You don’t have to go down to the size you wore in high school to get real health benefits. Losing just a few pounds already makes a huge difference! Only five percent of the weight — and this, for example, 4 kilograms from 80 — can prevent a lot of health problems and even improve mood. And not only due to a change in appearance! MedAboutMe tells you what bonuses you get if you start losing weight.
Our legs do not feel the mass of the body in literal numbers. Just 5 extra pounds add 20 kg of pressure on the hips, knees and other joints of the legs. This causes increased wear and tear and, as a result, joint problems. Even a small weight loss helps to reduce pain, and if not, to prevent arthritis in the future.
Studies have shown a link between excess weight and bowel cancer for both sexes, but especially for men. And in women, excess body fat also increases the risk of breast cancer.
In addition, when overweight people lose weight, the levels of hormones associated with cancerous growths — estrogens, androgens and insulin — decrease.
A 5% weight loss reduces the chance of developing breast cancer by as much as 12%!
diabetes and overweight
If you have a genetic predisposition to the disease or have been diagnosed with prediabetes, weight loss is one of two ways to prevent type 2 diabetes. The second is moderate physical activity for half an hour a day 5 times a week. It is enough to reduce body weight by 5–7% to significantly reduce the risks.
If you already have diabetes, losing weight will help keep your blood sugar under control, take fewer medications, and reduce the chance of complications (and they are very serious!).
Gestational diabetes during pregnancy doubles the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after delivery. And another 27% if over the next 8–18 years a woman gains only 5 extra kilograms!
But the normalization of weight, moderate exercise and breastfeeding reduce this risk to almost zero.
“Bad” and “good” cholesterol: it’s all about body weight
You can lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels with healthy foods and medications. But it is more difficult to raise the level of “good” cholesterol — HDL, which we need. It helps lower the amount of LDL in the blood, so the more good cholesterol, the better.
Exercise and excess fat loss can lead to an ideal HDL range of above 60 mg/dL (1.55 mmol/L), which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Triglycerides are special particles in the body that transport fat to a depot for storage and energy production. High levels (greater than 200 mg/dl) mean you are more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or serious vascular problems.
But you can quickly get closer to healthy levels (about 150 mg/dL) if you lose just a little bit of weight.
High blood pressure
Excess weight causes blood to press harder on the walls of the arteries. Such pressure, in turn, makes the heart work even harder, and the vascular walls eventually lose their elasticity, and you have to constantly take drugs for hypertension.
But you can lower your blood pressure by 5 points if you lose 5% of your body weight.
Cut back on salt and eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products to lower your blood pressure levels even more.
Snoring and sleep apnea
Overweight people are distinguished by the growth of excess tissue on the back of the throat. When the body relaxes during sleep, this tissue falls off and blocks the airways — partially, then the person snores, or completely — then respiratory arrest or sleep apnea joins snoring.
Constant forced pauses in breathing, which a person himself can only notice by worsening health in the morning, cause all sorts of health problems, especially for the heart. Losing weight helps to cope with sleep apnea.
On a note!
Sleep apnea is an indication for the use of special therapy. If apnea episodes are frequent, you will have to sleep with a special apparatus by the bed and a mask on your face.
But even at this stage, weight loss helps — sometimes up to the possibility of abandoning such therapy and breathing normally again in a dream!
Fat deposits, especially in the abdomen, release chemicals that make the body less responsive to the effects of insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar levels normal. Even if the pancreas works harder to produce more insulin, blood sugar levels may become too high.
A little weight loss can help reverse this effect and bring back insulin sensitivity!
Healthy weight — good sleep
Perhaps everyone already knows about the role of ghrelin, a hormone that makes us want to eat. If you do not get enough sleep regularly, the level of this hormone rises sharply, the body requires food, and the result is obesity. Accordingly, in order to overeat less, you need to sleep better. But as?
Start with weight loss! There is evidence that reducing excess body weight by 5% improves sleep. So lose weight, sleep and lose weight again!
By the way, elevated levels of ghrelin lead to more than just excess hunger. He also encourages you to take alcohol — there are a lot of calories.
Losing weight can help drive your blues away. And not only because your favorite outfit fits again!
Scientists are still trying to figure out why this is happening, but better body image and better sleep may be part of it all. In one study, people who were very overweight and depressed felt better after losing an average of 8% of their body weight. Other experts assure (the study was published in the journal Obesity) that you will continue to feel better, even after 2 years, as long as you keep the weight off.
Depressive states are associated with inflammatory processes. This phenomenon is still being studied, but the connection has been proven. You can reduce inflammation with weight loss.
Inflammation is the cause of not only depression, but also many other, even more dangerous diseases, such as arthritis, pathologies of the heart and blood vessels, up to heart attacks and strokes. What is the relationship between obesity and inflammation?
Fat cells, especially around the abdomen, can release chemicals that irritate and inflame tissues throughout the body.
To reduce inflammation, you will have to work a little harder: you need to reduce weight by 10%. But the risk of serious diseases will be halved!
Libido and sexual activity
Usually, excess weight reduces the sexual activity of a person — both men and women. Maybe because there are problems with feeling in a large body.
But the reason can also be a decrease in libido due to the influence of adipose tissue and even a decrease in the pleasure of lovemaking. Scientists say that dropping a few pounds, you will not only feel more confident, but the desire will appear more often. This study was published in the journal Iranian Red Crescent Medical.
Christian Filion, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, Principal Investigator at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology
You don’t have to follow fad diets and cut back on fats or carbs in order to lose weight. We conducted a systematic review of a body of scientific research (The American Journal of Medicine) and compared the healthy Mediterranean diet with three of the most popular: low-fat, low-carb and diabetic diets.
As it turned out, the Mediterranean diet is as effective as the low-carb and special anti-diabetic diet, and the low-fat diet is twice as effective! So you can eat with taste and at the same time lose weight, gaining health.
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