The Benefits of Weight Loss
Weight loss in the context of health is the reduction of the total body mass. This is because of the loss of lean mass, body fat and fluids. This form of weight loss comes from a conscious effort to improve a perceived or actual obese or overweight state. Being overweight is a condition that affects many people worldwide. Carrying extra pounds increases your risk of developing different health problems. These include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, gall stones and some cancers. Besides, being overweight makes one prone to depression. Moreover, this mood disorder can negatively affect ones daily life.
How do you know that you are overweight?
The body mass index (BMI) will let you know if you are overweight, obese or at normal weight. The BMI measures your height in relation to your weight. Normal weight has a BMI ranging from 18.5 to 25.9. Overweight has a BMI between 25 and 29.9, while obesity has a BMI of 30 and above. In fact, your waist size is important too. Besides, having a lot of abdominal fat increases your chances of developing many diseases. So women with a waist size greater than 35 inches and men with a waist size more than 40 inches, may have an increased risk of developing diseases.
The benefits of weight loss
Being overweight increases the risk of developing many diseases. In fact, losing just 10 pounds can have far reaching health benefits.
Weight loss can make your heart healthier. Being overweight increases the levels of low density cholesterol (LDL). Moreover, this is the bad cholesterol. It causes plaque to build up in the blood vessels. So the blood vessels become hard and narrow. As a result, the flow of oxygen and blood to the heart becomes restricted. It also encourages blood clotting. This leads to heart disease. Besides, it affects how well the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body. Heart disease may cause a heart attack, cardiac arrest and heart failure. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm or chest pain.
So being overweight is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, losing between 5 and 10 percent of your body weight may lower the risk of developing heart disease. This is because it results in improved blood flow and lower blood pressure. It also lowers LDL cholesterol.
Reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes
Being overweight may cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Type 2 diabetes is caused by higher than normal blood sugar levels. Besides, high blood sugar levels lead to heart disease, stroke, and blindness. It also causes kidney disease and loss of limps. Excess weight, poor diet and lack of physical activity contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, being overweight cause’s body cells to change. So they become resistant to the insulin hormone. This is an important hormone because it carries sugar to the cells. The cells use the sugar for energy. Hence, insulin resistance prevents sugar from being taken to the cells. As a result, the sugar levels in the blood rise
Furthermore, the cells that produce insulin have to work harder to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Overtime these cells fail. In fact, weight loss may help to prevent or delay the development of diabetes. It is also beneficial for those who have the disease. This is because it helps to control the blood sugar levels. Moreover, it may prevent or delay the development of health problems. Furthermore, weight loss and exercise help reduce the amount of diabetes medication.
Being overweight increases the levels of low density cholesterol (LDL). Furthermore, this is the bad cholesterol. LDL causes plaque to build up in the blood vessels. So the blood vessels become hard and narrow. As a result, the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain becomes restricted. It also encourages blood clotting. Plaque buildup and blood clots can stop the flow of blood to the brain. Blocking blood flow to the brain causes stroke. So the brain cells die. Furthermore, stroke occurs when the blood vessels in the brain burst.
Excess weight increases the risk of stroke. This is because being overweight is linked to the leading causes of stroke. These are high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and high blood sugar levels. It also encourages the development of heart disease. So weight loss will help you lower your risk of stroke. It will also help to make your cardiovascular system healthier.
Lowers blood pressure
Blood pressure is how hard your blood pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. Excess weight causes your blood pressure to increase. This is because the heart has to pump harder to send blood to all the body cells. Besides, excess fat may damage the kidneys. Kidneys help to regulate blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. So blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg is high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of developing many diseases. These include heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and many others.
In fact, weight loss that gets you close to your normal BMI will also bring your blood pressure down. Besides, you need to reduce salt intake, quit smoking and increase your physical activity. So weight loss may help to prevent high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, weight loss will help you to lower it and also reduce your medication.
Reduces the risk of Cancer
Excess weight increases the risk of developing several cancers. This is because fat cells may release hormones that affect cell growth. So this can lead to the development of cancer. In fact, cancer occurs when cells in a part of the body grow out of control or there is abnormal growth. The cancerous cells can then spread to other parts of the body. These cancers include colon, liver, prostate, throat and breast cancers. Besides, the physical activity and eating habits that lead to excess weight may also increase the cancer risk.
So reducing excess weight may prevent the risk of developing cancer. Moreover, increased physical activity and healthy eating habits may lower the cancer risk.
Being over overweight causes extra tissue to thicken your wind pipe. So this narrows your airway. As a result, your tonsils and tongue become a threat to the narrowed airway. More so, this can be a problem when you are sleeping. In fact, the narrowed airway can cause sleep apnea. This is a life threatening condition. Sleep apnea causes breathing difficulties while sleeping. Moreover, reduced air intake results in low oxygen supply to the brain. So your brain shocks your body awake. As a result, you get inadequate sleep. This causes you to suffer daytime sleepiness and difficulty focusing. In fact, it is a dangerous condition and may cause heart failure.
Excess weight is the main risk for sleep apnea. Weight loss reduces the fat stored around the windpipe. So this decreases the neck size and reduces the inflammation. As a result, it improves sleep apnea and leads to better sleep.
Prevents kidney disease
The Kidneys are a pair of bean shaped body organs. In fact, these filter the blood to remove extra water and waste products. So these become urine. The kidneys also help to regulate blood pressure. Hence, they help your body to stay healthy. Excess weight increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. These are the most important causes of kidney disease. Being overweight may also damage the blood vessel to the kidneys. Kidney disease makes the kidneys ineffective. This means they lose their ability to filter the blood. As a result, excess water, toxins and wastes build up in your body. In fact, this encourages the development of many diseases.
Weight loss may prevent the development of kidney disease. Also, for those in the early stages of the disease, weight loss may slow down the disease. Besides, it helps to keep the kidneys healthier longer. Further, eat food with less salt and keep your blood sugar level within normal range. Also, keep your blood pressure under control.
Fatty liver disease
This disease is also known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. It occurs when fat builds up in the liver and causes damage. Fatty liver disease may lead to scar tissue or even liver failure. This disease produces mild or no symptoms. Moreover, it is like alcoholic liver disease. Yet, it can occur in people who don’t drink alcohol. The cause of fatty liver disease is unknown. Yet, it most often affects people with excess weight. It also affects the middle aged and diabetes.
There is no specific treatment for fatty liver disease. Weight loss, eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol are important. Increased physical activity is also important. In fact, studies show that patients who reduce their body weight to a healthy range improve their liver tests. The may also reverse the disease to an extent.
Lowers the risk of Osteoarthritis
This is a health problem that causes stiffness and pain in your joints. Besides, it is related to injury or aging. It often affects the knees, hands, hips, and lower back. Excess body weight is a risk factor for this disease. This is because being overweight puts huge pressure on your joints and cartilage. Moreover, the extra body fat may cause inflammation. This is because of higher blood levels of inflammatory substances. Furthermore, inflamed joints may increase the risk for osteoarthritis. In fact, losing weight may help to lower the risk of developing this disease.
A weight loss of 5% of body weight may reduce stress on your hips, knees and lower back. It will also reduce the inflammation in the body. Furthermore, studies show that exercise is among the best treatments for the disease. Exercise also decreases pain, improves mood and increases flexibility.
Lower risk of dementia
People with excess weight have too much abdominal fat surrounding their internal organs. This is clear from their protruding bellies. This abdominal fat has cells that release inflammation causing chemicals. These chemicals may cause memory loss and increase the risk of developing dementia. Furthermore, excess weight leads to high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol. These may result in reduced flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. This may lead to damaged, dementia prone brain tissue. They also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Hence, weight loss lowers the risk of developing dementia because it reduces abdominal fat. It also lowers blood pressure and the LDL cholesterol levels.
Excess weight increases the risk of health problems during pregnancy. Moreover, this increases the risk for both mother and child. In fact, pregnant women who have excess weight have an increased risk for several diseases. These include developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy. Besides, this can cause a serious problem for both the mother and child. Furthermore, women with excess weight are more likely to need a C section. Babies of obese or overweight mothers are at a higher risk of being stillborn, or being born too soon. They are also likely to have defects of the spinal cord and brain.
Pregnant women with excess weight are more likely to have high blood sugar. They are also likely to develop insulin resistance and high blood pressure. Furthermore, excess weight increases the risks linked to anesthesia and surgery. In fact, severe obesity increases blood loss and surgery time. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may have long term effects for both child and mother. First of all, the mother will have obesity or overweight after the child is born. Also, the child may gain a lot of weight later in childhood or as an adult.
So women with excess weight who want to become pregnant should lose weight first. So they should talk to a health care provider about it. Having a normal weight before pregnancy is important. It may lower the chances of developing weight related problems. Weight loss after delivery may also help women lower their health risks.
In conclusion, losing the extra weight can have great weight benefits. At times, we may feel frustrated because of the difference between what we weigh and what we want to weigh. Yet, remember that losing only 5% to 10% can help us enjoy some weight loss benefits. Besides, the most important thing is to eat a healthy diet. Also, increase your physical activity level. Overtime, your weight will come down.