Every year, nearly half of all adults in the United States try to lose weight.
Did you include weight loss on your list of resolutions for 2020? Are you having trouble sticking to your goal?
If you’re struggling with weight loss, it might be because you’re only focused on the way you look. If you dig deeper and find other reasons to shed the extra pounds, it could be easier for you to stay focused.
Read on to learn about five of the benefits of losing weight that don’t have to do with aesthetics.
- Reduced Chronic Disease Risk
First, being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of developing all kinds of chronic diseases. If you’re overweight or obese, you may be more prone to the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Arthritis and chronic pain
Having a high body weight and body fat percentage, alone, will not cause any of these issues. The likelihood that you’ll develop them, especially if you do not exercise or eat a healthy diet, increases quite a bit, though.
- Improved Mental Health
Losing weight can benefit your physical health in a number of ways. Weight loss can also be great for your mental health and quality of life.
When you lose weight, you may find that you feel more confident and have more energy than you did before. This, in turn, can improve your social life and increase your chances of going out and spending time with friends and loved ones.
You may find that your stress levels go down as well and that your mood improves.
- Fewer Allergy Symptoms
Many people are surprised to learn that their allergy symptoms improve when they lose weight.
Being overweight or obese can put a strain on your respiratory system and adrenal glands. This, in turn, can cause you to experience more severe allergy symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and sneezing.
When you lose weight and your body can function in a more efficient way, you may find yourself sneezing and noticing your allergies less than before.
- Improved Sex Drive
Weight loss can lead to improved hormone balance, especially in men (low testosterone is associated with weight gain).
By improving the balance of sex hormones in the body through weight loss, you may find that your sex drive improves in a significant way. You may also find that you feel more confident and more inclined to engage in sexual activity when you lose weight.
- Better Sleep
Being overweight or obese can have a negative impact on your sleep quality. After all, people who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience issues like back pain and sleep apnea that keep them up at night.
Once you start losing weight, you’ll likely find that you sleep more soundly and wake up feeling more rested than you did previously.
Tips to Help You Start Losing Weight
Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits to losing weight, you might be wondering how you can shed the extra pounds and keep them from coming back. Here are some tried and true weight-loss strategies you can implement today:
To lose weight, you need to eat in a calorie deficit (this means you eat less than what your body burns). To determine if you’re in a calorie deficit, it helps to track calories and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat).
Tracking helps you see how much you’re consuming on a daily basis. It also helps you see if there are any issues in your nutrient intake. For example, you might find that you eat a lot of carbohydrates each day but very little protein.
There are lots of free apps you can use that make it easier for you to log your food and get an idea of what you eat each day.
Focus on Whole Foods
If you don’t like the idea of tracking everything you eat, another good place to begin is by limiting your consumption of processed foods and focusing on whole foods instead.
If you eat more fruit, vegetables, and high-quality protein (meat, seafood, legumes, etc.) while also reducing the amount of packaged, processed food you eat, you’ll likely start to lose weight without having to try too hard.
Make sure you’re drinking enough water, too.
If you aren’t properly hydrated, you may have a harder time resisting cravings for high-calorie junk food. Many people also confuse thirst with hunger and end up overeating when they really just need some water.
Try to drink about eight glasses of water per day to ensure you’re always well-hydrated.
It’s true that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make exercise a priority in your weight loss journey, though.
Regular exercise can help you burn more calories, which can speed up your weight loss. It can also help you to increase your muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns when you’re at rest.
Get Enough Sleep
Finally, make sure you’re sleeping enough. When you’re overweight or obese, quality sleep can be harder to come by. Do your best to prioritize it, though.
Stick to a consistent nighttime routine, for example, and avoid looking at screens and exposing yourself to blue light within a few hours of bedtime. Minimize your caffeine intake in the afternoons, too, to ensure it’s not keeping you up at night.
Enjoy the Benefits of Losing Weight Today
As you can see, the benefits of losing weight extend way beyond looking better (although, there’s also nothing wrong with having this as one of your goals).
If you’re interested in some of the other perks of weight loss, be sure to follow the tips outlined above. They’ll help you set realistic weight loss goals for yourself and stick to them long-term.
Don’t forget to check out the Weight Loss section of our site as well. You’ll find more tips and tricks there to keep you motivated on your health journey.