10 Reasons Beyond Appearance to Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese has reached epidemic proportions, with most Americans having body mass indexes (BMIs) above the ideal range. What’s more, as the obesity rate continues to climb, the percentage of Americans actively trying to shed pounds is dropping.
It seems Americans are getting used to larger body sizes, resulting in less motivation to slim down. But there are important reasons to maintain a healthy weight that have nothing to do with how you look, and we’ve rounded up 10 that may surprise you.
Reason #1 – Increased fertility
Carrying excess body fat detrimentally impacts every system in your body, including your reproductive health. Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have irregular periods and take longer, on average, to become pregnant than women who maintain a healthy weight. In fact, it’s estimated that at least 10% of infertility issues are due to extra weight.
Reason #2 – Better sleep
Getting restorative sleep every night is a crucial part of staying healthy. Without good sleep you can’t perform at your best. If you’re overweight, the chances that you’re being robbed of a good night’s sleep increase.
Excess fat, particularly belly fat, prevents your lungs from expanding fully, preventing you from breathing deeply, which helps you sleep well. Being overweight also raises the risk of obstructive sleep apnea, which is when you stop breathing multiple times while you’re asleep.
Reason #3 – Reduces chronic disease risk
Lowering your chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases is a major reason to maintain a healthy weight. Too much body fat isn’t merely an unsightly nuisance, it throws your hormones out of whack, bogs down your system, and kicks off a cascade of unhealthy physiological events that set the stage for chronic disease.
Reason #4 – Motivation to exercise
Staying within a healthy weight range helps you feel good and motivates you to get out and exercise. Adults who maintain a healthy BMI are more likely to want to keep themselves healthy by working out and engaging in physical activities that they enjoy.
Reason #5 – Better emotional health
There’s a degree of biological basis to feeling happy, content, and having a strong sense of well-being. Your body produces chemicals that help buffer stress and stimulate good feelings. The inflammatory chemicals produced from excess body fat not only interfere with feel-good substances, they increase stress-related hormones.
It’s no wonder obesity increases the risk of depression. More than 40% of adults with depression are obese. Slimming down is just as important for your emotional health as it is for your physical health.
Reason #6 – Improved libido
Excess weight not only interferes with fertility, it stifles your desire to have sex. Having a high BMI lowers your sex drive. A healthy libido depends on various factors, including well-balanced hormonal patterns. When your hormones are off-kilter, your sex drive can take a nosedive.
Reason #7 – Better sexual performance
Even when you want to have sex, being overweight or obese can impact your ability to perform. In men, obesity is an independent risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that interferes with your ability to develop and sustain an erection.
Obese men are significantly more likely to experience ED than men with a healthy BMI. It’s estimated that excess body fat is responsible for 8 million cases of ED in the United States.
Reason #8 – Improved mobility
Your body is meant to move. When your muscles work, they pump oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, keeping your heart healthy and your hormones balanced. Adults who gain weight move less, which often leads to more weight gain. This vicious cycle can leave you feeling out of shape and make it difficult to get your body moving on a regular basis.
Reason #9 – Protection against age-related diseases
Maintaining a healthy weight as you age is just as important as when you were younger. You may know that keeping your BMI within a healthy range protects against chronic diseases like diabetes, but did you know that it also lowers the risk of age-related diseases? Excess body fat increases inflammation and cell damage, putting older overweight adults at increased risk for cognitive impairment, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Reason #10 – More energy
Excess body fat is burden that disrupts your body’s ability to use energy efficiently. Try carrying around a couple of sandbags, and you’ll quickly get an idea of the stress extra pounds put on your body. The decreased energy levels make it challenging to feel good and exercise and the lack of exercise leads to more weight gain. Before you know it, you’re on a hamster wheel of sedentary living that’s difficult to break free from.
Our team at Cōpare is dedicated to helping you reach your weight loss goals. From meal preparation to dining out, we’ve got you covered with individualized plans that allow you to eat real foods for real results. To learn more about our effective weight loss plans, call the location nearest you to schedule a consultation.