You don’t have to lose all the weight to reap some benefits of weight loss.
As a dietitian, I hear about weight loss…a lot. For clients, family, or strangers I lend an understanding ear and give advice on ways to accomplish their weight loss goals. I’ve seen and felt the frustration that goes along with weight loss, and that frustration seems to be multiplied by the number of pounds people want or need to lose. For those with a weight loss goal far below their current weight, it can be daunting. Losing a mere half a pound a week can seem tedious and never-ending (believe me, I’ve been there). If you’ve only lost a few of the many pounds you’d like to lose, keep reading!
The goal of this blog post is to buoy you up in the midst of your weight loss frustration. Even if you only lose 10 out of your 80 pounds, it’s a step in the right direction and has more benefits than you might think.
Even a small amount of weight loss, just 5-10% of your current weight, can have big benefits. So if you weigh 200 pounds, that means 10-20 pounds of weight loss. In studies, this amount of weight loss appeared to improve metabolism, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Let’s look at how these improvements can help your health:
- 5 mmHg decrease of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. So if you’re 140/80, it could take you down to 135/75.
- Increase HDL (good cholesterol) by an average of 5 points. That’s huge, considering HDL cholesterol is difficult to raise and more than 40 for men and 50 for women has been shown to be the level that can protect against heart disease.
- 40 mg/dl decrease! Remember we want this level below 200mg/dl and preferably below 150.
- Hemoglobin A1C
- A drop of 0.5 on average. This doesn’t seem like much, but the average is 4-6, and for those with diabetes, you’ll want this below 7 to prevent kidney, eye, or heart complications. Along with this, modest weight loss has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
- For those who are at risk of developing diabetes or hypertension, modest weight loss can help prevent or delay the onset of these diseases.
So even a small amount of weight loss can have a big impact on your health! Imagine how happy your doctor would be with your new levels! So keep going, keep trying, and remember that even if you aren’t at your ideal weight yet, you’re still improving your health! Those 10 pounds might seem like a drop in the bucket, but to your heart, pancreas, liver, and more, they can make all the difference.
Megan Ostler MS, RDN
WARNING: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFit assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.
- International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity[2002, 26 Suppl 4:S25-8]