The benefits of losing weight have been extolled by everybody from Richard Simmons to Marie Osmond. Nevertheless, excuses tend to do in most of your efforts to lose weight before you even get started. Maybe you just have the wrong perspective. Dropping just 10 pounds can have some surprising health benefits. Everyone from TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz to Weight Watchers refers to losing 10 pounds as reaching “your first milestone goal.” Here are 10 ways that losing just 10 pounds can help boost your health:
Increased Energy Level
The first thing you’ll notice when you lose at least 10 pounds is an increase in your overall energy level. You might even notice this once you drop just a few pounds. As you lose weight, your body’s metabolism changes and gives you more energy.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
According to the American Heart Association, a diet rich in oats, fiber, and Omega 3 fatty acids can help lower your “bad” cholesterol level. Studies suggest that flaxseed can also help, or you could just stick with fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes.
Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, which is often tied to being overweight, can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other serious medical issues. Physical activity and a healthy diet can drop blood pressure levels naturally and reduce your dependency on medication.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
The American Diabetes Association also suggests that dropping 10-20 pounds through a diet that includes certain vitamins and nutrients can naturally lower blood sugar levels.
Decreased Risk of Heart Disease/Heart Attack
According to the American Heart Association, losing from 5-10 pounds and keeping it off can lower your BMI (body mass index) and ease the burden on your heart and blood vessels. A BMI of 30.0 or higher means that you have a significant risk of developing heart-related health issues.
Dropping 5-10 pounds increases the airflow to your lungs, according to the American Lung Association. The ALA also suggests that losing weight may reduce the chances of having an asthma attack or even prevent asthma attacks and allergies all together.
Losing weight improves your circulation. Increased circulation means that you may be able to walk without discomfort and pain. The American Medical Association also suggests incorporating a light exercise routine to further improve circulation.
Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
It’s estimated that 79 million Americans may be pre-diabetic, meaning they are showing some early signs of the disease. Studies suggest that losing weight may be able to reverse type 2 diabetes and decrease the odds of developing full diabetes later in life.
How you sleep impacts just about every aspect of your waking life. Losing weight has been linked to better sleeping habits. This equates to more energy and could mean a longer life. Enjoying a better sleep has also been linked to better heart health, increased alertness, and lower blood pressure.
Reduced Aches and Pains
Losing just 10 pounds can reduce those general aches and pains that seem to follow you around throughout the day. Reducing aches and pains also gives you more incentive to get out and do stuff, which leads to a more active and healthy lifestyle. Think of it as the domino effect.
Yo-yo diets where you quickly lose weight and put it back on aren’t healthy either. Talk to your doctor about finding a weight loss solution that works. Remember, you don’t have to drop 10 pounds in a week. Most health professionals recommend a gradual weight loss of 2-4 pounds per week. Set a goal of losing 10 pounds and take pride in getting closer to that goal each week. You just might be surprised at how much better you’re feeling once you shed some unwanted pounds.
Joel Martin is a freelance blogger who writes about weight loss strategies. Click here to read about medical insurance to make sure you are covered as you work towards your weight loss goal.