When asked why they want to lose weight, people often cite reasons like looking good in a swimsuit or fitting into that favorite pair of jeans again. Of course, health issues are another common motivator: your risk of serious problems like diabetes and heart disease increase tremendously. But did you know there are plenty of other reasons you should slim down? A few of the benefits of losing weight include:
1. Decreased allergy and asthma symptoms. While it isn’t true for everyone, some people find their asthma and allergies improve as they lose weight. The reason is being overweight puts strain on the adrenal glands and respiratory system, making allergies and asthma worse. Additionally, medicine designed to help wheezing is 40% less effective in overweight patients!
2. Good sleep. Sleep apnea is a common problem among overweight and obese people. This problem is at best a disruption to a good night’s sleep, and at worst can be life-threatening. Losing weight can cut sleep apnea problems in half. In fact, by losing as little as 5% of your body weight you can add an additional 22 minutes of sleep to you night’s rest!
3. Less joint pain. Being overweight puts more strain and pressure than our joints were designed to carry. One study found losing 90 pounds reduced patients’ complaints of foot pain by 83%, and another study found participants who lost 10% of their body weight walked faster, had more mobility, and dealt with less knee pain than before.
4. Stronger immune system. Too much body fat causes our immune system to stop working at its best. Infections of the gum, sinuses, and stomach are far more common in people with a higher BMI. Losing weight reduces the overexposure to immune chemicals so your body can accurately spot and fight real infections.
5. Better memory. A study of patients who had undergone bariatric surgery showed they had significantly better memory after 12 weeks when compared with those who had not lost weight. The reason is thought to be related to obesity weakening the blood-brain barrier. Over the long haul, obese people are 260% more likely to develop dementia in old age.
6. Clear skin. It isn’t completely understood why, but there is a connection between certain skin problems and obesity. Psoriasis especially can be improved by losing weight. Diets high in carbohydrates can cause skin tags, and a lack of proper nutrition can lead to dark circles under the eyes.
7. Improved mood. Being overweight can cause your hormones to become unbalanced, leading to mood swings, depression, irritability, and worse PMS. Studies have shown women with a BMI higher than 35 are almost four times more likely to have depression than women with a normal BMI.
8. Relief from arthritis. Inflammation is a leading cause of arthritis, and obesity causes inflammation. Studies have shown weight loss helped people dealing with arthritis regain mobility and reduce their overall pain.
9. Better sex life. Losing weight does tend to boost people’s self-esteem, which can certainly help in bed. But beyond that, being overweight strains the heart, which can cause performance issues for men. One study showed men who lost 10% of their body weight reported better sexual function and libido.
10. Food will taste better. It’s true! Overweight people don’t taste food as well. The exact reason is unknown, but the theory goes that eating foods responsible for weight gain (super sweet, super fatty, super salty) eventually alters the way people taste food. Re-learning what food should taste like might take time, but eventually you will begin to taste things differently and crave better food. If you’re convinced by these benefits of losing weight, today’s your day to start working for a healthy lifestyle! Check out these guides to get you started:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/photogallery/8-surprising-health-reasons-to-lose-weight.aspx#01 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/09/weight-loss-health-benefits_n_5564250.html http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/05/7-serious-reasons-to-lose-weight.html http://www.allyou.com/diet-fitness/diet/weight-loss-for-health/breathing http://www.precisionnutrition.com/reasons-to-lose-weight