If you’re among the one in three individuals who made weight loss their New Year’s resolution, you’re probably thinking about what weight-reduction objective you should be aiming for instead.
However, if you enter “setting a weight loss goal” into any internet search engine, you’ll probably come up with more queries than responses.
Sure, achieving this objective will look simple given the abundance of weight-loss calculators and applications accessible. Usually, they will verify a “healthy” weight using a body mass index (BMI) calculator, then set a target weight based on this range.
Ads for diets, medications, and workout routines that promise to help you lose weight quickly and easily will appear on your screen, along with trim-looking influencers promoting diets that will help you lose 10 kilograms in a month.
The majority of sales presentations make weight loss appear unachievable by implying that you must shed significant quantities of weight in order to be healthy. However, the evidence suggests that you can still reap health benefits without drastically cutting your weight.
It is Incorrect to Define Our Desired Weight Using BMI:
Our society is obsessed with statistics. It follows that our system of scoring our weight is based on measurements and mathematics. The most often used is BMI, which calculates the ratio of our body weight to height.
BMI is a valuable tool for weight and health screening because it categorizes bodies as underweight, normal (healthy) weight, overweight, or obese.
But when we establish our weight-loss objectives, it shouldn’t be the only criterion we employ to determine what a healthy weight is. This is as a result of it:
- Disregards the distribution and proportion of body fat, two important aspects of body weight and health.
- Ignores the substantial variations in body composition that occur depending on age, gender, and ethnicity.
In what ways does weight loss improve our health?
In four important areas, losing merely 5–10% of our body weight, or 6–12 kg for a 120 kg person, can have a major positive impact on our health.
Because obesity alters the production and metabolism of lipoproteins and triglycerides, another fat molecule we use for energy, it raises the risk of having excessive levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also referred to as bad cholesterol.
High triglyceride and excessive bad cholesterol can restrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow, increasing the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
However, studies reveal that even a mere 5% reduction in weight can lead to noticeable changes in triglyceride, LDL, and total cholesterol levels.
Reducing Blood Pressure
If our blood pressure registers higher than 140/90 on two separate occasions, it is deemed high.
Being overweight affects how our sympathetic nervous system, blood vessels, and hormones control blood pressure, among other factors that are connected to high blood pressure.
In essence, high blood pressure damages our arteries over time and raises our risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke by making our heart and blood vessels work harder and less effectively.
A 5% reduction in weight raises both the diastolic (the second number in the reading) and systolic (the first number in the reading) blood pressure, similar to the improvements in cholesterol.
Every kilogram of weight lost resulted in a one-point increase in blood pressure, according to a meta-analysis of 25 research on the topic.
Lowering the Chance of Type 2 Diabetes
The most modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes is being overweight, especially for those with high levels of visceral fat (belly fat) around the abdomen.
Having this extra weight on us can trigger the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals from fat cells, which can mess with our bodies’ ability to use and control the insulin that our pancreas produces, ultimately resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.
If type 2 diabetes is not well controlled, it can cause substantial health problems, such as damage to the heart, blood vessels, main organs, eyes, and nervous system.
According to research, losing merely 7% of one’s body weight can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%.
Reducing Osteoarthritis Risk and Joint Pain
Being overweight increases our risk of developing osteoarthritis by inflaming and damaging our joints.
According to observational research, obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis by four times, whereas being overweight doubles that risk.
Losing a little weight helps to reduce the strain on our joints. In one study, the amount of strain on the knee with each step made during daily activities decreased by four times for every kilogram of weight lost.
Put Long-term Behaviors First
You’re not alone if you’ve ever attempted to lose weight but discovered that the pounds come back almost as soon as they went.
Participants in 29 long-term weight-loss studies gained back more than half of the weight they had lost in less than two years, according to the data. They made over 80% of their loss back in just five years.
Our bodies are forced out of their comfort zones and into survival mode when we lose weight. Then, it prevents weight loss by inducing a number of physiological reactions that help us maintain our current weight and “survive” fasting.
The solution is evolutionary, in line with the nature of the problem. The key to long-term weight loss success is:
- Decreasing weight in manageable, tiny portions that you can stick with: weight loss intervals interspersed with weight maintenance intervals, and so forth, until you reach your target weight.
- Making lifestyle adjustments gradually to make sure you develop lifelong habits.
It can be intimidating to set the goal of achieving a healthy weight. However, it need not be within a predetermined weight range associated with a “healthy” BMI. The health benefits of losing 5–10% of our body weight will be felt right away.