Sunday, January 1, 2012
Tip: 8 reasons to lose weight in 2012
The holiday's are over and were in 2012 now, and you already know that losing weight makes you look and feel better. But researchers have now discovered some new health benefits of getting down to a healthier body weight. Here are just some of the surprising ways that weighing less can make you healthier.
1. Fewer Allergy and Asthma Symptoms
At first glance, weight loss and allergies seem totally unrelated. But Michael Wald, MD, an integrated medicine specialist in Mount Kisco, N.Y., says that one absolutely impacts the other. “For some people, being overweight contributes to worsened asthma and allergies," Dr. Wald says. "It puts a burden on the adrenal glands, which are involved in managing asthma and allergies. Being overweight is also a strain upon the respiratory system and can exacerbate asthma symptoms.”
2. Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes and obesity are two conditions that are closely tied to one another, and obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. What’s surprising, though, is just how effective losing weight can be at reversing the impact of type 2 diabetes. In a recent study of 424 gastric bypass surgery patients with type 2 diabetes, 83 percent were able to reverse the symptoms of their disease. A second, smaller study, showed that 11 type 2 diabetes patients on a severely calorie-restricted diet were able to get their blood sugar levels and insulin secretion activity back to normal within seven days. If you have type 2 diabetes, one of the best weight-loss benefits may be reversing your condition and avoiding future complications. You can’t beat that for weight-loss motivation.
3. Glowing Skin
Wald says that being being overweight can affect your skin in many ways.“Skin elasticity and color are known to be altered by problems with nutrition, and diets high in carbohydrates and sugar can cause skin pallor and skin tags,” he says. Darkness around the eyes can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia, protein anemia, diabetes, or stress from a variety of sources.”
4. Less Foot Pain
Less weight means less pressure on the part of your body that bears most of that pressure — your feet. A recent study of people who lost an average of 90 pounds after bariatric surgery found that their complaints of foot pain dropped by 83 percent. Pestered by foot pain? Getting tootsie relief is great weight-loss motivation.
5. Better Mood
When you’re overweight, your entire system is out of balance, and this includes the hormones that impact your mood. As a result, losing weight can increase your overall well-being and decrease the severity of depression. “Many overweight people suffer from severe depression, and depression can also increase the chances of being overweight as it reduces the individual’s ability or desire to help their overweight situation or to prevent it in the first place,” Wald notes. “PMS also can be helped by losing weight, as the loss of fat tissue can have a favorable effect upon hormonal balance.”
6. Arthritis Relief
Weight loss and arthritis have a strong connection that’s tied to inflammation in the body. A number of studies have noted that weight loss improves arthritis pain. A recent study of 87 older adults with knee arthritis found that those in a weight-loss group reduced their pain and improved their function significantly over a control group that did not
7. Improve Memory
Mental weight-loss benefits can go even further, boosting memory. That’s the finding of more recent research. One study compared 109 people who underwent bariatric surgery to 41 people in a control group who lost no weight. After 12 weeks, the researchers discovered that those who'd had the weight-loss surgery had significantly improved memory, compared with the control group. That’s weight-loss motivation you’ll want to remember.
8. Sound Sleep
The prospect of getting a good night’s sleep is a strong weight-loss motivator. A recent study of 264 people with sleep apnea and diabetes discovered that those who lost the most weight showed a significant decrease in sleep apnea symptoms. In fact, the weight-loss group saw their sleep apnea symptoms cut in half. Considering that sleep apnea can be life-threatening, this weight-loss benefit is a significant one.