4 lesser-known benefits of losing weight

Every January brings a slew of advice on slimming down and beating back the holiday bulge. There’s no shortage of good reasons for shedding those surplus pounds, but here are some lesser-known benefits that might provide you with some extra motivation.

For many of us, slimming down is a matter of body image. And who’s to argue with that? We all tend to feel better about ourselves when we’re slimmer and trimmer. But did you know that losing as little as 10 pounds can go a long way toward improving your health and wellbeing in all kinds of ways?

Life-extending benefits

Before looking at some of the lesser-known advantages of weight loss, let’s quickly review some critical benefits. Years of research have shown that being overweight is associated with high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and stroke, and even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Shedding as little as ten pounds can—

  • Lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol levels by 10% or more, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Improve your body’s response to insulin in combination with exercise, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 60%.
  • Help stave off dementia, notably by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels and by reducing the risk of “silent” mini-strokes that can damage brain tissue.

1. Sleep better

Extra fatty tissue can thicken the wall of your windpipe and narrow the airway, increasing the risk of sleep apnea—a condition where your breathing is repeatedly interrupted while you sleep. Weight loss can widen your windpipe, helping you breathe normally for better sleep. And when you’re well rested, you’re less likely to feel hungry, an extra benefit that will help you lose more weight.


2. Give your joints a break

Being overweight takes a real toll on the joints. Those 10 extra pounds are equivalent to 30 extra pounds of pressure on your knees—or 7 times that when you’re climbing stairs. Over time, the pressure wears away cartilage, leaving you more vulnerable to arthritis. Drop 10 pounds and you cut the risk of developing osteoarthritis in half over 10 years.

3. Get allergy relief

Extra pounds put extra strain on your adrenal glands and respiratory system and make your body more prone to inflammatory reactions associated with allergies. Weight loss reduces inflammation and can ease asthma and seasonal allergies—and your reliance on medication!

4. Feel better overall!

When you lose weight—even if it’s only 10 pounds—not only do you reap benefits like these, you simply feel better, period. Your body doesn’t have to work so hard, your energy levels increase, your self-esteem gets a boost…and the list goes on. So set a target and see what happens. Your body will love you for it!

Based on: “10 Reasons to Lose Just 10"