following an ep study, she recommended I start on a plant based diet. She recommended I watch a movie called Forks over Knives which is an amazing documentary about heart disease, diabetes etc and the links to our western diet. She gave me two websites. Nutrition facts.org and nutrition studies.com as two great resources. Also, The book, Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman who has a similar meal plan which is a little more forgiving if you can’t be totally plant based. 
I embraced the diet, lost 40 pounds over 8 months. My blood pressure is now normal with no more medication. I no longer have to take flecanide for arrhythmia or diltiazam for rate control. I have had no afib for 9 months and I was having two hour episodes every two months! I wear an Apple Watch and use the Kardia device with my iPhone to take ecgs regularly to keep track. This way of eating can reverse type two diabetes and reverse arteriosclerosis (blocked arteries).  Please check it out. I didn’t like the medications and how they affected me. I do continue with eliquis because I am a female and over 65. But, if I continue afib free for over a year, I will ask my doctor if I can go off blood thinner.  I hope you can feel better, but sometimes we have to look to ourselves and change our lifestyle. It was hard for me to give up caffeine, dairy,most alcohol and sugar, processed foods etc. But, at the end of the day I feel better, no afib for now and I believe my disease is not progressing and may be reversing. Best to you.

Spencer avatar

Ok... I guess I need to come to terms with this.  What should I be eating and/or not eating as an AFib'er?  Note that some options are non-negeotatble: Single Malt Scotch and Meat.  So vegan options are out.  I have reduced my alcohol intake to just 2-drinks per day and often that amount is zero.  I have also vastly reduced coffee intake.  I'm rather fit and eat OK but looking to see if there is something else that I should be doing.  Typical cal intake is 2,000/per day with 147 g in carbs, 42 g in fats, 135 g in protein.  Exercise is 10,000 steps per day with nearly zero other exercise due to my breathlessness.  I end up doing a lot of walking at work or around my flat neighborhood.   Resting HR is 110 with continuous AFib.  I find it easy to take in carbs as I was a runner so my body loves carbs, and find it nearly impossible to get to 135 g of protein.  The drug cocktail I'm taking has just about eliminated my appetite.  

Tinney avatar

How many of you have tried Alternative medicine, now I 'm at the opinion that a good multivitamin and a good daily detox can go a long way when it comes to heart health and perhaps other serious illness, I take one a day multivitamin 65 + proactive and a daily detox. My afib has all but disappeared and my blood pressure is lower, i 'm going to add CoQ10 soon. 

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