Drop 5 percent of your body weight for better health
A new study shows the benefits of losing weight go far beyond appearance, even if you only lose a little.
Forty obese men and women participated in the study; half were instructed to lose weight and half were instructed to maintain their current weight. Those in the study who lost five percent of their body weight not only “lost total body fat, [but] saw improved blood pressure, lower levels of triglyceride fats in the blood, less fat in the liver and had lower blood sugar,” according to a news release.
“When trying to lose weight, some people become frustrated when they don’t see immediate changes in their outward appearance,” says Tricia Ligon, manager of the Advocate Medical Group Weight Management Program at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “What they don’t realize is how much even minimal weight loss can improve processes occurring inside the body.”
Even if you still fall in the obese range after losing five percent of your body weight, you’ll have likely lowered your risk for chronic diseases related to obesity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, gradually losing weight and keeping it off can lead to improvements in energy levels, physical mobility, general mood and self-confidence as well.
“This study should be motivational for those who try and struggle to lose weight,” adds Ligon. “It really helps validate that a little bit of weight loss can go a long way.”
Ligon offers the following advice for those at the beginning of their weight loss journey:
- Always consult your physician before starting a diet and exercise program.
- Set realistic goals and slowly build upon them over time.
- Find a buddy to help hold you accountable for achieving your goals.
- Eliminate sugary drinks from your daily intake, but make sure to consume plenty of zero-calorie, de-caffeinated beverages to keep your body hydrated.
- Make sure to focus on maintaining a healthy diet as well as committing to an exercise routine.
- Check out this weight loss guide from the CDC for more tips and information.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.