Being at a healthy weight is a “must” for Optimum Health. This fact is no longer debated. And you know that to be true from experience. If our body starts storing too much weight (body fat), there will be negative health consequences. On the other hand, once that weight starts coming off, health often improves quickly and dramatically. I’ve seen this with thousands of individuals on their weight loss journey. Although a change to our daily routine is required, let’s consider some of the benefits.
Weight loss has some rather amazing positive “side effects”. Medications, on the other hand, have negative side effects, some of them life threatening. Consider come current examples:
- Women using calcium channel blockers to lower blood pressure for 10 years have a 150% increased risk of breast cancer. JAMA Internal Medicine Journal (Aug 5, 2013).
- Beta-blockers, such as propranolol or atenolol, used for blood pressure, slow the metabolism around 186 calories per day, causing weight gain and fatigue, which can devastate one’s quality of life.
- The “water pill” hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) for blood pressure increases blood sugars and can trigger diabetes.
- Common statin medications for cholesterol can increase blood sugars (at times causing diabetes), impair muscle function, cause severe body aches, and, rarely, trigger liver failure.
Not great news on the medication front…. With that information, however, you can imagine how rewarding it is to help patients avoid these prescriptions by simply losing weight. Weight gain often results in having more medical problems that result in more medications that result in more side effects! The good news is that through weight loss, you can achieve an almost endless number of POSITIVE “Side Effects”!
Remember, obesity is a disease that no one wants, no one deserves and is a real “bother” in many ways:
- Clothes no longer fit
- Activities are more difficult
- Self-confidence with others dwindles
- Personal self-esteem suffers
- Overall quality of life is far from its full potential
Further, as a physician, I’ve seen transformational health benefits from weight loss. Here are 21 of those surprising “side effects” from losing weight:
Achieving normal weight by reducing body fat has these potential benefits:
- Heart Disease (slash the risk of heart attack and heart disease death by half!)
- Cancer (reduce the risk of cancer by 45%, including breast, prostate, colon, others…)
- Stroke (80% greater risk of stroke if obese compared to normal weight)
- Dementia (80% greater risk of dementia if obese, also brain “shrinkage” if obese)
- Diabetes Type 2 (about 90% of cases occur in those who are overweight, conversely, a 22 lb weight loss could restore 35% of the reduction in life expectancy)
- Fatigue (excess weight is almost always associated with less energy)
- High Blood Pressure (550% increased risk if obese, lose 10 lbs to lower BP 5 points)
- High Cholesterol (each 20 lbs of weight gain raises cholesterol by 10%)
- Osteoarthritis (joint pain scores increase 54% with a 23 lb higher weight)
- Sleep Apnea (weight loss is the best treatment and many are “healed” by losing 30-50 lbs)
- Asthma (100% increase in risk if obese)
- Sexual Dysfunction (erectile dysfunction, low T, female sexual dysfunction, low libido common with obesity)
- Gallstones (risk drops about 1% for each pound of weight loss)
- Depression / Anxiety (present in over half of those with obesity)
- Parkinson’s Disease (200% increased risk if obese compared to normal weight)
- Low Self-Esteem (opportunities for jobs, promotions, colleges, housing, relationships are limited if obese, bullying occurs towards obese children… all damage self-esteem)
- Unwanted limitations on physical activity with obesity
- Medical costs ($1,426 lower medical expenses per year at normal weight vs obese)
- Fatty liver (a 10% weight gain can increase fat deposits in liver by 100%)
- Motor Vehicle Accident death risk (89% higher if obese and in an accident compared to normal weight)
- Sudden Death (Obese individuals have a 40 times higher rate of unexplained sudden death)
The medical impact of unwanted weight gain is painful, expensive, pleasure-limiting, and, at times, deadly! When we look at the benefits from weight loss, one fact is crystal clear. Everyone should pursue and maintain their Optimum Weight. It is simply the right thing to do.
Determining effective tools and strategies to achieve this typically requires a personalized, powerful medical approach. You now have access to those personal keys to success (see taguenutrition.com). Embrace those tools and strategies and make them your new routine. The benefits are destined to follow and it is so very worth it!
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.
P.S. We have a team ready to serve you. As a physician board certified in obesity medicine, I have developed strategies that have assisted thousands of individuals in losing dramatic amounts of weight and improving their health. Call us for a free initial consultation.