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There are countless reasons for losing weight. Researchers are finding more and more health benefits all the time. Losing just about any amount of weight can have a positive impact on health. Even if you are not currently experiencing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or other elevated risk factors, the chances that you will are greatly increased over time. You may be able to prevent further medical problems by losing weight now.
Weight Management = Health Management
At HMR®, we like to say that weight management = health management. In other words, the behaviors we teach for weight loss and weight-loss maintenance (physical activity, meal replacements, and vegetables and fruits) are the very same ones that have beneficial effects on overall health.
Every Pound Lost Can Help to Decrease Risk Factors
Research has shown that losing even modest amounts of weight can have a major impact on health and quality of life. For those who are able to lose larger amounts of weight, however, studies have shown that there are larger benefits with greater weight losses.
The research is definitive. Those with “pre-diabetes” (a fasting blood sugar level above normal but not high enough to diagnose diabetes) can prevent or delay its progression to type 2 diabetes by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors such as losing weight and exercising. For those already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, weight control is regarded as the number one therapeutic task.
Research has found that weight loss has both short- and long-term benefits on cholesterol and other lipids. Losing weight also reduces blood pressure, which lowers risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health problems.
Large-scale research studies have demonstrated the connection between excess weight and cancer, indicating that losing weight can help prevent many cancer deaths. In addition, the lifestyle behaviors that people practice in the HMR Program—using meal replacements to decrease dietary fat, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and doing physical activity—have been shown in many studies to significantly reduce risk for a number of different types of cancer.
Quality of Life
People who lose weight report having fewer limiting disabilities. Furthermore, they experience improvements in overall quality of life including decreased anxiety and depression and a more positive self-image.
Additional Health Benefits
The list of health conditions that are positively affected by losing weight and improving lifestyle habits is almost endless. In addition to the chronic conditions noted above, weight loss and lifestyle change can help improve knee and joint problems, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, fertility problems, memory, risk for Alzheimer’s … the list goes on and on. Remember, even small changes can equal big results.