Shedding those extra pounds is tough especially as we age. But here’s our motivation. Research shows that losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight may improve your mental health and benefits your health in many ways. The following are five key benefits to our health when we lose weight.
Decreases risk of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, obesity is the number one risk factor for all cancers. Researchers believe that inflammation due to fat surrounding vital organs is to blame. Those extra pounds, however, are more highly associated with risk for these cancers;
Colon and rectal cancer
Breast cancer (in postmenopausal women)
Decreases risk of strokes.
Excess weight can increase blood pressure, and high blood pressure puts added stress on your blood vessels. High blood pressure is caused from a high-sodium diet, a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and smoking. Losing weight improves the efficiency of the heart because your blood vessels are less constricted.
Improves heart health.
Losing weight reduces the pressure on arteries. This means the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood through the body. Being overweight tends to raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Just a small weight loss goes a long way.
Improves insulin sensitivity.
Weight loss reduces adipose tissue. This allows the body to manage blood sugar more effectively and reduces our risk for type 2 diabetes. An excess of body fat leads to an increase in adipose tissue, which causes inflammation. So a loss in weight also reduces inflammation, and inflammation is behind many chronic diseases.
Added weight puts pressure on our knees and joints. Losing weight alleviates this pressure. In a large 2012 study of overweight adults with type 2 diabetes found that just a one percent drop in weight cut mobility limitations such as walking and climbing stairs more than seven percent. Movement is key to staying healthy.
From the moment my doctor told me, “You have cancer,” I began losing weight due to loss of appetite. This is a diet I don’t recommend! Although my doctors said I was within the parameters for a healthy BMI, a weight loss of 10 percent (15 pounds) lowered my blood pressure and improved my insulin sensitivity. According to Harvard Health, just a 5 percent weight loss makes a big difference in your health. My problem is holding my weight at that level!
I know many people who’ve been able to lessen or drop their blood pressure and type 2 diabetes medications with weight loss. I’ve just given you five key benefits of losing minimal weight. Actually, the benefits also include improved mood, less inflammation, relief from arthritis, stronger immune system, improved sleep, and better memory. So what have we got to lose—but just a little weight for endless results.
What benefits have you found when you lose weight?
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.