Why You Should Aim for 5-10% Weight Loss

Updated: Sep 30

First and foremost, weight-loss starts with lifestyle changes that include exercise and your diet. An ideal rate of weight loss that can be sustained by most individuals has been observed to be 1 to 2 pounds per week. Losing weight at a moderate rate of pace allows your body more time to deal with the physiological changes. It is also a far easier process to adjust to mentally.

A crash diet or prolonged physical activity can bring about a sudden weight change, but weight issues that are not medical in nature, can most often be a result of lifestyle choices. And any temporary program is only likely to provide a temporary solution, if you do not deal with the core causes.

You can always seek for proper diet recommendation from your dietitians, before you start with any weight-loss program. They will help you choose the right diet that is most appropriate. To attain and maintain any amount of weight-loss, exercise is absolutely mandatory. Generally, an average of at least one hour, five days a week is needed. But this again should be monitored by your doctor/ trainer to assure safe exercise practices.

3 Significant Rules to Attain a Healthy Weight

  • Stop pushing to extremes

Sudden extreme changes to your lifestyle can have a recoil effect. A routine that involves cutting a lot of calories, fat, and sugar in your diet can make you feel deprived or stressed. At some point the extreme discipline will break down and you would most likely end up ditching your diet. Deprivation is not the answer for a long term solution. Some people feel so hopeless after years of "failing" to maintain positive lifestyle changes that they just give up..

A successful diet always starts with moderate changes. Don’t criticize yourself, don’t shame yourself, and don’t beat yourself up. Just start again. It's really no big deal. If it happens again, and it probably will, it's still no big deal. Just start again.

  • Enjoy what you eat

The key here is substitution. It takes time for your taste buds, cravings, and habits to adapt. Find healthy alternatives that will satisfy your cravings. If you crave for sweets and are trying to quit sugar, substitute a more natural source of sweetness like honey. That’s progress. Try substituting your favorite food with healthy options, that way you enjoy while you are eating.

Honest and sustainable changes

If something doesn’t fit into your life, don’t bother with it. Sure, it’s useful and important to form new habits around food and eating, but this process will be part of your journey. Only take on changes that are realistic for you, and that you are capable of doing for a long time. When you think of trying something new and healthy, like adding a green smoothie to your morning routine, ask yourself these questions: Is it easy to do? Do I enjoy the taste of it? Can I see myself doing it regularly, without too much trouble? If the answers are largely yes, the habit could be the fit you're looking for.

Benefits & Principle of 5-10% Weight-Loss

Even as low an amount as 5-10% weight loss will play an essential role in controlling common diseases such as Cholesterol, Hypertension, Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and inflammation. It ultimately leads to very significant benefits including a lesser chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

  • Cholesterol

Although we have good medications that decrease our “bad” cholesterol also called LDL cholesterol, doctors and patients alike know how hard it is to increase the “good” cholesterol otherwise known as “HDL cholesterol” even by a few points. A 5-10 percent weight-loss can result in a five point increase in HDL cholesterol. This deserves applause as raising HDL by these few points can lower the risk of an individual developing heart disease. HDL cholesterol of more than 40 mg/dl for men and more than 50 mg/dl for women is protective against heart disease.

There are other fat-like particles in the blood that are harmful in elevated amounts. They are called triglycerides. People with high triglycerides are at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes among other problems. A normal level should be below 150 mg/dl, while anything above 200 mg/dl is considered high. Losing 5-10 percent of body weight was shown to decrease triglycerides by an average of 40 mg/dl, which is a significant drop. This level can further improve with exercise, a diet low in concentrated sugars, carbohydrates and fats as well as with reduction of excessive alcohol intake.

  • Hypertension

Excess body weight accounts for about 25-30 percent of cases of hypertension. As body weight increases, it causes hemodynamic abnormalities and other changes that result in elevated blood pressure. By losing 5-10 percent of one’s weight, blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, decrease by 5 mmHg on average. In conjunction with a salt restricted diet, rich in vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy, this weight-loss could be potentially even higher.

  • Diabetes

One of the laboratory markers used to screen for diabetes and to monitor its treatment is called Hemoglobin A1C. The normal level should be below 6.5. Research has shown that a 5-10 percent weight-loss can decrease this marker by half a point on average. This comes close to the effect that some anti-diabetic pills have on blood sugars.

  • Insulin Resistance

Another condition that is seen with weight gain is a phenomenon called insulin resistance. In this disorder, the pancreas produces larger than normal amounts of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for keeping blood sugar levels normal. In this condition, high levels of insulin are needed because tissues are resistant to its effects.

When someone has insulin resistance, the resulting high levels of insulin in the blood cause an increase in fat tissue especially in the waist area, abnormal cholesterol, and sometimes a change in certain hormone levels in women that causes male pattern hair growth and infertility. Modest weight-loss was found to significantly decrease insulin levels and thus to help with reversing these conditions.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder commonly diagnosed in patients affected by excess weight that snore or gasp for air during sleep. It’s caused by pauses and gaps in breathing during sleep and results in insufficient oxygenation. This causes fatigue and sleepiness during the day. It also is responsible for making certain diseases less responsive to treatment, like hypertension for example.

When sleep apnea is significant, oxygen levels in the blood are too low during sleep and the use of a breathing machine called CPAP is necessary. It has been shown that a 5-10 percent weight-loss may improve sleep apnea and sometimes if the apnea was not very severe, one can be weaned from the CPAP breathing machine. This is a big achievement for some, as having to use a CPAP is life-saving but often perceived as cumbersome by those who need to use it.

  • Inflammation

In studies looking at the effect of excess weight on cells of the human body, it was found that fat cells and especially abdominal fat cells produce a large number of substances that result in inflammation in blood vessels. This inflammation then can result in plaques and clots and turn into strokes and heart attacks. When weight-loss achieves a level of 10 percent, the levels of inflammatory substances circulating in the blood drop significantly and therefore the risk of vascular damage is reduced as well.

We believe the path to an ideal weight should not be made unnecessarily difficult and non-sustainable. Keeping to a moderate rate of weight loss results in a happier and more fulfilling experience.

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