You must have seen people dieting religiously, exercising feverishly, and watching over their weight nervously. Social media, the internet, and TV shows are flooded with weight loss tips. But have you ever wondered if all of this is worth it?
Of course, getting into your old jeans is relaxing. The dress you just bought online also suits a toned body. But is weight loss all about getting in shape? No, it is beyond that. Losing weight can bring you more benefits than just looking good.
How can losing weight benefit you?
You should note that it is not about rejecting the importance of looking good. You look good; you feel good; that dictum is universally agreeable. However, many essential health benefits that losing weight can give you. These benefits are the main reason you should start thinking about shedding some pounds.
Here are a few ways losing weight can benefit you.
1. Alleviates Pressure on Joints
More weight than average can exert pressure on your knees and other lower body joints. Although the joints tend to wear out over time, extra pressure causes them to cave in way earlier than expected.
Moreover, the extra fat brings Inflammation that causes chemicals to damage your tissues and joints, especially the smaller ones like that in your hands.
That is the reason an anti-inflammatory diet is known to help improve arthritis symptoms.
Therefore, losing weight can reduce the pressure on your joints. It also means lesser chances for you to develop arthritis in the future.
2. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Losing weight can lower your chances of having cancer. In a study, researchers found that older women who had shed at least 5 percent of their body weight reduced their chances of developing breast cancer by 12 percent.
Although there is no direct evidence that losing weight can protect against other types, there is still some inclination that shedding some pounds can also reduce the risk of different types of cancer.
The inclination comes from the changes resulting from weight loss. These changes include lower levels of hormones after weight loss by an obese person. Notably, the reduced hormones include insulin, androgens, estrogen, and others linked with cancer.
3. Elevates the Levels of Good Cholesterol
There are many ways to control/lower your ‘bad cholesterol,’ i.e., Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) like proper medication and a healthy diet. However, raising good cholesterol levels or High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) is difficult.
HDL is crucial for your body, as it removes bad cholesterol from your blood. Therefore, the more you have HDL, the less you have bad cholesterol.
And you must know that shedding your body fat can give you the ideal HDL range, i.e., more than 60mg/dl. This HDL range helps keep you away from developing heart diseases.
4. Helps with High Blood Pressure
Extra weight exerts pressure and pushes your blood harder against your artery walls. Naturally, it ultimately increases work for the heart as well. You can improve your high blood pressure by losing some pounds.
Moreover, reducing salt consumption and eating many vegetables, low-fat dairy, and fruits can also help reduce weight. That can be why experts stress losing weight if a person has high blood pressure, as it aggravates the condition.
5. Helps with Sleep Apnea
People who are overweight tend to accumulate extra tissue in the back of their throats. When their body relaxes while sleeping, that tissue drops and blocks the airway.
It causes them to stop breathing over and over throughout the night. Not only does it result in troubled sleep, but it also creates several health issues, particularly in the heart.
Moreover, this very tissue around the neck is one of the culprits behind your snoring. You must be tired of it, or your roommate definitely will be.
The remedy for both conditions is losing weight. Even a 5 percent weight loss can eliminate the monsters between you and your lovely, peaceful sleep.
6. Alleviates Stress
You must have heard that chronic stress increases weight. However, the scenario also goes the other way around. More weight can also increase your stress levels. Therefore, shedding some pounds can relieve stress regardless of your day.
7. Lowers Triglycerides
Along with blood pressure and cholesterol, you must also monitor triglycerides. These are a kind of fat (lipid) present in your body.
When you eat, your body converts the extra calories into triglycerides. They, in turn, get stored in your fat cells and are released later for energy between meals.
However, you can have high triglycerides when you consume more calories than you burn, especially from high-carbohydrate things.
High triglycerides result in hardened arteries or thickening of the artery walls (arteriosclerosis). It increases the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
One of the best ways to lower or modernize the levels of triglycerides is to lose weight, as extra calories are the primary cause of hypertriglyceridemia. Therefore, shedding these extra calories will be among the most efficient ways to bring triglycerides down to 150mg/dl.
8. Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
If you risk developing Type 2 diabetes, weight loss is one of the two most effective ways to avoid it. The other one is exercise, which does not need to be strenuous.
As for weight loss, you are supposed to lose weight only if you weigh 160 pounds or above. In this case, losing just 8-12 pounds can lower your risk of diabetes.
Not only that losing weight can help you escape type 2 diabetes, but also it helps you if you already have this condition. Losing weight enables you to keep a check on your blood sugar. It also prevents the state from causing other health problems.
9. Turns Around Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas that checks the blood sugar level in your body. In insulin resistance, the cells resist the insulin and cannot use it effectively.
It leads to high blood sugar, despite your pancreas working harder to make more insulin.
Among others, body fat is the cause of insulin resistance. It generates chemicals that make your cells immune to the effects of insulin.
Losing a little bit of weight can reverse the effect of this condition, as your body fat will not create trouble anymore.
10. Helps with Insomnia
While there are some studies indicating not getting enough sleep leads to obesity, many also point out that excess weight can lead to trouble or less sleep as well.
You must have heard that your diet affects how you fall asleep and how well you feel after waking up. The same is the case with how much you weigh and from which food you put on that weight.
Studies have shown now, and then that fatty and sugary foods negatively impact your sleep quality. Cutting out these foods and shedding some pounds can significantly help your sleep.
11. Keeps you in good humor
Weight loss can get you out of your blues. It seems unbelievable, but scientists have found that it does help improve your mood.
Although they cannot find a reason yet, they assume that better body image and improved sleep can be a reason.
In one study, depressed people who were also overweight felt much better after losing eight percent of their body weight.
Other studies have also indicated that a person will continue to feel better due to weight loss, even after two years, unless they gain some weight again.
12. Improves Inflammation
Extra fat, particularly around the belly, can produce chemicals that inflame and irritate the tissues all over the body. It is associated with health problems like heart disease, arthritis, heart attack, and stroke.
If you shed 10 percent of your pounds, you can lessen the amount of these substances and reduce your chances of having these severe conditions.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, this Inflammation can also create trouble in your joints. If you do not want to grow old earlier, think about making some lifestyle changes.
Five Tips to Burn Fat
Having said enough about why you should lose weight, here are a few ways to shed some pounds.
1. Strength Training
Strength training is also a kind of exercise that demands you to contract your muscles against resistance. It creates muscle mass and enhances strength.
It includes lifting weights to build muscle mass over time. According to research, strength training also has many health benefits, which include burning fat.
In another study, strength training cuts visceral fat in 78 people having metabolic syndrome. This fat is a dangerous one surrounding the belly organs.
One more study has shown that 12 weeks of strength training combined with aerobic exercise proved more effective in reducing weight loss.
2. Observe a High-Protein Diet
Include protein-rich foods in your diet. It will reduce your appetite and burn more fat. Many studies have shown that consuming more high-quality protein is linked to a lower belly fat risk.
One study has found that a high-protein diet keeps muscle mass and metabolism while you are on to losing weight.
There is also evidence that increasing your protein intake enhances satiety, reduces appetite, and lowers calorie intake to help you lose weight.
3. Add Vinegar to Your Diet
Vinegar has a lot of health benefits. It improves your heart health and blood sugar control and also speeds up fat burning.
One study has indicated that taking 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of vinegar daily cuts people’s weight, average weight circumference, and belly fat over 12 weeks.
According to another study, vinegar increases satiety and reduces appetite. One more study of 11 people found that adding vinegar to your diet reduces the daily calorie intake by up to 275 calories.
It must be noted here that adding vinegar to your diet is relatively easy. You can dilute apple cider vinegar with water and take it a few times daily with meals.
If you do not like drinking vinegar directly, you can also make sauces, marinades, and dressings from it.
4. Consume Healthy Fats
You may deem consuming fats a contributor to weight gain, but not all fats have this effect. Some fats, i.e., healthy fats, can help you lose weight and feel full.
Fat takes some time to digest and, thus, slows down stomach emptying. Therefore, it reduces your appetite and hunger.
According to one study, a Mediterranean diet filled with healthy fats from olive oil and nuts can lower the risk of weight gain compared to a low-fat diet.
One more study has shown that taking two tablespoons of coconut oil and a weight-loss diet can reduce belly fat more than consuming soybean oil causes.
Healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds, which can effectively burn fat.
Excess weight can create many problems relating to health. Therefore, losing weight is essential to keep a person up and about. However, a person should not develop an obsession with weight loss. Not everybody needs to lose weight, and not everyone has to shed the same amount of pounds.
A certain amount of fats is necessary to keep a person healthy. If one goes below that amount, it will disrupt their day-to-day life. You should not forget that everything looks good in moderation. So, eat clean, exercise, and sleep well. That will lead you to the ideal body weight.