Many of us need to lose weight, and if you are 20, 30 or many more pounds above your ideal weight, the goal may be daunting. The reality is that as little as a 5% weight loss can have very significant health benefits. Why not have a smaller initial goal, knowing that you are making great strides in your overall health?
From webmd.com this week:
1. You can take 40 pounds of pressure off of your lower body joints by losing 10 pounds. That translates into less risk of arthritis and joint damage. Excess body fat
also increases inflammation in your body that cause damage to your organs.
2. Weight loss and exercise can decrease the chance of getting type 2 diabetes. If your already have diabetes, lowering your blood sugar can result in less tissue damage. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise 5 times weekly is recommended.
3. A healthy diet can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, but sometimes medication is needed to achieve your cholesterol goal. Increasing your HDL, the good cholesterol, is achieved by exercise and decreasing body fat.
4. Weight loss can lower your triglycerides, the fatty particles in your body that transport fat for energy. Lower triglycerides can lower your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
5. Weight loss can lower your blood pressure. Decreasing dietary intake of salt also helps.
6. Weight loss can decrease belly fat and chemicals it produces that makes your body
resistant to insulin, which makes it harder to metabolize glucose, leading to diabetes.
7. Cancers related to excess body weight include breast, colon, liver, kidneys, ovaries, cervix, and prostate. Less body weight may decrease hormones linked to these cancers.
8. Sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, because they have more
tissue in the back of the neck that can block the airway. Sleep apnea is related to cardiac problems.
9. A study demonstrated that those who lost 5% of their weight slept on average 22 minutes longer each night.
10. Weight loss may affect mood. This may be due to sleeping better, or changes in body image.
11. Weight loss of 10% may decrease inflammatory substances produced by fat cells that can lead to heart disease, arthritis and strokes.
How can you get started? Make some simple changes in your diet: eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meat, more seafood, beans, nuts and seeds. Replace refined grains with whole grains, and cut down on portions. Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 times per week, and add resistance training. Always, check with your doctor before making changes in your diet and exercise, as you may have health needs that are individual to you. Good luck!