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Reasons To Lose Weight In 2020
Taking charge of your weight can mean that you’re also taking care of your overall health. Rather than trying to lose weight in a hurry, you can make healthier food choices and select an exercise program that you enjoy and even look forward to.
There are many specific illnesses and ongoing physical problems that tend to strike those who ignore the warnings about obesity. You may only be a few pounds overweight, but even that can be hard on your body.
By taking charge of your weight in 2020, you can avoid many of the health problems that often destroy lives – not only your own life but those who love you.
Obesity Fuels Cancer
Until recent years, medical experts have been slow to link obesity to an increased risk of developing cancer. That’s because each person is different in other ways than being obese or overweight.
Even though there are limitations on what can be done to find the relationship between cancer and obesity, recent studies indicate that many cancers are fueled by the presence of too many fat cells.
Some of the cancers that are associated with obesity include endometrial, esophageal, gastric, liver, kidney, multiple myeloma, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, gallbladder, ovarian and thyroid.
Scientific studies indicate that obese persons have persistent low-level inflammation in their bodies which can cause DNA damage. This increases the risk factor for certain cancers such as Barrett esophagus – a precursor to esophageal cancer.
Obesity is also linked to gallstones which is another chronic inflammatory condition. Fat tissue causes the body to produce abnormal amounts of the hormone, estrogen. High levels of this hormone are associated with cancers which mostly affect women.
This includes ovarian, endometrial, breast and some other types of cancers. Another fuel for cancer is high blood levels of insulin – also known as insulin resistance. This condition is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
High levels of insulin fuel cancers such as endometrial, kidney, colon and prostate. Cell growth may be inhibited by fat cells producing adipokines (leptin) hormones. As body fat increases, cell proliferation increases in the blood and cancer may occur.
One recent finding indicates that obese people drink an excess of sugary drinks such as sodas. The refined sugar in these unhealthy soft drinks not only helps you put on pounds but breaks down your immune system.
Even two soft drinks per day can add 100 teaspoons per week to your diet and add to your risk of gaining weight – and developing cancer. Cutting just one thing from your dietary habits – soft drinks – can help you lose weight and avoid many illnesses.
It’s easy to see the link between cancer and obesity. Excess pounds create an unhealthy body that may be unable to withstand the cancer cells that seem to thrive in those conditions. Take charge of your weight now and reduce your cancer risk.
Being Overweight Develops Into Diabetes
As the obesity rate climbs, so does the development of diabetes in our population. Incidents of Type 2 diabetes in America are increasing at an alarming rate and it’s estimated that approximately 21 million persons have full-blown diabetes.
There are an estimated 54 million people with pre-diabetes – a condition that features elevated blood glucose levels but has not yet reached the Type 2 diabetes stage. Unless diet and lifestyle changes are made, the pre-diabetes stage will likely become worse.
The amazing fact about obesity and diabetes is that if an overweight person loses only five to seven percent of his/her body weight, it can dramatically reduce the risk of diabetes.
It also makes a difference in how a person carries excess weight. If a person tends to carry excess weight around the waist (apple-shaped), there is a greater risk than a person who carries most of the excess weight in the hips and thighs (pear-shaped).
Insulin resistance that is linked to Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin (a hormone) has trouble sending sugar (glucose) to the body’s cells. This problem is directly caused by a person’s excess weight.
When obesity occurs, the cells that are produced in the pancreas become more resistant to the insulin – especially fat cells – and the excess glucose becomes less effective to be used as energy.
There is a reason to believe that excess weight causes stress within the cells. The stress occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which consists of membranes that make up the insides of each cell.
Stress to the membranes (ER) happens when you overeat and the ER has more to process than it was designed for. We know that the fast-food culture we’re currently dealing with has much to do with the stressing of the cells and the onset of diabetes.
All that you eat must be process and stored. As a result, the ER within the cells becomes overwhelmed and sends an alarm throughout the body. The cells react by dampening the insulin receptors so they can’t accept the insulin and convert it to energy.
Eventually, it becomes more and more difficult for the ER to handle the insulin and it becomes so stressed out that diabetes occurs. So many health risks are possible from being overweight, but losing weight can prevent many of these risks, including diabetes.
Too Much Weight Hurts Your Heart
Among the many health risks associated with obesity, damage to your heart is one of the more serious to deal with. If you’re overweight and concerned about your health, you’re not alone.
It’s estimated that over 80 million people in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. Obesity can cause many health problems such as gallbladder and lung disease, arthritis and even cancer.
Those who suffer from excess pounds usually have a low quality of life and a shorter life span than those who have a lower weight or ideal BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI is calculated by using your height and weight.
A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese and 40 or more is considered severely obese. The closer you are to being severely obese, the more likely you are to develop a serious health problem that could affect your heart.
Higher blood pressure is one concern about obesity. High levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol also add to heart risks. Heart attacks and strokes and heart failure are also prevalent in those who are obese.
There are several ways in which obesity can lead to heart failure. Shortness of breath and chronic fatigue not only interfere with your quality of life but can lead to an overabundance of fluid in the body (ankles may swell from too much fluid).
On average, a person who has been diagnosed with heart failure will die within five years of the diagnosis. Excess body fat causes high amounts of blood passing through your body, which causes your heart to work harder pumping it where needed.
In time, this extra stress to the heart can damage the structure of the heart and make it more difficult to function properly – leading to eventual heart failure. It’s possible to cause damage to the heart if you’re obese, even without signs of heart disease.
This may occur when fat tissue (predominantly in the stomach) produces inflammatory and toxic hormones that damage the heart muscle. It’s known as the silent heart killer and isn’t as easily diagnosed as some heart problems.
Losing just a small amount of body weight can help to decrease the bad cholesterol in your body – and harmful and high glucose levels. Even more of a continuous drop in excess body weight can help relieve the heart functioning at an abnormal level.
Engaging in some type of physical activity is also good for your heart muscle – and, it also helps you lose weight. Don’t forget exercise as part of the overall plan to take charge of your weight in 2020 and take steps needed to take care of your heart.
You Can Lose Your Mobility from Too Much Weight
One of the scares that accompany aging is losing mobility and depending on others to help you get around. Loss of mobility can also occur during the younger part of your life if you’re overweight.
Osteoarthritis and other issues such as the damage that occurs when muscles and joints bear too much weight are typical problems of those who are overweight. Those who are overweight are less active and are grossly limited in what they can do.
Exercise builds bone mass that is crucial to staying mobile. When weight-bearing limitations occur there is more chance of bone loss and muscle mass is diminished. As mobility declines, the risk of other health problems arise.
Overweight baby boomers are particularly susceptible to loss of mobility as they age. The additional pounds make it difficult to navigate through even the small things in life. Thought must be given to anything they want to accomplish.
Getting through turnstiles, seating in airplanes and theaters and other simple issues become complicated as the pounds creep on. Back and knee pain become issues because the extra pounds amplify pressure on vertebrae and joints.
Eventually, obesity may cause the need for physical assistance. It happens to the young as well as to seniors in the population. It’s a fact that obesity increases the chances of immobility at a much younger age.
Since approximately a third of the U.S. population is now obese, the need for special assistance is bound to skyrocket in the coming years. Obesity-related health problems will likely cause nursing homes to become overwhelmed and understaffed in the future.
Developing a healthy lifestyle to help prevent loss of mobility includes making changes in bad habits that could contribute to weight gain. Fad or extreme diets should be avoided. They can cause yo-yo dieting and can put you at risk for obesity.
Eating smaller, healthier meals and finding an exercise program that you can do and enjoy are also important factors in losing weight and becoming fit. Losing weight is much more effective when you eat mindfully and avoid sugars and harmful fats.
Taking charge of your weight can be vital to maintaining your mobility and preventing the debilitating diseases and problems that can strike because you’re overweight. It’s also important that you’re meeting dietary needs that are uniquely tailored to you.
Obesity Even Affects Your Mental Health
Physical problems aren’t the only type you can experience when you’re overweight. Emotional health concerns connected with obesity include depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), binge eating anorexia disorders and anxiety.
Weight management must address the mental issues that go along with obesity as well as the physical ones. Underlying emotional issues require intervention before or at the same time as the weight issues are addressed.
Negative feelings about being overweight occur often and in all ages. Those negative messages make food seem nurturing and people may self-medicate with certain comfort (fattening) foods to relieve the feelings of inadequacy and shame.
Whereas work used to be the tool we used to relieve depression and anxiety, food is now taking its place – especially in the lives of older and retired persons who may not have that outlet.
Stress and family interaction also play roles in obesity and mental health. Children are leaving home later in life and extended families tend to be scattered now more than ever.
Anxiety may cause a person to eat compulsively and depression can cause highs and lows in a person’s dietary habits and exercise. As a result, yo-yo dieting and lack of physical activity may occur, causing weight fluctuation.
When a person succeeds in a weight loss and exercise program, s/he is likely to experience a reduction in depression and anxiety, whereas a person who is unsuccessful in weight loss efforts tends to sink into an even deeper depression.
Women who have experienced emotional issues such as sexual trauma during childhood years are more likely to become obese. They see their weight as a defense against abuse and a nurturing tool.
Another problem affecting the mental health of the obese person is night eating which can also cause insomnia. This night-eating syndrome can result in a person consuming at least half of their calories during night-eating binges.
These patients tend to have no appetite for breakfast in the morning and can coincide with sleeping and mood disorders. Binge eating is also a common mental issue among overweight persons – more so than bulimia and anorexia.
Hedonism is when food becomes highly pleasurable and the person engages in high intakes of food, especially carbohydrates. The body temperature rises when a person indulges in eating too much and sleepiness or lack of activity occurs.
Treatment of mental health disorders associated with obesity should be handled empathetically. Many medications used to treat depression inadvertently cause an increase in appetite, so this type of medication should be considered as a last resort.
Any type of dietary and exercise program that increases the person’s self-motivation can be highly effective in treating both the problem of obesity and mental disorders. Consider using a food diary to help take control of your weight and your ability to fight stress and depression.
The year 2020 can be the year that you change your habits and get your weight and your mental health purring like a well-oiled machine. Begin today.