10 Amazing Health Benefits to Carrying Less Weight

Incentive (and motivation!) to help shed the pounds

10 Amazing Health Benefits to Carrying Less Weight

After a long winter, spring has finally returned! And with it comes the motivation to get out there and shed unwanted winter weight that accumulated over the past few months. While the task of getting back in shape may seem daunting, it’s easier to achieve your goals when you have the right tools, including a plan to follow and support through the journey. Losing just 10 lbs is an important milestone. It can not only result in many health benefits, but also signals the beginning of a successful shift in behaviour towards achieving long-term healthy lifestyle changes.

Research has shown that getting your family and friends involved in your efforts to get fit makes you more likely to succeed.

Need further incentive? Consider these benefits losing just 10 lbs can make:

1.  Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Being overweight, especially if you carry excess weight around your middle, ups your risk of heart disease— high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Reducing your weight by just 5 to 10 per cent can help to decrease all of these risk factors for heart disease.

2.  Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure - sometimes referred to as "the silent killer" - increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada suggests that one of the best ways to lower blood pressure is to maintain a healthy body weight. Even a small amount of weight loss can significantly reduce and/or prevent the risks of high blood pressure.

3.  Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Weight loss through exercise and cutting calories seems to be the best way to improve the body’s ability to use insulin. The Diabetes Prevention Trial, a major clinical study, proved that losing modest amounts of weight (less than 20 lbs) and increasing physical activity can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half.

4.  Reduced Risk of Cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society identifies that approximately one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight. The good news is losing as little as 5 per cent of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk.

5.  A Healthier Night’s Sleep

The link between excess weight and sleep apnea is well established. People who are overweight have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms and improving the quality of sleep.

6.  Reduced Body Pain

By losing 10 pounds of excess weight, you can decrease the stress on your knees by up to 40 pounds. Due to the reduced pressure on your joints, this also reduces your risk of developing diseases like osteoarthritis.

7.  Increased Energy

Even small amounts of weight loss will improve your ability to enjoy your favourite exercises and activities by giving you more energy. Being able to include daily physical activity will help you reach your longer term weight loss goals and maintain a healthy and more active lifestyle.

8.  Improved Sex Life!

Yeah you read that right! Losing a little weight, even 10 pounds, can improve the quality of your sex life. Studies have shown losing weight can help men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. More research suggests up to 30 per cent of women and men with obesity seek help to control their weight indicate problems with sex drive, desire, performance, or all three.

9.  Improved  Mood

Losing 10 lbs can provide a motivational boost and increase self-confidence. Your increased energy levels could lead to a more active lifestyle, getting you outside and engaging in extra social activities.

10.  Decreased Medications

Maintaining a healthy body weight decreases your chances of developing chronic and life-threatening health problems over time (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or arthritis) that often require daily pharmacological treatments.

With the right incentive, a clear goal and a plan that includes proper support, the amazing benefits of losing just 10 lbs are in sight! For more support and motivation to get started, take the #betyou10lbs challenge powered by Weight Watchers, and make your friends and followers a part of your journey as well!

Need further incentive? From now until May 30, Weight Watchers will cover your first two months of subscription fees if you lose at least 10lbs. Sign up with a friend and join the challenge this season!

Get your friends involved too! Research shows involving friends in your weight loss goals gives you a better chance for success!

Visit Weight Watchers for the #BetYou10lbs challenge to see offer terms and conditions and learn how you can kick start your weight loss journey, involve your friends, and get the support you need to spring clean your health routine.

Jane Dummer, RD (www.janedummer.com), is a leading Dietitian for the North American food and nutrition industry. An entrepreneur, food consultant, speaker, writer and industry researcher, Jane has led and managed a variety of projects for over 60 organizations, including manufacturers, distributors, foodservice groups, national and provincial food/health associations, corporations, and media outlets. As go-to media contact, Jane has conducted over 75 interviews via print, radio and television. Jane’s columns are featured in Huffington Post, Bakers Journal, Barley Balance and on her own Grow with Nutrition Blog. For over a decade, Jane has been working with corporations implementing workplace wellness solutions.

Jane is an active member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario and Dietitians of Canada. Jane is member of the Waterloo Wellington Flying Club and a past member of the Kitchener Grand River Rotary Club. Jane’s hobbies include boxing, golfing, cycling, hiking, yoga, Pilates and she walks half marathons annually.