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losing weight makes you healthier

6 Benefits of Weight Loss: How Losing Weight Makes You Healthier

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

  1. 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.

lose weight after 50

How to Lose Weight After 50

When you want to lose weight after 50, it’s hard but not impossible. Here’s why weight loss gets harder and what you can do about improving your health and living a longer life.

When you hit 50, it can feel like you suddenly start gaining weight. One minute you’re in your 40’s and feeling energized, the next you feel more tired and less like yourself. You don’t know where it’s coming from or why it’s happening.

If that’s been the case for you, you are NOT alone. The effects of aging he everyone in one way or another, with common experiences related to predictable changes that happen as we age.

Women produce less estrogen, accumulate more fat around their hips and midsection, and lose bone density.

Men produce less testosterone and lose muscle mass as well. They also experience a rise in instances of diabetes and heart disease after the 50-year mark.

Many of the hormonal changes and aging processes are unavoidable. And when it comes down to it, it’s not your fault it’s harder to lose weight as you age. 

But that does not mean you can’t do anything to prevent or reverse the effects of aging on your weight. It’s never too late to start.

With the right strategies, you can get down to your goal weight and feel confident in your skin. You can reverse the effects of aging on your weight and even prevent major weight gain that many people experience in middle age.

Doing so just requires understanding what’s going on with your body and how to counteract it.

3 common barriers to weight loss after 50

  1. Loss of muscle mass

Sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle tissue, sets in around age 40. The loss in muscle mass doesn’t happen overnight, but by 50, many people lose 10% of their muscle mass

Muscle does more than give us a toned body. It influences your metabolic rate and how you burn calories.

When it comes to the types of tissues and cells we have in our body, certain types burn calories more efficiently. Muscle burns more calories than fat, which makes having more muscle helpful to lose weight.

So as you lose muscle, your resting metabolic rate begins to decline–by some estimates as much as 2% per decade. So by 50, your metabolic rate has slowed down and you lose muscle mass, which leads to noticing weight gain and other related health concerns manifesting around that time frame.

2. Sleep changes

For a long time, researchers have noted a link between sleep and weight gain.

Those who stay up and eat late into the night are more likely to be overweight than those who stop eating in the early evening and have a consistent, early bedtime.

There is also a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain–those who don’t get the full recommended 7-9 hours of sleep eat more the following day and seek out calorie-dense foods.

Not only is your body trying to make up for lost energy, but sleep impacts your hormone regulation. The hormones ghrelin and leptin which regulate your appetite and fullness can get out of balance. As a result, your body craves more calories than you would normally seek out and you feel like you can eat more than usual.

3. Hormonal changes

As you age your levels of estrogen and testosterone drop. When this happens, your body starts to store more fat and it’s harder to drop any extra fat that accumulates. 

At the same time, the hormones ghrelin and leptin act differently as well. They help you accurately determine when you are hungry and when you are full. But when these hormone levels fluctuate, you feel hungrier than you used to and it’s harder to feel full. As a result, you end up eating more than you once did and it’s difficult to limit your calorie intake.

How to achieve your weight loss goals after 50

Lift weights

It’s important for anyone to include 3-4 days of strength training in their week. Starting before 50 can help prevent the common health concerns that arise at 50. 

One study found that adults who exercised at least four days a week experienced no loss of muscle mass or related effects at the same time others in their age group who didn’t exercise were showing signs of losing muscle mass and a slowing metabolic rate.

But even if you haven’t taken preventative measures and find yourself wondering how to lose weight over 50―it’s not too late at all.

You can regain lost muscle mass and prevent further loss by lifting weights just a few times a week.

As a result, you will increase your bone density which prevents osteoporosis, or loss and weakening of bone. It also keeps your muscle mass at levels that keep your metabolism efficient.

Stay active

While lifting weights is important to retain muscle mass and boost your metabolism, it’s important to stay active in other ways too.

It’s common to feel like you slow down after 50, but you can keep up much of your energy by maintaining an active lifestyle.

Cardio for one is an important piece of keeping an active lifestyle. Cardio exercises like swimming, running, or hiking help you maintain your heart health. An unhealthy heart and cardiovascular system are associated with fatigue and changes in overall health. A healthy heart helps you keep up your energy levels throughout the day so you can burn more calories and stick to a routine sleep cycle. 

Cardio is also a great way to burn calories during exercise. HIIT in particular is known for begin effective to burn a high amount of calories during the workout plus it helps build strength to build your resting metabolic rate as well.

But the most important thing to do is find a form of exercise and other activity that you enjoy most so you keep doing it and reap the health benefits of staying active.

Reduce intake of refined sugars

As your metabolism slows down, it becomes harder for your body to process the foods you used to eat with ease. You may have always been able to get away with eating your favorite sweets and snacks without noticeable weight gain over time, but that changes in middle age.

To adjust to a slower metabolism, it’s important to be more aware of what you choose to eat every day. While you don’t have to cut out ALL the tasty food you enjoy, limiting intake each week is advised. 

This is not only beneficial for your weight, but also for preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Get support

Studies have shown that people with a workout or diet partner are more likely to follow through.  We feel more supported and it’s more enjoyable to work towards a goal with another person.

This means we are more likely to do better if we choose a friend or family member to get healthy with. You can hold each other accountable and follow through on your plans for a healthy diet and exercise.

You’re also more likely to successfully lose weight if you have the support of a doctor or weight loss professional on your side.

It’s understandable to try and go it alone to lose weight because in theory, it sounds as simple as changing your diet or exercising more.

But the truth is that it’s hard to know what to do for your particular situation and get the results you want. It’s common for people dieting alone to cut out too much of the wrong foods or develop an unhealthy relationship with food. And it’s even more common to lose steam a few weeks into your diet plan. Sticking to a diet or exercise regime when you have frequent temptations around is a challenge. That’s why having someone who creates a sustainable plan and check-ins improves the likelihood you follow through and see results.

At Valley Medical Weight Loss, our doctors help you create a weight loss plan that is personalized for your needs and helps you learn healthy diet habits for the long run. We know how important it is to still enjoy food even while you diet, so we help you get to your goal and then teach you how to maintain it without a lifetime of extreme dieting.

To get your weight and health back on track after 50, visit one of our locations for a consultation today. No appointment necessary.

walking help lose weight faster

Walking Helps You Lose Weight Faster

You don’t need to do extremely strenuous exercise to lose weight. Walking helps you lose weight faster than you’d expect and it will improve your overall health.

One of the biggest contributors to the health and obesity epidemic is that most of us find it hard to make time for exercise.

We’re busy—hectic work schedules, family obligations, frequent appointments and errands keep us from having much time to ourselves. There’s a lot we have to do each day that leaves little extra time to think about our own health.

So while we know how important exercise is, fitting it into our schedule is a whole separate struggle. There’s pressure to always burn a certain number of calories and attend workouts that take an hour or more. But the reality is that many of us don’t have time for all of that.

That’s why it’s important to think about the small but impactful ways to add more movement during the day.

And one of those is walking. It’s the simplest form of movement we can add to our day, and as it turns out, is also incredibly effective.

Walking helps you lose weight faster and manage your weight long term

More and more people are making big health and lifestyle changes by adding one thing to their routine: walking.

The stories have even been covered on major news outlets, like this story about one woman who lost 50 pounds by adding walking to her new healthy diet. And another story about a woman who lost 228 pounds by walking.

The results of walking are measurable and life-changing, but how does walking help you lose weight?

Walking helps you preserve muscle mass

The more muscle you have, the more efficiently you burn calories.

Muscles require more energy to maintain, so your body will use more of your stored energy to maintain your muscle mass. This is why having muscle also helps you burn more calories when at rest.

Walking helps you maintain more muscle in your lower body. You’ll never get “bulky” from walking, but you will have more muscle in your legs than if you are sedentary. And that additional muscle will help you burn more calories while at rest.

If you combine walking with strength training, even light strength training with just your body weight, you would see even more changes in how your metabolism processes energy.

Walking helps you burn more calories

As we spend so much of our time sitting each day, we burn fewer calories than we would if we were more active.

This is part of the problem with a sedentary lifestyle—if you’re sedentary, you can’t burn as many calories.

When it comes to weight loss, it’s important to be in a state where you’re burning more calories than you consume. This is called being in a calorie deficit.

Walking helps you lose weight faster by making it easier to get into a calorie deficit.

When you’re in a calorie deficit, your body starts using stored energy for fuel and the result is that you lose weight. And it doesn’t have to be a huge deficit to have an impact. Even a deficit of 100 to 200 calories will help you lose weight over time.

That’s why your diet is still the most important factor in losing weight.

But just because diet has the biggest impact on your weight, there are countless other benefits to walking for at least 30 minutes a day.

5 additional health benefits of walking

Yes, walking helps you lose weight, but that’s just one way it provides a positive impact on your body and life.

1. Improves heart health

More frequent exercise strengthens your heart and improves your cardiovascular heart. And it doesn’t have to be strenuous cardio to see results.

One group of researchers found that 30 minutes of walking at least five days per week reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%. 

2. Boosts mood and energy levels

Walking improves oxygen flow throughout your body. This helps wake you up and keep you alert both immediately after your walk, and throughout the day. Plus, walking increases hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine that boost your energy levels.

As for your mood, exercise increases the production of chemicals and hormones that elevate and moderate your mood. Multiple studies have shown that exercise–including walking–reduces anxiety, stress, and depression.

3. Reduces joint pain 

While it may seem counterintuitive, staying active reduces joint pain.

The more you move your joints and keep them active, the more lubricated and stronger they become. Which in turn leads to less pain and stiffness over time.

4. Improves immune function  

When it comes to the cold and flu season, it turns out that one of the best things you can do to prevent illness is to stay active.

One study that explored the impact walking has on immune function found that those who walk 30+ minutes per day were 43% more likely not to get sick or have to take sick days. For those who still got sick, their symptoms were less severe than when compared to sedentary adults who got sick.

5. Enhances creative thinking

Walking gives you a nice break away from your screen or from your work. It gives you a change of scenery and helps you stay alert throughout the day. 

The result? More creative thinking.

It turns out that walking can help you think more creatively about problems and situations than just sitting idly. A study measured whether people were able to think of ideas more efficiently and effectively while sitting or while walking. The results showed that the participants who walked while brainstorming came up with ideas faster to solve a given problem—especially when they walked outside.

So if productivity motivates you, then walking actually helps you perform better in your work and creative projects.

How to start walking more

There’s no one right way to spend more time walking each day. It will depend on your schedule, your endurance, and your goals.

It’s also hard to start a new routine, even when it’s just walking more. So here are some ways to start adding more movement to your day that worked for our patients and others:

  • Start slow. Walk 10 minutes per day for the first few weeks and then gradually add 5 more minutes until you reach 30 minutes
  • Break up your walks into smaller chunks throughout the day. If it’s hard to get 30+ minutes to walk, you can 
  • Every little bit counts. Take the stairs when you can, choose to walk to nearby places instead of drive, take a short walk on your break at work. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just getting some movement goes a long way.

And if you’re ready for support and to see measurable and long-lasting results in your weight loss journey, we’re here to help.

In addition to helping you find time for walking and other types of exercise if it fits your goals, we also create a diet plan that fits your health and weight loss needs. 

We know how hard it is to start a new routine and stick to lifestyle changes. This is why getting support is so important when you’re ready to make long-term changes. We’ve helped hundreds of patients throughout the Phoenix area successfully lose weight and keep the weight off.

To get a personalized weight loss strategy and the empowering and compassionate support to succeed, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss Center. No appointment necessary—we’re ready to work with you.

time to ask for help

When It’s Time to Ask for Help on Your Weight Loss Journey

How do you know when DIY weight loss isn’t working for you? Here’s when it’s time to ask for help and work with a doctor or weight loss professional who can help you lose weight faster and keep the weight off.

With all the readily found information out there about health and weight loss, it’s easy to think that with the right knowledge we can do everything by ourselves.

And while that’s true for some things like changing a tire or trying a new step-by-step recipe, it’s harder to get right when it comes to complex changes like weight loss.

When you decide to lose weight, there are years of habits and lifestyle choices to overcome. There aren’t quick and easy fixes to how to fix your whole mindset and make new habits in ten minutes or less. 

The changes to lose weight and keep the weight off can take time. That’s why seeking out support can help you overcome the most common barriers to weight loss. Barriers like:

  • Stress
  • Lack of social support or being in an unhealthy environment
  • Food cravings

So if you’ve been trying to lose weight on your own but feel like you aren’t making the changes you wanted to see, here’s how to know when it’s time to ask for help in your weight loss goals.

If you keep hitting the same roadblocks

Losing weight becomes a struggle for many people because of how many roadblocks there are to smoothly achieve weight loss goals. Roadblocks like…

  • being too busy to meal plan 
  • not enjoying exercise
  • not having enough information
  • feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about weight loss
  • Intense food cravings

It’s common to get stuck in a cycle of starting and stopping your weight loss journey because you don’t see any progress.

If you’ve been trying to stick to a diet for a month and see only two pounds lost…it’s discouraging. It makes you wonder why you’re putting yourself through the trouble in the first place. And it’s reasonable to wonder why it’s worth trying. You may even think that weight loss just isn’t possible for you.

If you keep trying new DIY programs and don’t see any progress, that’s a clear sign that you can benefit from an expert perspective and support.

Experts in weight loss know more than ever gets talked about in the generalized health advice on the internet. They’ll be able to see why you haven’t made progress yet and help you stick to a plan that’s actually sustainable and manageable for you in the long run. 

If you have any medical condition

Losing weight is helpful for overall health and wellbeing. But if you’re dealing with health complications either related or unrelated to your weight, it’s important to make changes to your diet and lifestyle with health concerns in mind.

Managing different conditions requires changes to diet, lifestyle, and sometimes medication. So if you plan to take additional weight loss supplements or make dietary changes that could interfere with your management of a condition, you want to have all the information so you can do it right.

A doctor can help you decide what kind of diet is best for you in your situation. They can also monitor your progress and health vitals on a consistent basis to make sure you’re losing weight safely. 

If you don’t feel supported by your friends and family 

While we always want to give friends and family the benefit of the doubt and remember they also have their own concerns in life, sometimes they just aren’t supportive of big lifestyle changes.

And it usually has nothing to do with you.

It’s because they’re afraid of having to make changes to their own lifestyle now that you are. Or they may even feel guilty for not taking a proactive stance about their health after seeing you make a change. And sometimes they truly don’t understand why you’d want to change—even when your health is on the line.

But having support is one of the most important pieces of a successful weight loss journey. When you have support, you’re more likely to complete your weight loss program, achieve your goals, and keep the weight off in the long run.

So if you don’t have the support from friends and family, it’s worth the investment to get support so you get someone in your corner cheering you on. Plus, that support comes from a real weight loss and health expert. You will get the personalized support you need most.

If you want to try the faster weight loss methods like phentermine or HCG

If medical weight loss is on your radar, then working with an expert is necessary.

Options for medical weight loss include phentermine, an appetite suppressant. It’s an FDA-approved medication that can be used to suppress your appetite. It’s helpful when starting out your diet so you can adjust to a new diet without intense cravings that pull you off track.

There’s also the HCG program. It’s a short-term low-calorie diet combined with lipotropic injections. The diet helps you cut calories to lose weight fast over the course of three to four weeks. And the lipotropic injections help you increase your energy and promote weight loss.

Neither of these options are meant to be done alone, however. They are prescribed and overseen by a doctor. So if you’re looking for a way to kickstart your weight loss in a powerful way, it’s time to ask for help from a doctor who can safely guide you through a medical option.

Not all weight loss programs are created equal

There are a lot of weight loss programs out there, but they don’t all offer the same level of support.

But we know how important it is for you to get both knowledgeable and compassionate support from an expert.

This is why when you visit any of our locations, you’ll work with a doctor who is compassionate and knowledgeable. You’ll get weekly health and accountability check-ins. Plus personalized changes for your plan depending on what you need for progress.

We have hundreds of happy patients and helped them achieve their weight loss goals with the right support after hitting many of the same roadblocks you may have experienced for years.

If you feel like it’s time to ask for help and you’re ready for life-changing weight loss support, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss location today.