Obesity rates are a problem around the world, but it’s in the United States that they are particularly worrying.
In 2008, an American Medical Association study found that the obesity rate among adults in America sat at 32.2% for men and a shocking 35.5% for women. To verify the study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ran the same numbers and confirmed the same rates. You can probably see why this is disturbing, especially when you consider how close to 50% those numbers are.
Obesity leads to a number of different diseases in individuals, including both diabetes and heart disease. These two deadly conditions are only the tip of the iceberg. In the following paragraphs we will discuss some of the health benefits of weight loss, as well as some warnings that can help to keep you on the right track during your weight loss journey.
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #1: You’re Going to Get Better Sleep
The average person needs roughly eight hours of sleep every night, but you might be surprised to find that many don’t get that. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping for some time, then your weight might actually be affecting you in ways that you don’t realize. Did you know that obesity is one of the leading causes of sleep apnea? Research has proven time and again that losing just 5% of your body fat will help you to sleep better and longer over the course of the night. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then we would strongly recommend you speak with your doctor about weight loss and to determine how much you need to reach a healthy weight level. A CPAP machine can only go so far – you still need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself.
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #2: Balance out your Hormones
When hormones are brought up there is a good chance that you immediately think of your teenage years but guess what? Hormones play a role throughout your entire life. Did you know, for example, that your thyroid gland is responsible for releasing two different hormones to regulate your metabolism? If your body weight drops to within a healthy range, your hormone levels will become stable and it will be easier for you to maintain your weight loss. For more information on this, it would be within your best interest to speak to a dietician and learn how to properly take care of your body.
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #3: Improve your Mood
You’ve already committed to this path and you know that it’s going to bring you some amazing health benefits, but you might not be expecting the boost it brings to your mental fitness. When you work out, you release chemicals called endorphins, which give you that post-workout high. You will process pain differently, and overall, you’ll get a more positive feeling after you’ve worked out. It may even last for the rest of the day!
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #4: Reduce Joint Pain
Joint pain is something that happens to most people with age, but it can come sooner for those who are overweight. When you’re overweight your knees and ankles are put under additional pressure. You may find that standing up is more than a chore, it’s a pain. Are you familiar with needing to grab onto the counter or support yourself on the couch when you stand up thanks to that pain in your knees or ankles? Do you want to get rid of it? When you lose the weight you will find that you have less weight on your frame and, ultimately, less joint pain. It might sound unlikely right now, but one of the health benefits of weight loss is getting rid of that pain through hard work and determination.
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #5: Clear up your Skin
If you want cleaner, brighter skin then you will definitely love this benefit of weight loss.
You might have started your weight loss journey just to slim down, but you will quickly find that it does a great job of clearing up your skin. This can be partially attributed to your new diet as you will likely consume more fruits and vegetables that give you all of the nutrients that you need. Exercise that is associated with weight loss is also beneficial to the skin, as blood flow increases and sweat helps to keep pores clear.
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #6: Lowering the Chance of Heart Disease
By losing weight you are lowering your chances of developing both heart disease and diabetes, two deadly conditions that claim hundreds of thousands of lives every year. It’s just not something that you want to risk. Being overweight can lead to other medical conditions like sleep apnea, inflammation, fatty liver, and low bone density.
Health Benefits of Weight Loss #7: Alleviate your Stress
If you’re like the majority of all people, then you probably have areas of your life that cause stress. Stress can come from a number of different sources, whether it’s your work, your family, or your friends. Weight loss won’t address all of the areas of stress in your life, however, it will allow you to better deal with pressure and can reduce overall stress levels.
You’ll be eating a balanced diet, exercising consistently, and most importantly, you will be getting plenty of sleep. This alone helps to alleviate some of your stress naturally.
The Difference Between Good and Bad Weight Loss
The benefits of weight loss are significant and they could dramatically improve your quality of life. However, it’s important to understand that not all weight loss is healthy. There are right and wrong ways to lose weight, and bad diets and poor lifestyle changes can actually be detrimental to your health. One of the most important things that you need to know, is that weight loss isn’t just something you do once and then forget about.
Weight loss is an ongoing lifestyle choice that requires a change in general attitude, a change in eating habits, regular exercise, and an adequate amount of rest. Losing weight in a healthy way will help to ensure that you can keep the weight off.
Losing Weight in a Healthy Manner
A basic of weight loss that many people tend to overlook is caloric intake. In order to lose weight successfully, you need to make sure that you’re using more calories than you’re taking in. So, for example, one pound is worth 3,500 calories, and with that being the case, you need to reduce your daily caloric intake by 500-1000 to lose between one and two pounds per week. If you want to do it properly, you need to avoid fad diets.
The Importance of Avoiding Fad Diets
When you first start looking for weight loss solutions, your immediate instinct might be to look for fad diets, but we’re going to go ahead and warn you right now: don’t do it.
When we reference fad diets we’re talking about anything from Paleo all the way to the Atkins diet, because while these diets may work for some, they don’t work for every single person and we’re going to tell you why.
Everyone is Different – Here’s an obvious statement, but it is more important than most people think. While people tend to look similar in that they are bipedal humanoids, we can easily celebrate the fact that we are all entirely different and we all have different needs. A weight loss solution that might work well for one person could be completely detrimental to another. In fact, when you adhere to a diet designed for someone else, you may be putting yourself at risk.
It Could be Dangerous –
Let’s be perfectly honest here: fad diets are not designed to take care of you, and those who conceive them do not speak to you as an individual. They are here for one thing: to make money. Understanding that, you should be able to see why these diets tend to utilize quick and dirty methods that will help you to lose weight quickly and give you a good impression of the system. You may however find yourself regaining weight quickly after you stop the diet, forcing you back into the cycle and ultimately squeezing more money out of you. Not only is this financially damaging to you, but it could be potentially dangerous as you will be shocking your body with dramatic and unhealthy changes in weight.
It’s Expensive – Fad diets are expensive. They might seem affordable up front but the cost builds up and you might find yourself sinking several thousands of dollars into an unproven system. A far better investment would be to speak to a physician or a nutritionist and learn precisely what it is that you need to start losing weight today.
Consider Medical Weight Loss
The weight loss journey is not a short one, regardless of what other people want you to believe. Your gains and your losses may be very difficult to measure at first. Medical weight loss is one option that is closely monitored with regular visits to a clinic. You will be provided with diet and exercise advice that is designed specifically for your scenario and your body type. Medical weight loss is popular with many people who have tried other types of weight loss without success.
Designed for You – Medical weight loss programs are designed specifically for the individual, and it takes your physiology, as well as your body chemistry into account.
Safer – Medical weight loss is a safe alternative to fad diets because you are closely monitored by your physician. If you are noticing something wrong, you can simply contact them and ask them for advice. You cannot really do that if you are following the latest fad diet.
More Effective –With medical weight loss, your process and progress will be regularly monitored by medical professionals. They will be able to make subtle changes to ensure you’re maximizing your potential weight loss and quickly becoming the person that you want to be.
Start Living a Healthy Life
Deciding to lose weight is an important step that will dramatically change your life. When you stick to your weight loss plan, you will reap the benefits that we have mentioned above, alleviating stress and making your own life much more comfortable and enjoyable. You can also enjoy a number of social benefits, and can gain a significant amount of confidence from losing weight.
If you currently feel exhausted, or if you are suffering from low self-esteem because of your weight, then you will love the changes that come from healthy and sustained weight loss. Weight loss can allow you to become more outgoing and you will have more energy to spend time with friends and family. If your weight has ever interfered with intimate relationships in the past, then you will definitely appreciate the changes that come with weight loss.
Weight loss can also help to treat depression, and combined with regular exercise it could help you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
With all of the health benefits of weight loss it should be obvious that weight loss needs to be maintained for the rest of your life. Losing weight is the first step, and keeping within a healthy weight range will ensure that you continue to receive all of the benefits. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and eliminating bad habits are all useful for maintaining your weight loss. Simply staying active can help you keep within your ideal weight range, so try new activities like walking, swimming, bike riding, or even join a casual sports team.
Over time, healthy lifestyle changes will become second nature.