What exactly are some of the benefits of weight loss?
There are three main groups of benefits from being slim.
The first group falls under physical attractiveness.
The second group is its positive effect on self-esteem.
The third, and perhaps more important but often neglected, is physical health.
Almost everyone would like to look attractive and feel good about themselves (their self-esteem). Indeed, losing a few pounds is a great ego-booster.
However, the health benefits of cutting down on common diseases by being at an "appropriate" weight is what we will discuss here.
Continue below to find out just what a reduced weight could mean to your health...
How about this. Loose weight for maximizing your health.
Look beauty as an added bonus. Everyone dreams of losing a few pounds.
Weight loss offers many benefits beyond making you appear more attractive.
Looking slim is, in a very large part, culturally determined.
It's also portrayed on television, advertising and children's toys.
Society, in general, has placed a high regards for those who are slim.
This is the physical and social benefits of being slim.
But there are many health benefits of losing a few pounds that goes beyond simple beauty.
Enhances Your Sex Drive
Did we get your attention?
This is not hyperbole. There are published studies that showed this benefit for weight loss! One study showed that men who have a five point higher body mass index had lower testosterone levels.
And testosterone level is the male hormone that, to a large part, determine the level of sex drive in both men and women. (It is more so in men than in women.)
The five points drop in BMI made them the equivalent to a person who is ten years younger, from a biological standpoint. By the way, that five points in BMI translate to about an extra thirty pounds in body weight for an average person.
Moreover, bedtime sexual activity is inherently physically demanding (in case you either don't have experience or can't remember).
People who are overweight, in general terms, are less fit and may not have to stamina to keep going at full throttle.
And carrying the few extra pounds means also that you'll need to move those extra pounds around as well. And that requires more work.
Increases Energy Levels
Energy comes from the carbohydrates found in foods that we consume. One would think, therefore, that eating more would solve the problem.
This is not the case. Overweight individuals seem to have poorer metabolism levels and thus their body is not able to process the food as efficiently.
Moreover, by being overweight, your body has to carrying around more weight and this puts extra work on your muscles.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Being overweight or obese is linked to an increase in blood pressure.
Some studies have shown that even a small loss of ten pounds can significantly reduce blood pressure. This is especially more noticeable in people who are overweight.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
By having some few extra pounds, your cholesterol levels can be elevated.
Studies have shown that even a modest drop in body weight, by as little as five percent, can significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
Reduces Stress on Joints and Enhance Mobility
When it comes to joint health and pain, weight matters.
Excessive body weight means that your joints are constantly required to carry those extra weights. This is especially true with weight-bearing joints such as the knees and hips.
And studies showed that excessive weight made a big difference.
In one study, obese individuals experienced a 50% reduction in the risk of developing osteoarthritis with each 11 pounds that they lose.
Obesity is linked to shortness of breath. Indeed, people who are overweight tend to be less physically active. Moreover, their endurance is generally low than average and thus they fatigue much more rapidly.
Some studies suggested that obese individuals were more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a potentially fatal situation when a person stops breathing when they are asleep.
The causes of excessive weight gain can be traced to many different factors.
Some causes you can control. Others you cannot. Each of these factors will play varying degrees of importance in determining your body weight.
We will look at a general list of potential causes of weight gain.
We are not trying to lay the blame on your parents, but the truth is, your genes have a lot to do with your body mass and the amount of fat tissue.
Do you know of people who eat whatever they want and never gain any weight? And you find out that they don't exercise and live a sedentary lifestyle. This is not fair!
How on earth is that possible!?
They may have a high metabolism rate and that is, to a large part, determined by their genes. Your genetic makeup also determines how the body process carbohydrate, fat and many other factors involved in metabolism.
Your genes play a significant role in determining your overall body weight. And there is nothing you can do about this.
Accept it as it is.
Excessive Caloric Intake
That's just a fancy name for eating too much in relationship to how much energy your body needs.
If you take in more calories than your body burns, they will stored for future use. And guess what? Fat is an efficient storage form for unused calories. How convenient.
Cutting back on calories is not easily to do. You are already accustomed to the amount you are currently "programmed" to take in.
Moreover, if you cut back a significant amount of calories rapidly, your body may reduce your metabolic rate in preparation for famine!
This is a self-protection mechanism your body uses to aid in survival (should you accidently be stuck on a deserted island).
Use of Prescription Drugs
Check with your pharmacist. Some prescription medications are known to cause gradual and even rapid weight gain.
But before you decide to simply stop taking the medication always consult with a health care professional. There could be alternative medication that can give you the benefits without the unwanted side effects.
Existing Health Problems
Health conditions like low thyroid levels may contribute to weight gain. Others include Cushing's disease, POS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and certain mental health conditions.
Check with your doctor to make sure none of these factors are contributing to your weight gain.
Type 2 Diabetes
We put diabetes under a separate heading rather than placing it with "Existing Health Problems" since it is becoming a major health concern around the world.
Diabetes causes weight gain in many individuals. It is a myth that overweight people develop diabetes. Yes, it is a significant risk factor but there are others as well.
Diabetes is a health condition in which the body's cells are unable to use sugar (glucose) due to the lack of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a carbohydrate metabolism disorder.
Lack of Physical Activity
Despite what you might wish to believe, you cannot simply take a pill to lose weight. You need to be physically active as well.
Increased physical activity is the foundation for maintaining a healthy weight, next to controlling the amount of calories you take in.
More physical activities mean that you will burn more calories.
Lack of certain essential vitamins and minerals may lead to poor weight control as it may make your body sluggish.
However, a deficiency in vitamins and minerals may be just a secondary symptom of a poor diet.
As for clinical studies, one published in 2011 showed that children with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to be overweight compared to those with higher levels.
Although experts are not sure of the exact mechanism, they suspect that vitamin D may be responsible for regulating the signal that tells you when you are full.
The benefits of weight loss is quite significant when you consider improved beauty, enhanced self-esteem and improved health.
There's no such thing as a free lunch.
You've heard it before.
Who doesn't dream of a just taking a pill to shed pounds without exercise and a change in diet.
Even if the diet pill actually works, it would work much better when you take it with a sensible diet and regular physical activities.
Supplements should always supplement and compliment your weight loss plan.
It can never be the sole replacement.
And this is the cold hard truth when it comes to your desire to lose weight.
But please remember to take "baby-steps" when you decide to implement your weight loss plan so that you will be more likely to carry on with it.
As the old saying goes, there is no free lunch.
Revised: March 8 ,2014