Obesity is still the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Although obesity, itself, doesn’t kill people, per se, the chronic illnesses that develop in obese people do. You can fall victim to a heart attack, stroke, or die from diabetes. In fact, most people who are obese suffer from diabetes because their pancreases are not large enough to stimulate their entire body. If they lose weight, the pancreas may be able to function normally in a healthy body.

How Does Obesity Affect the Heart Specifically?

When you are overweight, your heart has to work a lot harder to pump a higher volume of blood. And while you may think that this is good exercise for your heart, the opposite is true. The heart becomes worn out and weakened by all the stress that you put it under. At the same time, the arteries get clogged up with triglycerides and cholesterol. This is much worse if you are also suffering from diabetes.

In diabetics, the arteries get coated with glucose from the high blood sugar. When you eat foods, glucose is released into your bloodstream. If your pancreas is overworked or you otherwise develop insulin resistance, your cells won’t open up to absorb the glucose.

When you have all this sugar floating around in your blood, it has nowhere to go. It simply sticks to the walls of your arteries and quickly clogs them up with rock candy. When you mix in the high cholesterol and fats, it becomes a toxic soup.

The heart is fed by a specific small artery on the left, which will almost always induce a fatal heart attack when it becomes fully clogged. Therefore, it doesn’t take much build-up to kill you. Although some people who are at high risk can prevent this from occurring by having a stent implanted, this is only an aid. They can still die from a stroke, blood clot, or erratic rhythm.

Hypertension makes things even worse. People who are obese tend to suffer from hypertension more than any other group. Hypertension puts additional stress on the heart, artery walls, and organs. High cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension are a particularly deadly combination that obese people suffer from.

What Can Be Done?

Because your body functions at its best when you are lean and athletic, people who are obese need to reverse a lifetime of bad eating habits. They have to focus on weight loss by adhering to diets, such as the Slim 4 Life weight loss plan. Imagine losing 3 to 5 pounds every week and still feeling satisfied with your eating habits. This dietary program incorporates the attention and skills of nutritionists, doctors, and counselors. Together, they can develop a diet that melts away pounds without making you feel lightheaded and weak.

The counselors are also there to play a supportive role. The biggest trick for most overeaters is overcoming the discomfort and hopelessness that they feel when trying to get fit. It is easy to put off weight loss for another day by listening to that pie in your fridge. But if you listen to your heart, you’ll act now to reverse years of bad eating habits.