Make sure you eat enough. You may need to cut back on calories to hit a goal, but don’t obsess or overdo it when it comes to keeping track. The latest guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health maintain that a standard range of daily calories for most women is between 1,600 and 2,400 each day (2,000 to 3,000 for men) depending on your activity levels. Diets should never dip below 1,200 calories for women (1,400 for men), Fischer stresses.
Cut back on salty packaged items. Eating too much salt can greatly influence your risk of heart disease and chronic inflammation. Excess sodium hides neatly in packaged, processed meals and snacks, so gradually wean yourself off these grocery aisle staples and opt for whole foods instead. Try to keep sodium intake to about 1,500mg daily, or at least below 2,300mg, to keep your heart as healthy as can be, experts say.
Drink more water. It’s advice you’ve heard your whole life, but staying hydrated is important. Drinking at least 72 ounces of water each day — about six to eight cups in total — should be your starting point; then up that total based on how active you are.
Get sweaty. The food you eat is only half of the equation if you’re attempting to reduce your weight. While you don’t need access to a fancy gym or a trainer for results, aim to get at least 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise in each day — even just walking may help you achieve that goal.