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5 Ways Weight Loss Can Improve Overall Health

Author: Cara Walsh

May 11, 2015

5 Ways Weight Loss Can Improve Overall Health

Author: Cara Walsh

May 11, 2015

Weight loss isn’t just about achieving your summer body or dropping a dress size. It’s about improving your overall health truly really significant ways. You’re never too old or young to embark on a weight loss journey, and losing just a few pounds will help you feel younger, healthier, and more energized. As further encouragement, here are some of the unexpected benefits to losing weight that do more than prepare you for swim suit season.

Fend off Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart disease and stroke are still the leading causes of death for both men and women in the United States. Each year more than 600,000 people die from heart disease and 140,000 die from stroke. Factors that lead to these too-common health issue catastrophes include high blood pressure, high LDL or “bad” cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides in the blood, and angina. All of these issues can be exacerbated by obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, dropping just five to ten percent of your body weight will raise your HDL or “good” cholesterol, which further lowers your risk. Dropping pounds will lower your chances of developing all of these telltale symptoms, and therefore significantly lessen your chances heart complications or stroke.

Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If you are overweight, you are more than twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as people who aren’t overweight. Type 2 diabetes causes problems with insulin production, resulting in abnormal regulation of blood sugar. This can cause damage to cells, and diabetes-related complications include skin infections, eye infections, nerve damage, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Many people with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar levels by eating healthy and staying active, but the symptoms usually worsen over time. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating nutritious meals, and staying active will go a long way toward preventing Type 2 diabetes, as well as all the problems that come along with it.

Reduce Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain

When you carry around extra weight, you put more pressure on your joints, especially those in your knees, hips, and lower back. Weight loss can immediately decrease the stress on these sensitive joints, and reduce pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that are directly related to osteoarthritis. Right now there are no medications to stop osteoarthritis, which is why weight loss and physical activity are even more important to halt this painful condition before it get under way.

Reduce the Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This sleep disorder is commonly diagnosed in patients who are obese or overweight. It is caused by pauses in breathing during sleep and results in loud snoring and insufficient oxygenation. Because people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea rarely get enough sleep, they often suffer from fatigue when they are awake. Sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea are also more at risk for heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Even a five to ten percent weight loss may improve sleep apnea, and for sleep apnea will disappear altogether.

Reduce Inflammation

Fat cells, especially abdominal fat cells, produce substances that result in inflammation throughout blood vessels. The result is less efficient circulation, plaque buildup, and arterial clots, which will significantly increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Chronic inflammation also impairs the brain’s ability to receive appetite-suppressing signals; meaning that the more inflamed your body is, the more you will want to eat. It’s a vicious cycle. Obesity increases your risk of overall inflammation throughout your organ systems, making you more susceptible to infections and disease, and inflammation increases your risk of obesity.

Even moderate weight loss has the potential to improve all of these symptoms, leading to a healthier, more energized, and longer life. The Medifast diet has been proven to be safe and effective, helping thousands of people lose weight, reduce their risk of disease, and develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.



About the Author:

Cara Walsh
Counselor at The Carmel Mountain Ranch Medifast Weight Control Center
Cara Walsh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Weight Control Counselor. Cara received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian through the Utah State University. Cara is currently completing her Masters in Dietetic Administration through Utah State University. Cara has always had a passion for healthy eating and cooking. She loves to focus on how food can heal and provide nutrition-while tasting delicious. Cara thrives on helping others reach their full potential nutritionally. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to Pilates and running the boardwalk on the Pacific Ocean with her son and husband.

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