Trimming down has more benefits than just a lower number on a scale.
Let’s face it: American culture has turned body image into a billion dollar enterprise, with huge emphasis, and profit, based on how one looks—specifically how thin (or not) one looks. There are diet gurus, diet fads, gyms and fitness facilities galore, racks full of magazines promising “Lose 5 Lbs Fast” and endless shows, podcasts, apps, blogs, what-have-you all trying to sell weight loss and looking thinner. You can buy that, OR you can be motivated for healthy reasons, not vanity ones.
While losing weight can indeed boost your ego and make you feel better about your appearance, trimming down has benefits far beyond a lower number on your scale and a bigger smile on your face. And even a small weight loss can result in big health benefits.
Here are five health-based reasons why you gain when you lose:
- Lower blood pressure: Losing as few as 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke.
- Reduce cholesterol: Losing five to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your cholesterol by 5 points which helps protect against heart disease.
- Better sleep: Five to10 percent weight-loss may improve sleep apnea and enable you to not need a cumbersome CPAP machine.
- Better sex: When your mood is boosted by exercise, better sleep and better self-esteem (all benefits of weight loss, especially when attributed to exercise), then sexual satisfaction is higher.
- Less achy joints: Toting around 10 extra pounds of body fat translates to 30 pounds of pressure wearing down your joints. Weight loss can help improve symptoms of arthritis. Additionally, severely overweight people are not good candidates for joint replacement, so maintaining a healthy weight is good joint prevention on many fronts.