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.

Joint problems

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.

Cancer risk

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

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.

Triglyceride level

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

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!

insulin resistance

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.

Good mood

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.

Reducing inflammation

Reducing inflammation

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.

Expert com­ment

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.

Use­ful Ser­vices

How much water to drink?

With this ser­vice you can cal­cu­late the amount of water you need

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