Top 5 Reasons to Lose 5%
According to an article by the National Institute of Health (NIT), people classified as obese (BMI greater than 30%) can experience many benefits by reducing their weight by as little as 5%. This is great news for the over 1 in 3 Americans who fall into this category, and feel the effects of obesity on a daily basis. The benefits of a 5% weight loss can be life changing and are both physiological and psychological.
- Reduce the Risk of Developing Cancer
The risk of developing and dying from 13 types of cancers–including ovarian, pancreatic, and kidney–rises in people classified as obese. The American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases in the United States in 2018 to be 1.7 million, with approximately 610,000 dying from the disease.
As one gains weight and increases fat tissue, more blood vessels are needed. Obesity has been shown to affect metabolic function and disrupt the way new blood vessels form from existing ones. This can cause otherwise benign tumors to become malignant. Losing weight reduces fat tissue and helps blood vessels return to their former state. Losing as little as 5% body weight has been shown to lead to improved metabolic function in the liver, fat, and muscle.
- Achieve Overall Better Health
Those who experience moderate weight loss may also gain additional health-related benefits.
A study published by the American Diabetes Association showed that adults who lost 5% of their body weight had significant improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, such as a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in good cholesterol–with those who lost more weight experiencing even greater benefits.
Losing weight can also help reduce the chance of developing certain diseases. For example, obesity makes the body work harder to use insulin to control blood sugar levels, leading to the development of type-2 diabetes. Losing just 5% of one’s weight will decrease overall body fat and reduce the risk of developing the disease.
In addition, obesity is the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea, which decreases blood oxygen and causes people to awake many times during the night. This disruption in sleep can have serious consequences including an increased chance of cardiovascular incidents, accidents, and premature death. According to a study done by the University of Pennsylvania, improving your diet and losing weight can help stave off sleep apnea. This is key to preserving healthy brain cells and keeping you more alert–which can lower the incidents of accidents and injuries.
- Increase Ability to Exercise Longer and More Intensely
Losing 5% can help you exercise longer and more intensely, achieving greater results. Regular exercise helps reduce stress and offers many benefits in addition to increased weight loss.
- Increased energy by reducing feelings of fatigue
- Increased happiness by helping the brain react to hormones which fight depression and producing more endorphins
- Lower levels of certain cancer-associated hormones
- Decreased chance of becoming insulin resistant
- Reduced odds of catching a cold or the flu by helping rid your lungs and airways of bacteria
- Help sleeping better, which can boost your immune system and memory function
- Improve Quality of Life
Carrying extra weight can wreak havoc on both your physical and mental well-being, often leading to physical pain, fatigue, and depression.
Extra weight means extra pressure on joints, making simple movements more difficult and sometimes quite painful. For those experiencing some types of knee pain, simply losing one pound of weight works to remove four pounds of pressure on the knees, which the Arthritis Foundation states can ease pain and inflammation.
Fatigue and associated mood changes can be common among the obese due to sleep disorders. According to a study presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, obese adults who lose as little as 5% of their weight experienced not only improved sleep after six months of weight loss but improved mood as well.
Although both men and women can experience obesity-related depression, the risk is slightly higher among women. Depression can thwart efforts to lose weight by leading to binge eating, worsening the condition. Slight changes in diet, such as safely curbing appetite, can help achieve noticeable results in a relatively short time frame and help reduce negative feelings, leading to a greater quality of life.
- Get Motivated to Lose More
Although losing 5% can help people look and feel better, in this case…the more the better. Seeing the changes resulting from a moderate weight loss can increase motivation to eat well and exercise, making the weight loss journey easier and more rewarding.