We all hear about the detrimental effects that carrying extra weight can have on our bodies. The research is clear that obesity causes our heart to work harder, increases our chance of developing diabetes and places extra pressure on our bones and joints. No wonder so many of are on (what seems like a constant quest) to achieve an ideal body weight.
Have you ever tried a diet promising you’ll lose a bazillion pounds in 14 days and then only lose a few? How did you feel? Frustrated, defeated, let down? Of course you did!
When we approach nutrition and weight loss with an ideal in mind we almost always fall short. Fortunately, falling short of your ultimate goal still has many benefits.
In fact, it isn’t necessary to lose a large amount of weight to be healthier. Studies show that the health benefits of weight loss are evident with a reduction in weight as low as 5-10 percent. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 10-pound weight loss will benefit you. This small weight loss will significantly reduce the risk of a wide range of illness from heart disease, insulin resistance, and even some kinds of cancer.
Looking deeper into the benefits of a 5-10% weight loss:
- On average, a 5 point increase in your HDL (good) cholesterol that will lower the risk of developing heart disease.
- Lowering triglycerides by an average of 40 mg/dl. Decreasing these fat-like particles in your bloodstream lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Decreasing A1C, a marker used to monitor diabetes, with a 10% weight loss comes close to the effects of some anti-diabetic medication on blood sugar.
- Lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 5 mmHg.
- Fights sleep apnea and snoring to improve oxygen delivery during sleep. The result is less fatigue and sleepiness throughout the day.
- Decreasing joint pain and risk of osteoarthritis. For example, each pound of weight loss relieves 4 pounds of pressure on the knee (that’s removing 40 pounds of pressure with a 10-pound weight loss).
So, when you are looking at a far off weight loss goal don’t allow yourself to become discouraged. Your energy and vitality will increase with just those first few pounds. As you add to your success, your self-confidence and motivation will continue to grow.
Along the way, you will develop healthier habits that will heal your body of disease as you still work toward your ultimate goal. But, starting small will actually make it easier to maintain your healthy weight for the long term.
Do you feel stuck when it comes to developing these healthier habits?
Do the approaches and habits that got you through your 20’s and 30’s no longer work now that you are in your 40’s, 50’s or beyond? Does even a 5-10% reduction in weight seem daunting?You have two options here. . .
First, you could ignore the problem and buy a bigger pair of jeans. Or, you could fight back against high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and prediabetes. Click below to find out how small changes, made at your own pace, can bring big-time health benefits.