Small weight loss brings big gains
We're all aware that shedding those excess pounds is beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing, but did you know that even losing a small amount can usher in significant health benefits.
For those that are already overweight, it can be disheartening to assume that they must lose large amounts of weight to enjoy any health benefits at all. Fortunately, this simply isn't the case. According to a 2016 study, even shedding just 5% of your overall body weight can bring big gains for your body.
The study was based on 40 people who were split into four separate groups - One group was asked to lose no weight at all (the control group), the other groups were asked to lose 5%, 10%, and 15% of their total body weight by reducing the number of calories they consumed. The length of time each group took to lose weight varied, with the ones asked to lose 15% taking the longest. Once participants' weight had stabilised for three weeks after they'd reached their target, a number of measurements were taken.
According to the study, all those who took part already showed signs of insulin resistance before the study began, which can be linked to heart disease and diabetes. However, once they'd lost their target weight, even the individuals in the 5% group showed health improvements. Aside from improvements to certain pancreatic cells, their insulin sensitivity levels also improved and so did their heart rate, glucose levels as well as their blood pressure - Pretty good going for just a 5% reduction in weight.
Notably, senior study author Samuel Klein of Washington University School of Medicine indicated that it may actually be more helpful for those trying to lose weight if the bar wasn't set too high for them in the first place. If they're unable to reach a 10% loss, they may feel discouraged or disheartened which could then lead them to give up altogether. Putting this into perspective, if you weigh 20 stones to begin with, just losing a single stone will get you to the 5% marker.
This will not only improve your physical health, it will most likely also improve your mental health too.