*Results may vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Many people associate the goal of losing weight with appearances; they assume that someone trying to lose weight wants to fit into a lower clothing size, or wants to look good for a major event. While these are certainly a couple of the reasons that people often want to lose weight, by and large the real reasons that people are interested in weight loss programs are health-related. As more and more studies are demonstrating, there are real, tangible benefits to losing even 5-10% of your body weight if you are overweight or obese, and the benefits come about quickly—they aren’t something you have to wait years to see.
How Losing Weight Can Turn Your Health Around
Study after study has shown that the benefits associated with losing weight and dropping fat are profound, and that they come to the individual quickly. Catherine Champagne, a researcher with Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, said recently, “We have seen a consistent pattern in our weight loss studies that when patients lose 5%-10% of their body weight, they lower blood pressure, reduce LDL [“bad”] cholesterol, improve glucose tolerance, and in general lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, excess weight puts a great deal of strain on the joints in the body, exacerbating conditions such as osteoarthritis. Studies have documented that even losing 5% of body weight over the course of five months relieved a great deal of pain in patients with osteoarthritis in their knees. It is also worth noting that weight loss has been demonstrated to not only prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in individuals who were developing insulin resistance, but also to reverse many of the symptoms in those who had already developed the disease. Overall, from the standpoint of your physical health, there are very few health conditions that losing weight won’t improve; of course, it is important to get a doctor’s advice on weight loss before you start any program.
Losing Weight Is Good for Mental Health, Too
While the physical health benefits of losing weight can be obvious to some, the unexpected boon of improved mental health that comes along with slimming down has not always been as thoroughly explored. Most individuals who embark on a weight loss journey find themselves frustrated at some point or another, particularly if they have tried to lose weight multiple times and feel that they have “failed.” A recent study involving a review of multiple previous studies has highlighted substantial psychological benefits for those individuals who were able to not only lose weight but to keep it off. The conclusion of the review, which sampled 36 differing studies, was that “Changes in self-esteem, depressive symptoms, body image and health related quality of life (HRQoL) were evaluated and discussed…. The results demonstrated consistent improvements in psychological outcomes.”
One of the most profound, readily recognized differences that many people discover upon losing a significant amount of weight is how much more energy they have in general. It is not uncommon for those who have lost weight to sleep better, and in addition, the loss of the weight takes the strain off of the body—meaning that you can do more. All in all, both psychologically and physiologically, losing weight healthily and maintaining that weight loss has benefits.