4 Health Benefits of Losing Weight

No one wants an unsightly roll of flab hanging over their belt, so it’s very common for people to watch their calorie intake and avoid late-night binges on ice cream and pizza. However, having an acceptable appearance is not the only reason to lose weight.

The number of people who are overweight or obese has increased dramatically over the last four decades. In the United States, nearly 70% of adults are clinically considered overweight or obese. It is estimated that 2.6 million deaths per year are caused by obesity. There are many health benefits of getting rid of excess pounds. Here are 4 good reasons to lose weight that will vastly improve your health. 

Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases

Being extremely overweight or obese has been linked to higher incidences of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. The medical definition of obesity is a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Body mass index is derived by measuring one’s height and weight. These two measurements are then referred to when reading a chart that lists a person’s BMI. A person’s gender also must be accounted for on a BMI chart. 

Cardiovascular disease has been linked to higher risk for people who are overweight, especially if they have excess fat in the abdominal area. There are some serious cardiovascular conditions that are major causes of death worldwide. These include high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, heart attacks, arterial aneurysms and clogged blood vessels. Losing weight can significantly decrease a person’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. 

Prevent or Treat Type 2 Diabetes

One of the biggest health crises today is the rise in type 2 diabetes. This has been found to be directly linked to the sharp rise in obesity, which is considered a real health epidemic worldwide. Recent studies have shown that overweight people with type 2 diabetes have gone into remission just by losing weight. By bringing their blood glucose levels down to the normal range without medication, these people have effectively reversed their diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that makes it more difficult for the body to utilize blood glucose. This condition is known as “insulin resistance.” The body secretes the hormone insulin in order to regulate the level of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream and enable the cells of the body to utilize glucose for energy or to store the glucose in the fat cells. When the body’s cells are insulin resistant, it results in higher levels of glucose in the bloodstream. High blood sugar causes damage to blood vessels and nerves, which leads to a wide variety of serious health problems. 

In a study conducted in the UK, people who lost approximately 30 pounds during a 6-month weight loss program no longer suffered from diabetes. The participants did not take diabetes medications during the program or afterward. The reversal was accomplished by diet changes alone. 

Decreased Risk of Developing Cancers

Obesity has been a major topic in cancer research for several decades. Obesity has been linked to 13 different kinds of cancer by over a thousand studies. This includes cancer in various parts of the body such as stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, thyroid and others. Common cancers such as breast and colon cancer are also linked to obesity. Studies conclude that avoiding weight gain reduces cancer risk, and losing excess weight reduces risk. 

Reduce Muscle and Joint Pain

Having excess weight puts stress on the body. Obese people often complain of joint pains in the hips, knees and sometimes even the ankles and feet. Not only does the extra weight place a heavier burden on joints, but it also increases inflammation in joints. Losing weight can lessen the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.

Other than the 4 health concerns mentioned here, there are many other complications that arise from obesity and excess weight. Excess adipose tissue around the internal organs can cause problems with breathing and digestion. It can also throw the body’s hormones out of balance and have detrimental effects on mood and mental focus. There are many health reasons to change your diet and get to a normal weight, so now is the best time to get going on a healthier lifestyle and rid excess pounds or prevent weight gain.

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