After the holiday season brings another year to a close, you can always rely on the new year to wipe the slate clean and give you a fresh start. This annual process of leaving unfulfilled intentions in the past makes it easier for pretty much everyone to envision brighter possibilities in the future.
Chances are the new year has you thinking about ways you can improve or protect your health. And if you’re anything like the average adult, your resolution probably has something to do with weight loss.
Given that about 70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, it makes sense that weight loss is a common New Year’s resolution. It’s an ongoing goal for many people, too. According to a recent survey, nearly half of Americans are actively trying to lose weight at any given time.
Whether you’re interested in feeling better, looking better, or both, the last thing you want is to see this year’s weight loss resolution become next year’s abandoned intention. Because you have a lot to gain by simply losing a few pounds, here are a few good reasons why you should stay committed to your resolution and make weight loss a priority in the coming year.
Blood pressure measures the amount of force your blood flow places on the walls of your arteries. Being overweight is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure (hypertension) because carrying extra weight requires your heart to work harder to move blood, oxygen, and nutrients around your body.
Losing just 10 pounds can help you decrease your blood pressure and protect your heart, kidneys, and blood vessels from damage.
Being overweight can substantially increase your levels of LDL cholesterol, the unhealthy kind that circulates through your blood and deposits plaque in your arteries, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Eating a nutritious diet, increasing your activity levels, and dropping excess weight promotes higher levels of HDL cholesterol, the healthy kind. Studies show that simply dropping 10 pounds can help lower your total cholesterol levels by more than 10%.
When you’re overweight, your body’s cells are less sensitive to insulin, the hormone that helps control your blood sugar levels. The longer you carry excess body weight, the more likely you are to eventually develop Type 2 diabetes, a chronic illness that makes your cells insulin resistant.
Increasing your activity level and taking steps toward a healthier weight can help improve your body’s response to insulin. Research shows that losing just 10 pounds can cut your diabetes risk by more than half.
When you’re overweight, your body uses more energy to perform routine tasks. Just as your circulatory system works harder to keep your body oxygenated, your muscles and joints work harder to carry you through your day.
It makes sense, then, that one of the first things people notice when they lose a few pounds is a significant increase in stamina, energy, and vitality. Besides improving oxygen efficiency and easing the amount of stress and strain on your muscles and joints, carrying less weight can also help you sleep better at night.
Working out is something of a catch-22 when you’re trying to lose weight because exercise can be appreciably harder on your heart, lungs, and joints when you’re carrying extra pounds. But as soon as your efforts start to make those pounds melt away, your stronger, fitter, and lighter body can make daily exercise less of a chore and more of a pleasure.
If you’re obese, meaning you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, you’re more likely to develop certain types of cancer. Researchers believe that carrying excess fat increases cancer risk because fat cells release large quantities of hormones like estrogen, insulin, and insulin-like growth factors, all of which can fuel cancer growth.
Although losing weight can decrease your risk of developing many different types of cancer, achieving a healthy body weight is especially helpful for protecting against breast and uterine cancers.
Here at Snow Bariatric Center, we know a thing or two about what it takes to transform your weight loss goals into reality, and we’re here to help. Call our office in Fort Worth or Hurst, Texas, today, or use our convenient online booking tool to schedule a weight loss consultation with Dr. Snow.