How Can Losing Weight Benefit You?

How Can Losing Weight Benefit You?

The On-Going Search for Better Weight-Loss

For decades (and in reality, for centuries), people have sought out ways to lose weight, whether for health reasons or due to it being fashionable. Over the past decade, the body positivity movement (which dates back to 1969 and the NAAFA) has taken center stage, endorsed by celebrities and retail brands alike. And while it is undoubtedly true that no one should face discrimination due to their bodies, the scientific benefits of staying in a healthy weight range are undeniable. We observe some of the primary benefits below.

Heart Health is Key

When looking at the health benefits of losing weight, the first aspect we must observe is cardiovascular health. After all, 877,500 Americans die of cardiovascular disease every year (including heart disease and stroke), amounting to one-in-three deaths and consistently the top killer in the country. Beyond the deaths, cardiovascular disease can drastically affect one’s quality of life, and related surgeries are very costly, both to the individual and the healthcare system as a whole. Excess weight is a known contributor to these ailments, as fatty material from the weight can build up in the arteries, which are essential for blood flow. Once that happens, they can get damaged or blocked, leading to heart attacks, strokes, and other issues.

Having excess weight, particularly in the form of visceral fat, has been linked with an increase in blood pressure. This is problematic, as high blood pressure damages the linings of the arteries, which can lead to the buildup of plaque. Once that happens, the arteries narrow, and blood struggles to reach vital organs such as the heart or brain, leading to heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, obesity has been linked to higher triglycerides, higher LDL cholesterol levels (aka bad cholesterol), and lower LDL cholesterol levels (aka good cholesterol). When combined with the damage to the arteries brought about by high blood pressure, the cardiovascular system becomes extremely susceptible.

Complicating Factors to Obesity

Another significant cause of concern associated with obesity is cancer. Needless to mention,  cancer is a devastating disease. The disease itself (and everything that comes along with it, including chemo) takes a heavy toll, not only on the person suffering from it but on their family as well. The link between obesity and cancer may be due to various factors, including heightened levels of inflammation, increased adipokines (hormones that interfere with cell growth), and more. To date, excess weight has been linked to colon cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and others. 

Another cause of concern is type 2 diabetes, which is heavily linked to obesity. This is due to excess weight. The more of it one has, the more resistant muscle and tissue cells in the body become to one’s own insulin hormone. Furthermore, an obese person shows heightened levels of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), cytokines, proinflammatory substances, glycerol, and other substances which have all been shown to increase insulin resistance. So much so, that 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. For people in the high-risk category for the development of the disease, a weight loss of 5 to 7% of body weight can lead to a 58% decrease in the chances of developing the disease, while weight loss has also been proven to help in fighting the disease for those already suffering from it by lowering insulin resistance and glucose sensitivity.

Sleep is Crucial to Healthy Weight-Loss

Obesity has been proven to affect sleep, specifically by causing obstructive sleep apnea. This is due to a narrowed airway in the upper respiratory tract caused by fat deposits. Furthermore, a reduction in muscular activity in the area leads to both hypoxic and apneic episodes, which lead to a decrease in the oxygen available to the body tissues and blood cells, leading to tissue hypoxia, a main contributing factor to atherosclerosis (a main risk factor for cardiovascular disease). Other ailments affecting sleep quality linked to obesity are asthma, osteoarthritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Furthermore, lack of sleep has been linked to increased levels of ghrelin (the hormone that increases appetite) and decreased levels of leptin (the hormone that decreases appetite), thus leading to more weight gain. This becomes a vicious circle. 

Consider All the Factors

Other factors that are affected by excess weight are respiratory function, mobility, sex drive, and overall mood. And what should be clear by this point is that none of the conditions discussed here exists in a vacuum. They are all interconnected, with one issue leading to another, and so on. They not only affect the day-to-day functioning of the person suffering from them but their life expectancy as well. Fortunately, even a 5% loss in overall body weight is associated with drastic health improvements, and the more weight one loses, the better the quality of life that person can expect.

A key point to note is that the body tends not to adapt well to drastic changes, so going on extreme diets is ineffective in the long run, as the weight is generally gained back after the diet ends. Rather, one should focus on lifestyle changes. Making better eating choices that the person can sustain forever is key, along with movement, a consistent sleep schedule, and weight loss injections, such as the appetite suppressant Semaglutide, which can be bought here and only needs to be taken once a week to work. There are various programs available, and you will feel fuller for longer, allowing you to quickly reap the benefits of weight loss with minimal side effects. It has specific eligibility requirements, and people have seen drastic weight reduction. Other methods that have shown great promise are things like cold exposure, emphasizing drinking water, and even utilizing a stand-up desk. But more than anything, the journey to weight loss begins through a determination by the person that they will take all the steps and be consistent about it. Weight loss is not just a quick one-time thing, it is a lifelong process that will also bring about benefits throughout life.