Five to ten percent doesn’t sound like much, right? For a person that weighs 200 pounds this percentage translates into ten to twenty pounds. However, this seemingly small decrease in weight makes a tremendous difference when talking about weight loss and your health. Many people seem to forget that the extra weight they are carrying around didn’t happen overnight nor will it be lost overnight. Knowing how your health improves with weight loss may help to keep you on track to accomplish your ultimate weight loss goal.
Losing 5-10% can result in a five-point increase in HDL (the good) cholesterol. This translates into lowering your risk of developing heart disease. Triglycerides may be decreased with a small weight loss as well.
Excess body weight is the reason that 25-30% of people with high blood pressure have high blood pressure. When those persons lose weight their high blood pressure goes away. Your heart has a lot of extra work to do when you are carrying around extra weight. By losing 5-10% of your body weight you may lower both your systolic (the top number) and your diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure by 5mmHg on average. Consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy dairy while eating less saturated fat may help to reduce your blood pressure.
Hemoglobin A1C (HgA1C) is a marker used to check for diabetes. Normal HgA1C should be below 6.5. Losing 5-10% of your weight can mean a half a point decrease in your HgA1C. This is close to the same effect as many of the pills that are given for diabetes.
With insulin resistance the pancreas produces larger amounts of insulin. Insulin keeps blood sugar levels normal. With insulin resistance the tissues of the body are resistant to the effects of the insulin, thus why the body makes more to control blood sugar levels. With high levels of insulin the body increases fat tissue in the body especially in the waist area. Losing weight can help with the body tissues becoming more sensitive to insulin thus reversing this phenomenon.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Extra tissue in the body can cause some persons to have periods during their sleep or naps in which they may stop breathing. When this happens frequently during the naps or night, the body is deprived of the oxygen needed in all the tissues of the body. Losing weight helps obstructive sleep apnea dramatically in most persons.
By: Molly McBrayer, Clinical Manager Bariatric and Metabolic Services