8 reasons to lose weight

Research has shown that losing weight can significantly improve your health. And you don’t have to look like a skinny supermodel to reap the benefits. Says Mary Holroyd, Founder and Chairman of Weigh-Less: "Interestingly losing as little as 2.3kg can mean a healthier body. From lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes symptoms, to relieving depression, losing weight has many health-boosting benefits to brag about.”

Lose 2.3kg…To lower cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol for cells to function properly, and produces all the cholesterol it needs. But you can also get cholesterol from the foods you eat. If your body makes too much cholesterol or you eat foods that raise your cholesterol levels, it starts to build up in your arteries. Eventually your arteries start to harden and less blood is carried to your body tissues. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your organs. This can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.

The good news is you can lower your cholesterol by losing between 2.3kg and 4.5kg body weight according to a study that tested the benefits of weight loss in obese people! Test your cholesterol at least once a year and follow a healthy eating plan like Weigh-Less.

Lose 2.5kg…To relieve depression

A new study published in the Journal General Hospital Psychiatry has shown that there is a strong link between obesity and depression. This research enrolled 200 women who struggled with both depression and weight issues into programmes that focused on depression therapy and weight loss. The results showed that 38% of women experienced improved mental health when losing at least 2.5kg.

Lose 5kg…To lower blood pressure

High blood pressure which can be caused by weight, diet, age or genetics, has a similar effect on the body as high cholesterol. High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body. The arteries that deliver the blood become scarred and less elastic. As the arteries stiffen, the heart has to work even harder, causing the heart muscle to become thicker, weaker and less able to pump blood. This can lead to heart disease.

The latest results from a Dash (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) study in America have confirmed that eating a healthy diet, controlling salt intake and increasing physical activity can lower your blood pressure. Losing 5kg can also help to lower blood pressure.

Lose 6.5kg…For healthier knees

According to the South African Arthritis Foundation, more than 10% of South Africans suffer from arthritis. Arthritis refers to more than 200 different diseases that cause pain and loss of movement of the joints.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease and results from wear and tear as people age. According to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, losing just 6.5kg can significantly reduce knee osteoarthritis.  Being just 5kg overweight can increase the force on your knee by 15kg with every step you take!

Lose 6.5kg…To lower diabetes type 2 symptoms

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not respond correctly to insulin (the hormone which helps the body to absorb sugar from the blood), and the blood sugar doesn't reach the cells to be stored for energy. People who are overweight are more likely to have insulin resistance because fat can interfere with the body's ability to use insulin. Diabetes also increases your risk for a variety of diseases including heart problems.

According to a new study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, overweight people with Type 2 diabetes, who lost at least 6.5kg, reversed their symptoms and improved their health.

Lose 7kg…To restore ovulation

New research shows that women who are severely obese are 43% less likely to achieve pregnancy than normal-weight women. Group treatment programmess that assist obese women with diet and exercise plans have shown the return of fertility. Weight loss of 7kg has been shown to restore ovulation.

Lose 9.1kg…For a longer life

According to the National Institutes of Health in America, obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, close behind tobacco use. An estimated 300 000 deaths per year are due to the obesity epidemic

The National Health Interview Survey (an ongoing study in America) has shown that even moderate weight loss in obese adults of 9.1kg can prolong your life with up to 10 years.

Lose 10kg…To reduce your risk of breast cancer

In the Nurses' Health Study (longest running study recording risk factors for serious diseases in women’s health) women who lost 10kg or more after menopause reduce their risk of breast cancer by 56%.

Women’s risk of getting breast cancer increases after menopause. Before menopause your ovaries produce most of your estrogen, and your fat tissue produces a small amount of estrogen. After menopause (when the ovaries stop making estrogen), most of a woman's estrogen comes from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue after menopause increases your chance of getting breast cancer because more fat tissue means higher estrogen levels.

“If you want to lose fat and gain new life – you can by changing your lifestyle today. A healthy eating plan combined with exercise will help you achieve a goal of ultimate health and wellness,” Mary explains.

If you are unsure of where to start, consider calling Weigh-Less for more information on 0861 551 100 or go to www.weigh-less.co.za for a Group near you.

(Sources: www.everydayhealth.com, ehealthmd.com, www.arthritis.org, www.nejm.org, healthmsn.com, breast-cancer-research.com, diabetesjournal.org, www.webmd.com)

 - (Weigh-Less press release)

(Photo of happy woman from Shutterstock)
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