How Losing Just 10% of Your Body Weight Can Change Your Life
Posted On Dec 23, 2016
How losing just 10 percent of your body weight can change your life
By Janette Daher
Everywhere you turn, thin is definitely “in.” That said, the truth is that over the past twenty years, the number of overweight and obese individuals in the U.S. has more than doubled. The effects of processed foods, aging, stressful work schedules, and environmental toxins all contribute to our struggle to achieve the ideal form. Most of us make new year’s resolutions about diet, exercise, and weight loss. We often focus on an ideal body weight and believe that if we do not achieve this lofty goal, we have failed. Yet studies have shown that a small amount of weight loss—as little as 10 percent of your body weight—yields significant benefits beyond just better fitting clothes.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT?
While gaining a few pounds is a good indicator that you should slim down, there are more important measurements that can confirm whether or not you should consider losing 10 percent of your body weight. Your BMI (body mass index) is defined as the body’s weight in kilograms, divided by the square of the body height in meters. (Don’t worry if math isn’t your strong suit. There are numerous online calculators available .) A BMI over 25 kg/m2 means you’re overweight, while a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2 means you’re obese. Another measurement is the waist-to-hip circumference ratio, which may be a more accurate predictor of health risk. A ratio greater than 0.9 for men and 0.85 for women is considered a risk for obesity and its associated health risks. If you qualify yet want to live long and be healthy, the next few paragraphs may provide motivation beyond simply sex appeal. A 10 percent reduction of body weight can have health benefits that transcend any drug or supplement, without the side effects.
- HEART HEALTH About 25 percent of those with high blood pressure have excess body weight to blame. Studies show that a 10 percent loss of body weight translates to an average decrease of 10 mm Hg (your hemoglobin count) in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension. In fact, losing as little as 5 pounds of body weight can reduce your blood pressure. Weight loss also has a direct effect on cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. There are two main types of cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol, while HDL is considered “good” cholesterol. A 10 percent weight loss can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 15 percent, and raise HDL cholesterol by up to 8 percent. Another lab value used to evaluate cardiovascular risk are triglycerides—“fat particles” found in the bloodstream. A 10 percent weight loss has been shown to result in a decrease of serum triglyceride levels by up to 30 percent.
- CONTROL YOUR SUGAR Being overweight may cause your body to produce or use insulin improperly, causing more weight gain, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A 10 percent weight loss affects the markers used to diagnose diabetes such as hemoglobin A1C and fasting glucose levels. Research shows that hemoglobin A1C levels can decrease by one-half point, and fasting glucose levels can decrease by up to 50 percent. A study conducted by the Centers of Disease Control Diabetes Prevention Program showed that losing about 15 pounds can lower the risk of developing diabetes by a full 58 percent.
- BREATHE EASIER Sleep apnea is a condition commonly found in those who are overweight. Sleep apnea sufferers often snore or gasp for breath during deep sleep, leading to lower levels of oxygen and disruption of sleep patterns. Sleep apnea not only makes you feel more tired, but can make other conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, more resistant to treatment. A 10 percent loss of body weight has been shown to improve sleep apnea. According to a report by the American Heart Association, the most effective way to prevent sleep apnea is to lose weight.
- WEIGHT LOSS AND CANCER According to the American Cancer Society, being overweight contributes to 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths. Excess body weight is a direct link to colon and rectal cancer, uterine cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal and pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer (in post menopausal women). While it’s not completely understood how weight impacts cancer risk, experts believe that it’s related to immune system function, hormone levels, inflammation, and substances that influence how a body uses certain hormones. While 10 percent body weight loss may not prevent all cancers, it can lower the risk of many forms of cancer.
- LOSE YOUR PAIN Excess body weight places enormous strain on knee and hip joints. A study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that a 10-pound weight loss relieves 40 pounds of pressure from the knees! It has also been shown that weight loss can decrease pain, improve joint function, and lower overall inflammation in the body.
- LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX Losing weight will not only make your body better, it can help in other areas of your life and relationships. Weight loss gives you more energy, boosts your self-esteem, and even improves your sex life. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, being 30 pounds overweight decreases a man’s testosterone level to that of a man 10 years older. A Duke University study showed that a 10 percent weight loss increased sexual satisfaction, and obese counterparts were 25 times more likely to be dissatisfied with their sex lives. It’s easy to see that committing to a 10 percent loss of body weight does more than improve the mirror’s reflection or prompt a shopping spree for new clothes. There are many ways to measure your success, ways that are far more important. Why not take the 10 percent body weight loss challenge? Example: If you currently weigh 150 pounds and lose 15 pounds, you’ll have succeeded in reaping so many significant health benefits. Over the next two issues, we’ll present proven medical strategies to help you with weight reduction, including: hormones balancing, detoxification, digestive balancing, and prescriptive
nutrition and exercise.
TOP 10 REASONS TO DROP 10 % OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT
– Lower your blood pressure.
– Lower your blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and diabetes risk.
– Lower your triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol—the bad kind.
– Raise your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol—the good kind.
– Lower your risk of certain cancers.
– Decrease pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
– Promote better sleep patterns.
– Increase energy levels.
– Increase your self-esteem.
– Enhance your sex life.