The Benefits of Losing Weight

by : Jay Khan

There are lots of reasons for people who are overweight or obese to lose weight, to be healthier, look better, to feel healthier and to have more energy.
No matter what the reason, successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations. If we set sensible goals for ourselves, chances are we'll be more likely to meet them and have a better chance of keeping the weight off. In fact, losing even 5% to 10 % of our weight is the kind of goal that will help improve our health quite dramatically.
Most overweight people should lose weight steadily. For safe and healthy weight loss, we really shouldn't exceed a rate of 2lbs pounds per week. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly. If so, a Doctors' directions are necessary.

What we weigh is the end result of quite a few factors:
?How much and what kinds of food we eat
?Whether our lifestyle includes regular physical activity
?Whether we use food to respond to stress and other situations in our lives
?Our physiological and genetic make-up
?Our age and health status
Successful weight loss and weight management should address all of these factors. And that's the reason to ignore products and programs that promise quick and easy results, or that promise permanent results without permanent changes in our lifestyles. Any ad that says we can lose weight without lowering the calories we take in and/or increasing our physical activity is selling fantasy and false hope. In fact, some people would call it deception. What's more, the use of some products may not be safe.

Some other very important reasons for losing weight are:

Heart disease and hypertension.
The risk for heart disease, which includes heart attack, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina, and abnormal heart rhythm, is higher in individuals who are overweight or obese. In addition, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is twice as common in adults who are obese than in those who maintain a healthy weight. Obesity also is associated with elevated triglycerides (blood fat) and decreased HDL cholesterol, also known as "good" cholesterol. Losing just 5 to 15 percent of your weight can lower your chances for developing heart disease or having a stroke. Weight loss also improves blood pressure, as well as triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
A weight gain of 11lbs to 18lbs increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes to twice that of those who maintain a healthy weight. There is a direct link between being overweight and diabetes: More than 80% of people with diabetes are overweight or obese. You can slash your risk for early type 2 diabetes by losing weight and doing more exercise. Recent research shows that a 5% to 7% reduction in body weight can avoid type 2 diabetes in people who are at high risk for the complaint.
Studies show that being overweight and obesity are coupled with a greater than before risk for some kinds of cancer. These including endometrial, colon, gallbladder, prostrate, kidney, and postmenopausal breast cancers. Also, women who gain more than 20lbs of excess body weight between age 18 and midlife double their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women who do not put on excess weight. Maintaining a healthy weight may lessen the risk of cancer.
Sleep apnea.
This disorder, which causes interrupted breathing during sleep, is more common in obese persons. Researches show that losing weight improves symptoms of sleep apnea.
Surplus weight is brutal on the bones. For every 2lb of weight we put on, the risk for developing arthritis goes up by 9% to 13%. Symptoms of arthritis get better when losing weight.

Excess weight is also associated with increased risk for Gallbladder Disease, Incontinence, and increased surgical risk. Also pre- menopausal women who carry too much weight can experience irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. Being excessively overweight can cause difficulties during pregnancy too. Being excessively overweight during pregnancy is connected with a higher risk of death for both the mother and baby, and increases the risk of hypertension. Women who are excessively overweight during pregnancy are also more likely to suffer with gestational diabetes and experience problems with labour and delivery.

Finally, but certainly not in the least, obesity affects quality of life as well. Carrying too much excess weight can lead to sadness and nervousness.

In general, the more overweight we are the more likely you are to have health problems. Yet a fairly small weight loss of 5lbs or 10lbs can, to a great extent decrease our risk factors. To lose weight and keep it off, try to make long term if not permanent changes in our eating and physical activity routines. Before we begin a diet or weight loss program of any sort, it's important to talk with your doctor or nutritionist. He or she can advise us on the weight loss plan that will work best for us.