When you think about weight-loss, it’s very common for people to think that unless they lose dozens of pounds right away, they will not be any healthier.
This is a big misconception! In fact, studies have shown that health benefits resulting from weight-loss are evident with a weight reduction as low as 5-10 percent!
That means that losing only 5% percent of your body weight — 10 pounds for a 200-pound person — can improve all kinds of health problems; and the best part is, you’ll start getting and feeling those health benefits right away!
So let’s go over what losing just 5% of body fat can do and mean for you.
Decreased risk of heart disease
Extra weight puts extra strain on your heart because the body must pump more blood to deliver more nutrients to the muscles, organs, and tissues. So losing weight helps take the strain off your heart and greatly reduces your risk of heart disease.
Decreased risk of a stroke
Just like we mentioned with heart disease, the same can be said for decreasing your chance of a stroke.
Excess pounds strain the entire circulatory system and this can lead to other health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obstructive sleep apnea. But, losing as little as 5% to 10% of your starting weight can lower your blood pressure, stroke risk factors, and greatly cut your chances of having a serious illness.
That in itself is a great motivator to lose those first 10 pounds.
Decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of osteoarthritis
Carrying extra weight can make everyday activities painful on the joints. The less extra weight you have to carry, the less wear and tear you’ll be doing to your body- especially on your knee and hip joints.
A loss of just 10 pounds can take 30 to 40 pounds of pressure off your knees when you walk, and it can also lower levels of proteins that cause swelling. Which brings us to our next health benefit.
Decreased Joint Pain
As we mentioned, 10 extra pounds of weight adds 40 pounds of pressure onto your knees and other lower body joints. This pressure can wear your body joints out quicker and cause inflammation.
Losing even a little weight can ease these effects; and by keeping the weight off you’re much less likely to endure arthritis later in life.
Lowered blood pressure
Got high blood pressure? Well, losing just 5% of body fat will help solve that concern.
As you lose weight your blood pressure can improve because your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump the blood around your body. So with every pound you lose your blood pressure will also lower.
Expect about a 1 point drop in systolic pressure for every 2 pounds you lose. So you’ll drop 5 points when you drop 10 pounds!
Cuts Your Chances of Cancer
Studies have shown that women who lost at least 5% of their body weight lowered their chances of breast cancer by 12%. There’s no clear proof that losing weight protects you from other types of cancer, but enough changes in your body happen when you shed weight that hint that it might.
For example, overweight individuals who have lost 5% of their body fat or more (and continued to keep it off) have lower levels of some hormones that are linked to cancer- like estrogens, insulin, and androgens.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
If you’re more likely to get diabetes, weight loss can help you prevent or delay it.
For those with a family history of diabetes, weight control is critical. Research has shown that people who have a family history of type 2 diabetes are more vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes themselves. Staying at a healthy weight lowers their chances of getting the disease by about 70 to 90 percent.
If you already have diabetes, losing weight can help you take less medication, keep control of your blood sugar, and lower the odds that the condition will cause other health problems.
Reverses Insulin Resistance
Body fat, especially in your belly area, gives off chemicals that make your body stop reacting to the effects of insulin, a hormone that keeps the level of sugar in your blood normal. Even though your pancreas works harder to make more insulin, your blood sugar can get too high. A little bit of weight loss can help reverse this effect.
Improved Cholesterol Levels
Losing weight can help with your cholesterol levels because it can reduce the amount of fat you have in your body and make you less likely to have inflammation.
By losing body fat you can get you into the ideal HDL range: above 60 mg/dl, will greatly lower your odds of having heart disease.
Brings Down Triglycerides
Triglycerides are particles in your body that transport fat for storage and energy. High levels (more than 200 mg/dl) increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Research has shown that just losing 5%-10% of your body weight (by consuming fewer excess calories) can be an effective way to lower your blood triglyceride levels.
Stops Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea can causes all kinds of health problems, especially for your heart.
Individuals who are overweight gain extra tissue in the back of their throat.
When your body relaxes when you sleep, that tissue can drop down and block your airway. This blockage in your airway makes you stop breathing over and over for short bursts of time throughout the night.
By slimming down- even as little as 5% of your body fat, can often help with sleep apnea — sometimes enough that you can stop using the breathing devices that are usee to treat it.
On top of that, some studies have shown that losing just 5% of body fat can also lead to a longer and better night’s sleep.
Always consult with your physician before stopping any treatment, medication or the use of medical devices.
When you’re overweight, you typically have less sex. It might be because you just don’t feel good about your body. Or, it may be that you have less desire, and when you’re in the mood your body just doesn’t respond as well.
According to a study conducted at Duke, up to 30% of obese people seeking help controlling their weight, indicated problems with their sex drive, desire, performance, or all three.
Research has shown these problems can be traced to physical conditions that co-exist with obesity. But losing just a little weight, even just 10 pounds, will help stimulate sex hormones. Which means you’ll notice yourself feeling in the mood more often.
Other Great Benefits
You’ll Experience Better Moods
Studies have shown that individuals that were overweight and depressed felt better after they lost an average of 5 to 8% of their body weight.
You’ll Develop Healthier Eating Habits
- You’ll start reflecting on all of your specific eating habits, both bad and good; and, your common triggers for unhealthy eating.
- You’ll start replacing and then reinforcing your unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones.
Exercise is helpful for weight loss and maintaining weight loss. Once you start losing weight, your mind, body and joints will feel better, giving you the confidence and energy to start working out more.
And of course exercise comes with lots of benefits by itself:
- It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol which may prevent a heart attack.
- If you exercise, you lower your risk of developing certain types of cancers such as colon and breast cancer.
- Exercise is also known to help contribute to a sense of confidence and well-being, thus possibly lowering rates of anxiety and depression.
- Exercise also increases metabolism, (how many calories you burn in a day) and helps you maintain and increase lean body mass.
Before starting an exercise routine while dieting, always talk to your healthcare and weight loss team to help you determine the best intensity and workout regimen for you.
Your doctor can provide more personalized information about the health benefits you can expect to see when you lose weight. For example, you may be able to decrease or eliminate certain medications.
At the Atlanta Medical Institute, our team of highly trained physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and weight loss specialists understand that one diet and treatment plan does not fit everybody’s lifestyle or preferences.
That’s why we design tailored treatment plans that specifically meet your needs and address chronic diseases or conditions that hinder your ability to lose weight.
Are you ready to have a dedicated team that will listen, provide support, and guide you through your weight loss journey?
We’ve helped countless men and women lose weight and improve their health. Let us show you how amazing you’ll feel after losing your first 5% of body fat – from there the benefits you’ll receive will only keep getting better.
Set up a FREE consultation with our compassionate and dedicated team by clicking here.