Lower your body mass index.
To protect your heart, aim for a body mass index lower than 25, the AHA says. The United States is "under assault" by the problem of obesity, Yancy says, and being overweight or obese is the "first step toward adult-onset diabetes." That is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
The key is "energy in versus energy out," Yancy says. "It is an overall program, [including] selection of food items, portion size, and burning calories." But don't be overly concerned if you find a BMI of less than 25 to be a goal too difficult to reach. "Any weight loss is a benefit," Yancy says.