The Health Benefits of Weight Loss

According to recent research studies, a modest weight loss of 5-10 percent of total body weight can improve quality of health. Many people desire to lose weight to be more attractive, and this obviously improves self-esteem and confidence.

However, a person who weighs 200 pounds will enjoy many health benefits from losing only 20 pounds. Here are some of the proven health benefits of weight loss.canstockphoto5574213

Lower Cholesterol Levels

There are many cholesterol medicines to reduce the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). However, no medication can elevate the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). This is where weight loss comes into play. Just by losing 5-10 percent of total body weight, you increase your HDL level by five points. HDL levels higher than 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women are protective against heart disease and stroke.

People with high triglyceride levels are also at risk for stroke and heart attack. Triglycerides are fat-like particles that circulate normally in the blood stream. When too many triglycerides are there, they accumulate and build up as plaque, blocking the arteries. Losing weight lowers total levels of triglycerides to 150 mg/dL, which is normal.

Lower Blood Pressure

Excessive body weight is the reason 25% of people have high blood pressure, a condition called hypertension. When body weight goes up, it causes various hemodynamic abnormalities that cause blood pressure to rise. When a person chooses to lose 5-10 percent of total body weight, the blood pressure decreases by 5 mmHg. The pressure lowers even more with a diet high in vegetables and fruits and low in fat and complex carbohydrates.

Lower Blood Sugar

canstockphoto1869885(1)One of the conditions caused by overweight and obesity is diabetes mellitus. The hallmark laboratory measure for diabetes is the hemoglobin A1C, which should be 6.5 or lower. With a modest weight loss of 10 percent of body weight, the A1C marker goes down by half a point or more. This effect is similar to the effects of oral diabetic agents.

Prevent Insulin Resistance

One common condition seen with overweight and obesity is insulin resistance. This disorder of  the pancreas results in the release of large amounts of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the blood stream. High insulin levels occur when the body tissues become resistant to this hormone’s beneficial effects. In insulin resistance, the patient develops abnormal hair growth and infertility. With modest weight loss, this problem resolves.

Cures Sleep Apnea

People who are overweight or obese have an abnormal accumulation of body fat around the neck. Because of the excessive weight, the person will gasp and pause when breathing during sleep. Loss of REM sleep leads to daytime drowsiness and fatigue. To reduce or eliminate sleep apnea, the individual simply needs to lose 5-10 percent of total body weight.

Pain-Free and Movable Joints

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition of the joints, which results when the tissue protecting the joints (cartilage) wears away. As a result of the loss of cartilage, the joints become tender, swollen, and stiff, which makes movement difficult. Excessive body weight puts pressure on the joints and contributes to this condition. A modest weight loss of 10-20 pounds will alleviate many of the symptoms associated with OA.

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