I know, I know, you have all seen the ads promising amazing amounts of weight loss – practically overnight. If you are a regular reader of The Hound, then you know what a bunch of hooey most such ads are! But, besides there not really being any miracle weight loss product that I have found out there yet, there is another problem with these ads and a lot of diet claims.
You see most diets make you think you need to lose a major amount of weight quickly to be successful. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when it comes to healthy weight loss, even losing a little bit, can mean a whole lot!
Research has shown that losing even as little as 10% or less of your total body weight, can have huge payoffs to your over all health. OK, 10% may not sound like a lot if your ultimate goal is to look like a supermodel in your skinny jeans — but in terms of attainable goals, and your optimal health, that small loss, can be a big gain!
A Few Pounds A Ton of Health Benefits
The point is not to be obsessed with losing huge amounts of weight. Losing a small amount is easier, and for many people more realistic than a weight loss of 20 pounds or more. Keep in mind as the old saying goes – every little bit counts. A study recently published in the journal Obesity Research, said that “…minimal amounts of weight loss can result in substantial improvement of health conditions that are associated with obesity.”
As readers of the Hound know, the link between obesity and increased risk of diabetes, high-blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease have all but been proven. But, new research seems to suggest that shedding even a few extra pounds can have a significant effect in decreasing those risks. In his best selling book, What to Eat, David Katz, MD, MPH, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, said, ”Lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, regular physical activity, and weight loss of 7%-10% have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications…”
Lowering your body weight even by 5 –10 pounds can actually begin to reverse or prevent diabetes. Small incremental weight loss can decrease blood pressure, lower “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Shedding just a few extra pounds in a person who has been classified as obese has been shown to improve sleep apnea and other sleep problems, and not to mention, every loss lets you like the person you see in the mirror that much more, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and helps “you feel better about yourself,” said Katz.
There have been reports of many patients who have been taken off blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs, after they have lost as little as 5-10% of their body weight.
Best News for Belly Fat
The best news about losing a little and gaining a lot relates to belly fat. Most of the research seems to indicate that those who benefit the most from even small amounts of weight loss, are the people that store most of their excess weight in the abdomen, rather than in the hips, thighs, rear, or other areas. People who are “apple shaped” or store most of their fat in the belly — as opposed to “pears” who store most of their excess weight in their hips, thighs and buttocks, can benefit by losing as little as only 2% of body weight. According to Katz, fat stored in the waist and in the liver is more “metabolically active.” While that makes it more of a trigger for heart disease, it also makes it easier to lose.
Look at it this way. Imagine how much harder your day would be if you had to lug around a backpack filled with 5 or 10 pounds of bricks. Now think of how much easier it might be to run for a bus, or climb a flight of stars without that backpack. Well, that is the same relief you can get, by just losing 5-10 pounds.
A healthy diet and regular exercise will not only improve your health but can puts a little pizzazz back into your step – just imagine what you can do with all of that extra energy!
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