Obese people who lose just 5 percent of their body weight can reduce the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and increase their metabolic function, says a new study.
There are many current treatment guidelines that recommend patients lose about 5 to 10 percent of their body weight in order to receive health benefits, but the recommendations were focused on prior studies that did not differentiate between individuals who lost only 5 percent of their body weight and those who lost more weight.
In this study, 40 obese individuals with signs of insulin resistance were randomized to either go on a low calorie diet to lose 5, 10 or 15 percent of their body weight or just maintain their body weight. According to the journal Cell Metabolism, the study found that 5 percent weight loss was enough to lower multiple risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. To put this in perspective, a 200-pound individual could lose just 10 pounds to improve their health profile. This is more encouraging in my opinion because it’s a realistic goal and it is much easier to achieve than losing 10 percent of that 200 pounds.
“Even though five percent weight loss may not have dramatic cosmetic benefits, it does have significant health benefits,” said the study’s author, Dr. Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine. “You’re much healthier on the inside, and it’s a really reasonable and legitimate target for people with obesity.”
This study should be a reminder to obese people that a 5 percent weight loss is really a success and not a failure. Diet and exercise can be difficult for any individual overweight and when you do not see any immediate physical changes, you may feel discouraged. This study is a good example to remind you that you are actually fighting diseases and improving your overall health by losing a little weight.
Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Taking short walks and making small changes to your diet is a good way to start weight loss to improve your health today.
“Our findings show that even a small amount of weight loss has important health benefits for multiple organ systems,” Klein said. “We hope that these findings will encourage obese people to take reasonable steps to watch what they eat and increase their physical activity, because this will translate into a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease.”
To say the least, some weight loss is better than no weight loss at all or even making an honest effort. Just because you don’t see instant physical results it does not mean you are not becoming healthier inside. Losing just 5 percent of your body weight is really a success so this should be encouragement to keep losing weight and receiving the nice health benefits that come along with it.
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Source: Magkos, Faidon et al. “Effects of Moderate and Subsequent Progressive Weight Loss on Metabolic Function and Adipose Tissue Biology in Humans with Obesity” Cell Metabolism 22 February 2016