[updated April 29, 2019]
With two-thirds of Americans bulging into the overweight and obese categories, it’s no wonder that losing weight or starting an exercise program consistently ranks as the top New Year’s resolution. The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that more than 172,000 premature deaths each year are directly attributed to obesity, the majority due to cardiovascular disease.
But did you know that even a modest 5% decrease in weight can significantly improve your health?
Losing weight is tough. Anyone who has more than 10lbs to lose knows how daunting of a task it is to step on the scale day after day to see if any improvements have been in their weight loss efforts. Suddenly losing that extra 5, 10, 50 or even 100lbs seems an impossible feat. However, by changing your focus, you can change your mindset. Focus instead on the health benefits of shedding that excess baggage. Stop making weight loss all about your pants size and make it about healthy, longer living. As you begin to shed the excess weight, you also begin to shed unwanted health risks like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Shedding just 5% of your total body weight does a lot – it’s enough to decrease total body fat, visceral fat (the dangerous kind that hugs your organs), and liver fat. Plus, it can lower your blood pressure and improve your insulin sensitivity and lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes.
14 Benefits of Losing Weight
Sure, losing weight takes time, dedication and effort but think of all the health benefits you will gain.
For starters, simply by shedding 10 percent of your weight, you will gain:
- increased energy levels
- lowered cholesterol levels
- reduced blood pressure
- reduced aches, pains and inflammation
- improved mobility
- improved breathing
- the ability to sleep better and wake more rested
- the prevention of angina or chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart
- a decreased risk of sudden death from heart disease or stroke
- the prevention of type 2 diabetes
- improved blood sugar levels
- the alleviation of having to use some medications
- an increased self-esteem and confidence
- decrease risk of erectile dysfunction
In 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were over 200 million obese adults worldwide and another 18 million overweight children under age 5; and, in 2000, WHO estimated that there were now over 300 million adults worldwide who were considered obese. As your waistline expands so do your potential health risks; by slimming down, you trim off those unnecessary health risks. Some of the biggest health risks faced by the obese are heart disease and hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and sleep apnea.
Studies consistently show that losing just 5-10% of your body weight can significantly improve high blood pressure, blood sugar or cholesterol.