Small Change, Big Difference
What happens when you lose five percent of your weight?
You know obesity comes with great health risks, but are you willing to do the work it takes to lose weight? Even though you may be 25, 50, or 100 pounds overweight, you may be encouraged to know that losing just a small amount of weight provides health benefits that make the effort worth it.
Let’s start with five percent weight loss. For a 200-pound person, that would be 10 pounds, for someone who weighs 300 pounds that’s 15 pounds. Sound like something you can do? It is.
Five percent may be a small fraction of what you need to lose, but it could be the motivation you need to get started. Here are a few of the perks that an overweight person can enjoy when he or she sheds the first five percent of their excess weight.
Lowers Heart Risks
Anyone with high cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood pressure should know the huge effect a small amount of weight loss can have on lowering the risk of heart disease. Numerous studies show losing just 5 to 10 percent of body weight raises levels of your HDL “good” cholesterol (the kind of cholesterol that helps remove LDL “bad” cholesterol from your blood), lowers your triglycerides (blood fat that puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke), and reduces your blood pressure by five points.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
A little weight loss also goes a long way in helping to ward off type 2 diabetes. In fact, a meager five percent weight loss can have the same effect of lowering blood sugar levels as some medications. For those with prediabetes, this reduction may completely prevent or delay the risk of developing diabetes. A diabetic who loses weight may not need as much medication, is better able to control blood sugar levels, and will lessen the likelihood of further health complications of the disease.
Reduces Chances of Cancer
Weight loss decreases the amount of inflammation in the body and lowers levels of hormones like levels insulin, estrogen, and androgen. This is gravely important, since high inflammation and an imbalance of hormones put you at an increased risk of cancers such as colon, breast, ovarian, kidney, cervix, and prostate.
Improves Joint Health
Wonder why your knees, ankles, and hips give you so much trouble? Excess weight places a lot of pressure on your joints. Over time, this pressure weakens and thins your joints. The inflammation in your body from being overweight also damages joint tissue and increases your likelihood of arthritis. Lose a few pounds and you’ll definitely feel an improvement in your joints.
Helps You Sleep
Studies show that overweight people don’t get as much restful sleep as those who maintain a healthy weight. One reason for this is because you’re four times as likely to have sleep apnea if you’re obese. Sleep apnea is a condition where the excess tissue in the back of your throat relaxes when you sleep, causing you to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Lose a few pounds and your apnea may drastically improve. With more restful sleep, you’ll have more energy and be less irritable the next day.
Maybe it’s poor self-image, a lack of energy, or feeling depressed about your weight, but for whatever reason, you’re in a bad mood all the time. Weight loss combined with a regular exercise routine is known to put you in a better mood. Exercise releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, weight loss increases your self-confidence, and the health improvements you see are all ways to feel more positive about life in general.
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