Weight management is an important part of reducing cardiac risk factors that stress your heart and other muscles and organs. A goal for any cardiac rehab program is to give you the necessary information and guidance to achieve a healthy weight through exercise and a balanced diet.
If you have heart failure or have just had open-heart surgery, monitoring your weight is especially important. People with heart failure must watch for a sudden weight gain, which indicates fluid retention and worsening heart failure. People who have had open-heart surgery must also watch for sudden weight gain/fluid retention that could mean a complication of the surgery.
If your doctor recommends it, you should weigh yourself once a week on the same scale with the same amount of clothing at the same time of day. The best time may be soon after you get up in the morning, but after you go to the bathroom. This way, your measurements are consistent and accurate. You may want to keep a diary of your weight. (If you have heart failure, your doctor may advise you to weigh yourself every day.)
Call your doctor if you notice a sudden weight gain. Your doctor may tell you how much weight to watch for. But in general, call your doctor if you gain 3 lb (1.4 kg) or more in 2 to 3 days.
Last Revised: October 5, 2010
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