Losing weight is generally seen as something people do purely for the sake of their appearance.
Very few dieters (except some of the seriously overweight ones who have been told to do so by doctors) are in it to gain health benefits. Usually, they are a welcome ‘side-effect’ rather than the main goal.
But taking note of the added benefits of losing just a few extra kilos could help you stick to your goals, and be a motivating factor when the going gets tough. The health benefits you get along the way are just as important to celebrate as the eventual goal.
Did you know that losing as little as 5kg can earn you some pretty amazing health-related rewards while you work toward your final bikini body?
Here are my top five:
1. Feel better emotionally
People who are depressed and overweight note an increase in happiness, and suffer less from their depression once they have lost some weight – usually around 8%.
This increase in happiness is attributed to the individuals feeling better about their appearance, and feeling proud of their achievements as well as a change in the ‘happiness’ chemicals in their bodies. According to studies, the improved happiness remains as long as the weight stays off.
2. Sleep better
People who lose some weight (5% of total body weight) have been shown to sleep markedly better than those who don’t. You’ll get more sleep, and it’ll be of a better quality too.
This is even more positive considering that people who sleep better have been shown to lose weight faster, and keep it off for longer. Sleep is good for you!
3. Lower blood pressure
Increased body weight means increased blood pressure against the walls of your arteries. Getting rid of some of the excess weight can trim points off your blood pressure score, and make you feel better.
The added benefit of this is being able to exercise more without feeling faint or putting your health at risk. You’ll feel far more energetic, and ready to take on the world.
Having the right diet will help even further – less salt, more fruit and veg.
4. Give your joints a holiday
Being heavy is hard on your joints, because they are moving and working under excess loading.
Joints that have worn down may cause chronic pain, and even require expensive and painful surgery later in life.
Losing a bit of weight makes the pressure on your joints much easier to handle, effectively extending their useful lifespan and saving you from years of pain.
5. Keep diabetes at bay
If you’re predisposed to type 2 diabetes, losing some weight (along with exercise) is the best way to keep yourself from developing the disease.
If you already have diabetes, then losing some weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet could help your body learn to regulate its own insulin levels again – leading you to take less medication (this should only be done on the advice of a medical professional).
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