While looking and feeling more like yourself is one major reason you may have decided to lose weight, your overall health drastically improves. Learn six of the ways losing weight makes you healthier.
Although much of the focus on weight loss is on our outward appearance, losing weight changes you from the inside out.
When you lose weight, you don’t just look better, your health improves too. It’s the reason why doctors all over the country are concerned about the obesity epidemic and want to educate people on healthy lifestyles. Healthy weight loss plans save lives.
Losing weight can increase your lifespan and your overall quality of life.
How losing weight makes you healthier
Improved mental health
Losing weight helps improve an often-overlooked measure of wellbeing — your mental health.
Weight loss helps improve your mental health in a few ways:
- Improves sleep quality: If you are overweight, you’re more likely to have difficulty sleeping. The excess weight around your neck can obstruct your airways as you sleep. Some who are overweight even develop sleeping disorders. Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to be disrupted, is common in those who are overweight. But losing weight can help get your sleeping back to normal again.
- Improves self-esteem: Many people experience a boost in their self-esteem when they lose weight. To start, activities that promote weight loss can also help you get a boost of happiness too. During exercise, your body releases endorphins—molecules in your body that make you feel exhilarated. On top of that, there are studies that show how losing weight helps you feel better about your body image and overall self-worth.
- Improves energy: Extra weight makes it harder to energize your body to move. As a result, when you lose weight, it takes your body extra energy to perform daily tasks like walking up stairs, cleaning, and taking the dog for a walk. It also takes the pressure off your respiratory system and improves your sleep quality, giving you more energy and making it easier to move.
Increased energy, better self-esteem, and nightly high-quality sleep are all important parts of maintaining your mental health. If you feel that your weight might be contributing to mental health struggles, getting on a plan to lose weight can be the first step to feeling like yourself again.
2. Increased mobility
Carrying excess weight makes it harder to get around. Losing weight can make it easier for you to do regular daily tasks without feeling exhausted or in pain. On top of that, with increased mobility often comes reduced joint pain. Being overweight can cause your joints to become inflamed and damaged. Part of the cause is the extra pressure the weight puts on your joints. The extra weight can cause your joints to wear down and experience more friction than they otherwise would. That damage is what causes stiffness and pain in your joints.
3. Decreased risk of cancer
Cancer is a disease where cells when your body grow and divide uncontrollably. These rapidly dividing cells destroy healthy body tissue and can be fatal.
Losing weight helps you drastically cut your risk of developing certain cancers. Some of the cancers you can help prevent by getting to a healthy weight are:
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Liver cancer
- Endometrial cancers
While the link between being overweight and getting cancer isn’t fully understood, there is a correlation between being overweight and getting cancer. Research done by the American Cancer Society suggests that complications caused by obesity account for 7% of all cancer deaths. Their research also finds that weight has a greater role to play in some cancers versus others. They specifically cite that weight plays a critical role in the development of endometrial cancers, with more than half of those cases being influenced by weight.
4. Reduced risk of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that develops when you become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone produced in your pancreas that helps your body use the sugar you eat. Those with diabetes have to regularly track their “blood glucose level” — in other words, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in their blood because their bodies no longer respond to insulin. Too much sugar in your blood (called hyperglycemia) can cause damage to blood vessels and increase the chance of stroke, kidney problems, and heart disease.
One of the biggest risks of weight gain is developing diabetes. It turns out, that the majority of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. As a result, type 2 diabetes is a treatable and preventable disease.
By losing weight, you can reverse type 2 diabetes if you already have it. That doesn’t mean symptoms or the need for medication will be eliminated in everyone. But it does help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent developing diabetes if you don’t have it.
5. Improved heart health
Your heart is greatly impacted by your weight. One of the most important ways losing weight makes you healthier is by taking pressure off your heart.
When you lose weight, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. This lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Your blood pressure is the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. When pressure is too high, it damages your blood vessels and makes it harder for blood to get to important organs.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that’s found in your body. While we often hear about cholesterol in a bad light, it’s not all bad. We need some cholesterol to stay healthy. But with high fat and highly processed diets, it’s common to have too much cholesterol buildup in your arteries.
Both high blood pressure and cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. But losing weight can decrease your blood pressure and reduce your cholesterol.
6. Reduced risk of stroke
Similar to your heart health, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels can lead to a greater risk of stroke.
A stroke is when the supply of oxygen is reduced to your brain. The shortage can be because of a blood vessel breaking, blockage, or narrowing the blood vessels. As a result, blood cannot reach brain cells and the cells can die. It’s a dangerous health risk as some who suffer a stroke can recover, but others face life-long health complications after the fact.
Losing weight can reduce your risk of stroke by lowering the chance of obstruction. Not only that, but strokes are associated with other health conditions related to obesity. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol all increase the risk of a stroke.
Make your weight loss happen faster
When losing weight makes you healthier, it’s normal if you want a solution that can help you lose weight fast. When you’re ready to achieve your weight loss goals, our doctors and staff at Valley Medical Weight Loss are here to help you. We help our patients lose weight quickly and keep the weight off. Our patients get personalized diet plans that work and the healthy lifestyle knowledge they need to stay healthy for the long run. And, we make sure you get regular check-ins and support from our doctors.
For a premier weight loss program and supplements that can make your weight loss easier, book a consult with one of our doctors at your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.