The mere thought of losing a few pounds can really get some, if not most people stressed out. They will often lament about all they are going to need to give up while not considering what they will actually gain, and how little weight loss it takes to feel better and to gain significant health benefit.
Does the taste of a daily sweet treat outweigh being able to walk your children around a zoo or park all day without being out of breath and worn out?
Would you rather spend time with a pizza and beer or would you rather be able to enjoy quality time with your grandchildren either now or in the future?
Set short term and easily achievable goals to achieve your long term goals.
If you are significantly overweight, the thought of losing a great amount of weight can be pretty daunting. Because of this, I would suggest you only concentrate on losing 5% of your weight at a time. This will take a lot of the stress off of you since it is easier to focus on lets say 5 to 10 pounds at a time instead of 50 to 100 pounds at a time. By focusing on a smaller amount, you are more apt to succeed in healthy weight loss over the long haul. Small victories add up and are actually more satisfying than one huge victory. If in the past you’ve not been able to lose as much as you would like, you may assume there’s little point in trying. But if you lose even a small amount of weight, you’ll reap benefits that will make a big difference in your health.
It only takes 5% weight loss to realize significant physiologic changes!
If you weigh 200 pounds, a 5 percent weight loss equals 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the “overweight” or “obese” range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity. Shedding just 5% of your total body weight does a lot – it’s enough to decrease total body fat, visceral fat (the dangerous kind that hugs your organs), and liver fat. Plus, it can lower your blood pressure and improve your insulin sensitivity and lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. We all can acknowledge that vanity can play a role in weight loss, but, you need to stop making weight loss all about your pants size and make it about healthy, longer living.
5% Eases pressure on Joints
Just 10 extra pounds add 40 pounds of pressure on your knees and other lower body joints. That can wear them out quicker. Extra fat can also cause inflammation – when chemicals in your body damage your own tissues over time, including your joints. Losing even a little weight can ease these effects. If you keep it off, you’re much less likely to get arthritis later in life.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If you’ are genetically prone to developing type 2 diabetes, weight loss is one of two ways to prevent or delay it. If you weigh 160 pounds, you could lose just 8-12 of them to get the benefit. If you already have diabetes, losing that weight can help you take less medication, keep control of your blood sugar, and lower the odds that the condition will cause other health problems.
A “Good” Cholesterol Bump
You can lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol with healthier food and medications. But it’s harder to raise levels of the “good” kind of cholesterol, HDL. That’s the type that clears bad LDL from your blood, so the more you have, the better. Exercise and losing body fat can get you into the ideal HDL range: above 60 mg/dl, which lowers your odds of having heart disease.
Bring Down Triglycerides
They’re particles in your body that transport fat for storage and energy. High levels (more than 200 mg/dl) mean you’re more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. You can get closer to healthy levels (around 150 mg/dl) if you slim down a little.
Ease High Blood Pressure
Extra body weight makes your blood push harder against your artery walls. That makes your heart work harder, too. You can lower the pressure by about 5 points if you trim 5% from that number on the scale. Cut your salt and eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy, and you may lower it even more.
Stop Sleep Apnea
People who are overweight gain extra tissue in the back of their throat. When your body relaxes when you sleep, that tissue can drop down and block your airway. It makes you stop breathing over and over all night, which causes all kinds of health problems, especially for your heart. Slimming down a little can often help with sleep apnea — sometimes enough that you can stop using the bulky breathing devices that treat it.
Reverse Insulin Resistance
Body fat, especially in your belly area, gives off chemicals that make your body stop reacting to the effects of insulin, a hormone that keeps the level of sugar in your blood normal. Even though your pancreas works harder to make more insulin, your blood sugar can get too high. A little bit of weight loss can help reverse this effect.
A Better Mood
Weight loss may help chase your blues away. Scientists are still trying to work out why, but better body image and improved sleep may be part of the reason. In one study, depressed people who were very overweight felt better after they lost an average of 8% of their body weight. Other research shows you’ll continue to feel better, even after 2 years — as long as you keep the weight off. (1)
Why slow weight loss is better for you emotionally.
When we lose a significant amount of weight, it takes time to get our minds wrapped around our new look. Our new look does not register right away in our minds, especially if we have been over weight for a significant number of years. For many, the psychological adjustments of dramatic weight loss are an intensely emotional experience, and a very personal one at that. Dramatic weight loss isn’t just a physical adjustment. It’s psychologically complex too, and may not always bring about as much happiness as a person may expect. Contrary to popular belief, a good many people may not feel as happy or content as they may have expected they would.
This can often come as a shock following dramatic weight loss if a person is not yet mentally prepared for it.
Comparison is the thief of joy!
When we lose weight, we really need to focus on ourselves without comparing ourselves to others. For an obese person, dramatic weight loss is primarily about getting to a healthy physical state, and should not lean towards a superficial outcome which often leads to a perpetual state of disappointment. Self confidence will not be automatic and will need to come ‘from the inside’. It takes a little time to learn how to cope with the physical changes, happening ‘on the outside’. You have to know that being thin does not necessarily mean being happy.
None of us ever got overweight over the course of a few days, and none of us can lose our excess weight in just a few days, nor should we ever try. We recommend you only try to achieve a 1 or 2 pound per week weight loss objective. Take it slow and easy, you will reap far more benefits than you ever would with a quick and temporary weight loss gimmick or fad diet. Meaningful change takes time. Always keep your non-scale victories insight and consider all the ways your small improvements have done your body good. Shedding excess weight the right way leaves you healthier and happier. Follow us here at David’s Way and we can help you with this!