Friday, December 2, 2016

The Many Ways Weight Loss Improves Quality of Life

Imagine, your children imploring you to play with them outside or to take them for an outing in the park…and you just can’t.  Your back hurts after just ten minutes of walking, and running is not an option because you become quite winded and fatigued.  Instead, you suggest watching a movie or T.V. show together and pop up some buttery popcorn or order a pizza, thinking that still constitutes valuable “family time.”  So you spend hours on the couch with the family, and before you know, a vicious generational cycle of sedentary lifestyle and junk food unfolds.  You can choose to give in, or you can break this pattern forever.

            The condition of being overweight shortens lifespans as studies have proven time and again.  Rather than dwelling on the consequences, you can focus on some possible solutions, like the HCG diet, for instance.  This program can lead to a permanent lifestyle change, as opposed to serving as a crash diet that facilitates rapid but temporary weight loss.  With the HCG diet, you’re using the weight loss drops to help with appetite issues and muscle tissue and “phasing in” new eating and food preparation habits that will lead to lifelong weight management.
            If you’re still not completely convinced, then consider some of the other ways that losing weight (and keeping it off) would improve your quality of life.

Longer Life (possibly)

Longer Life (possibly)

            Conditions like heart disease and diabetes, not mention several forms of cancer, are key factors to a short and often painful, lifespan.  So by losing weight, you are increasing your chances for a longer and more enjoyable life without as many worries about health issues.  According to the CDC, a five to ten percent decrease in weight leads to dramatic drops in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.  Just a five percent (give or take ten pounds) can greatly decrease your chances of developing a chronic condition that directly results from obesity.
            If you are worried about genetics, then you’re actually working against the genes that have you prone to diabetes and/or obesity.  You are one step ahead in the battle to take control of your health.

Management of Pain or Chronic Conditions

            To take stress off of the back or joints, losing weight is the ideal “treatment” and often recommended by orthopedists.  Although a patient might request pain medication as part of pain management, an opioid or even a mild analgesic is not the “first line of defense,” according the CDC.  For the short term, a person might need to take an anti-inflammatory medication, but for long term management, losing the extra pounds and the exercise and nutrition changes that go along with it, ensure more mobility.  The same goes for arthritis.  Taking weight off of affected joints alleviates discomfort, while regular exercise helps to keep a person going.
            Aside from musculoskeletal-related issues, weight loss can aide in the battle with diabetes or high blood pressure because, again, the process that is all a part of losing weight can help a patient cut down on, if not, get off of some medications.  Of course, consultation with a doctor is highly recommended to be sure.

Correlation with Mental Health

            According to an April 2013 issue of NIH (National Institutes of Health) “Research Matters,” 80% of people who suffer from mental disorders, like schizophrenia or severe depression, also tend to have difficulty with weight management.  Thus, a study was conducted on 291 individuals who suffered from the aforementioned conditions or from bipolar disorder and who participated in outpatient psychiatric treatment programs.  These individuals also fell into the overweight or obese range.  Weight loss programs and regimens were incorporated into their treatment plans, and the participating individuals lost an average of four pounds after six months.  After 18 months, 38% lost 5% of their body weight.  The results included overall improved (not cured but improved) physical health and improved sense of wellbeing. According to this site, the studies show that proper interventions can greatly assist people who deal with mental health issues to make healthy choices that will benefit them in the long run. 


Broader Range of Movement and Stamina

            Pain and fatigue can take a toll on a person, much less on a lifestyle and relationships.  However, losing weight usually results in less stress on joints and muscles, especially if the core, which is the center of gravity in the body, is strengthened through exercise.  This may be why many doctors first prescribe physical therapy before resorting to surgery or strong medication or injections.  Furthermore, more exercise that results in losing extra pounds means a broader range of movement for muscles that have been stretched and strengthened and increased stamina, which then leads to more activity which, in turn, facilitates weight loss.  This is a much healthier cycle to embark on as opposed to being sedentary.

Improvement of Family Time

  Do you remember that scenario mentioned at the beginning?  Now imagine the opposite where fatigue and pain no long dictate activity level or directly affect relationships with loved ones and friends.  Losing weight means feeling better physically and emotionally which translates to more motivation to get out of the living room and out the door for that outing in the park or even just for a walk around the block.  Even in the situation of m
            Do you remember that scenario mentioned at the beginning?  Now imagine the opposite where fatigue and pain no long dictate activity level or directly affect relationships with loved ones and friends.  Losing weight means feeling better physically and emotionally which translates to more motivation to get out of the living room and out the door for that outing in the park or even just for a walk around the block.  Even in the situation of managing a chronic condition some improvement in movement and stamina can be helpful in building morale, and that kind of positive energy can be passed on to everyone around you.


Prevention of Health Issues

           Now there’s a lot of concern about managing physical conditions, but what about prevention?  For example, if you look closely at diabetes, particularly Type 2, you will find that it can lead to heart disease and stroke.  By incorporating all habits that are necessary to losing weight, you will bring down cholesterol levels, which cuts the risk of developing clogged arteries, which can lead to a heart attack.
         According to the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), Type 2 diabetes also correlates with kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage, just to name a few detrimental conditions.  So by losing even just five to ten percent of weight, you can cut the risk of developing diabetes. 

More Positive Outlook

            For a moment, put aside the concept of outward appearance connecting with self-confidence.  Appearance might alter a bit with a new look, but your inner gifts and talents NEVER change except to become even better with wisdom that comes from life experience and a love for learning.  With that being said, losing weight should be more about feeling better and healthier, which in turn, enhances your overall mood and outlook.  When the focus is taken away from appearance alone to a quest to take back your life, then losing weight takes on a whole new meaning.

Vastly Improved Sleep Cycles

            When a person has a high BMI (body mass index), then that can be an indicator of “sleep disordered breathing,” according to The American Heart Association’s site.  Irregular breathing can disturb your sleep patterns and prevent you from achieving REM, which takes place during the deepest stage of sleep.  In turn, lack of adequate deep sleep (7 to 9 hours), causes an increase of ghrelin in the system, which triggers increased appetite, especially for high-calorie foods.  So the way to break this cycle is to lose weight at your own pace and incorporate some more physical activity, which coincidentally leads to better sleep cycles.

            All in all, this is an important task to take on, and it is never too late to start taking control of your mental and physical health.  Your loved ones and friends will be so glad you did.

About  Our Guest Blogger

Gracy Liura is a dedicated and qualified nutritionist with over six years of experience in the Indian food industry. She has earned a MSc degree in Human Nutrition at Chinmaya degree College (BHEL) in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. You can contact her any time you'd want if you've got any questions regarding her guest posts.
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