There are definite health benefits that overweight or obese people can gain from losing some weight, for example, reducing the chance of developing certain diseases. For most obese or overweight people, much of the health benefits come with losing the first 5-10% of the weight. The list goes on and on with many of these being the most common benefits of losing weight.
- Having more energy
- Sleeping better and waking up feeling rested and in a good mood
- Having fewer aches and pains
- Improved ability to move and get around
- Finding it easier to breathe
- Improved immune system (ability to fight off illness)
Having a healthy body composition means having a relatively low level of body fat, with most of your weight coming from lean mass, including muscle tissue. Someone with a healthy body fat will have an easier time maintaining their weight and avoiding that all-too-familiar weight creep as you age if they maintain a healthy body composition. Having a healthy body composition can help lower your chances of developing cardiovascular disease as well as a handful of other fat related illness.
The way you stand and sit will impact how you feel on a daily basis. Ideal posture places the least amount of compression on the back as possible, resulting in minimum wear and tear on the spine. Bad posture occurs when your pelvis tilts forward, causing an exaggerated spinal curve. Strengthening the core will correct bad posture by distributing weight evenly throughout the body.
Body mass index (BMI) is one method used to estimate your total amount of body fat. It is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared (m2). Differences in BMI between people of the same age and sex are usually due to body fat.
The waist-to-hip (WTH) ratio is a common measure of fat distribution. Your WTH ratio can help you track your weight loss progress, while also serving as a warning about your estimated health risk for problems related to being overweight, such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Those who struggle with obesity often suffer from dangerously elevated glucose (blood sugar) levels. Source
Foods with high levels of easy-to-digest (high glycaemic) carbohydrates cause a fast and high release of glucose which is absorbed into the blood. If foods with a lower glycaemic response are eaten instead, the sudden increase in blood sugar is reduced. Health professionals increasingly make reference to the health benefits of a low glycaemic diet.
The benefits do not just relate to a healthier metabolism, it is also commonly believed to help towards improved diabetes control, prevention of type 2 diabetes, lowered blood cholesterols, reduced risk of heart disease and weight management. Source
People at metabolic risk can be identified with simple measurement and blood tests. A person who is at metabolic risk typically has three or more of the following signs:
- Large amount of abdominal fat—generally speaking, this means a waist measurement more than 40 inches in men and more than 35 inches in women
- High triglycerides (levels of fat in the blood)—150 mg/dL or higher, or currently taking medication to lower triglycerides
- Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol—less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women, or currently taking medication to increase HDL
- High blood pressure—greater than or equal 130 mm Hg systolic, or greater than or equal 85 mm Hg diastolic, or taking blood pressure medication
- High blood glucose (blood sugar)—fasting glucose of greater than or equal 100 mg/dL, or currently taking medication to lower glucose levels
Depending on your level of risk, several treatment options are available. If you are at moderate risk for CVD, lifestyle therapies (a meal plan and weight reduction) alone may lower LDL cholesterol enough to reduce your long-term risk.
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as it is pumped around the body by the heart. Blood pressure does not stay the same all the time. It changes to meet your body’s needs. It is affected by various factors, including body position, breathing, emotional state, exercise and sleep. If blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious problems like heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease. The medical name for persistently high blood pressure is hypertension and the medical name for low blood pressure is hypotension.
A healthy lifestyle and fitness regime can dramatically help with most people who suffer from high blood pressure.
The benefits of lowering your cholesterol include decreasing your chance of plaque formation in your arteries. Plaque in your arteries can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and peripheral artery disease. Ways of decreasing your risk for these diseases include quitting smoking, incorporating a healthy diet, and exercising at least 30 minutes for 5 days a week.
Increased flexibility & ROM
One of the many benefits of flexibility is increasing range of motion around your joints. Limited range of motion can lead to pain, injury and poor overall performance. The soft tissues that surround the joint determine joint movement. If muscles become shortened due to overuse or underuse, this can alter the way joints move. Limited range of motion around joints affects how you move, decreasing your ability to use your full muscular potential, but also exposing you to a higher risk of injury.
Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. The healthier you are, the better and more efficient your sleep patterns become.