Hey Angels and Alphas,
When we’re talking about weight loss, we know that many people set their goals based on a given timeframe – as they should.
For example, they want to lose one pound a week, equating to a specific amount of weight in 6 months.
This approach to goal setting can be extremely helpful when it comes to staying motivated. But if you were looking for more motivation to get started, listen up – losing weight has been shown to help your overall health markers for years and even decades in the future.
As we age, the problems that come along with excess fat storage tend to have a ripple effect.
The more weight you’ve put on, the higher your risk category is across a set of conditions that can stack up on top of each other and deteriorate your health. For example, if you were to elevate your risk of cardiovascular problems, this could then translate to affect your respiratory function. This can set you up for long-term issues in both departments as well as more immediate threats such as COVID-19.
The good news is, however, that when you lose weight, you’re essentially streamlining countless body functions, so they start to work better together. Even if you’re not reaching your specific goal weight per se, losing around 5 to 10 percent of your weight (if you’re overweight) can have amazing benefits.
Today, we’re exploring the long-term advantages of weight loss and how they each relate to your health and fitness.
First of all, immunity and immune health.
Excess weight is a marker for inflammation. It raises inflammation in the body, thereby increasing inflammatory cytokines.
If this happens in the short term, it can be a helpful and natural process. But similar to how chronic stress wears you down, instead of preparing you for immediate threats (like it’s supposed to,) inflammation in the long term can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. That’s one of the main reasons why obesity is a risk factor for the majority of COVID-19 complications.
Your immune system doesn’t work like an on and off switch. It’s a complicated and holistic bio-machine that improves when it’s maintained and deteriorates if neglected. As you’re losing weight, your entire body becomes more streamlined and efficient, allowing it to handle issues more quickly and more effectively.
Next, your brain health.
In one small study done a few years ago, researchers studied women who lost weight as a result of surgery (bariatric.) They found that study participants performed better on various tests for executive function, tests that measure a person’s ability to organize and plan.
Study authors concluded that this could be because of a variety of reasons, including how the brain metabolizes sugar. When it comes to people who are overweight or obese, the brain metabolizes sugar at a much higher rate, causing a spike in inflammation. Whether that weight is lost through surgery or non-surgical methods is irrelevant, the result is always the same – better brain function.
Long-term, you will be lowering your risk of brain-related disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s since you’re essentially changing the processes in the brain that are related to these conditions.
And let’s not forget your metabolic health.
More and more young people are developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is essentially a group of risk factors that are associated with an increased likelihood of developing serious conditions such as sleep apnea, heart disease, and diabetes.
The syndrome basically comes down to five factors: high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol and a wide waistline.
In some recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers concluded that nearly half of all adults over 60 experience this issue. But when it comes to people under 40 years old, the numbers are surging – 1/5th of them struggle with problems related to this syndrome.
And even though the actual effects of this syndrome can take a couple of years to develop, researchers have noted that the longer you have this issue, the more likely you are to develop chronic issues.
The good news? By focusing on a healthy lifestyle and weight loss, you can make a major difference… if not all the difference. More often than not, changing just a few of our lifestyle habits will change countless others. For example, when you consume more fruits and veggies and you quit smoking, you will have more energy, and naturally gravitate toward more physical activity. It just sort of adds up.
To wrap things up…
Just know that even though weight loss does have vital short-term effects on your body and health, it also has transformative long-term benefits that keep you healthy and reduce your risk of serious diseases.
By creating a healthy living plan and adopting the necessary lifestyle changes, you won’t just be losing weight… you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of prospering health.