| ||At least a half dozen controlled studies of patients with hypertension concluded that short-term weight loss is usually associated with a reduction of blood pressure. In patients who experienced a weight loss of 11.7 kg ( about 25.7 lbs), an average blood pressure reduction of -20.7/-12.7mm Hg was recorded. A similar study found that a decrease in blood pressure of -2.5/-1.5mm Hg per kilogram of reduction of weight, and further demonstrated a significant correlation between weight change and blood pressure change.|
| ||It is important to keep your weight at your ideal level as extra body fat places strain on your legs and veins.|
Heartburn / GERD
| ||Obesity is known to be a cause of GERD.|
Elevated Insulin Levels
| ||As weight loss will improve insulin resistance, and insulin resistance can be measured by low SHBG, weight loss should help normalize low SHBG levels.|
| || Obesity has been definitively linked to elevated levels of inflammatory blood markers such as C-reactive protein. Consuming lower-glycemic foods reduces the insulin surge that contributes to chronic inflammatory processes.|
Elevated LDL/HDL Ratio
| ||Even a modest weight loss of 10 pounds (4.5 Kg) is associated with a 16% decrease in total cholesterol, a 12% decrease in LDL cholesterol and an 18% increase in HDL cholesterol.|
| ||A modest weight loss, in addition to reduction in dietary fat, can have tremendous benefits on lipid profiles. A weight loss of just 10 pounds (4.5 Kg) has been associated with a 34% drop in triglyceride levels.|
Problem Caused By Being Overweight
| ||Weight loss is important, but dieting is not the answer. For those consuming a lot of fructose, either from fruit or hidden sources of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), reducing fructose consumption improves leptin sensitivity, which reduces cravings both for sweets and calories. Please see the link between Overweight and Fructose Avoidance.|
US scientists conducting a comprehensive review of dieting research have concluded that dieting does not work.
The study is published in the April, 2007 edition of American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), reviewed 31 long-term studies lasting between 2 to 5 years.
UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study, Traci Mann said: "You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back." "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more," she added.
The researchers found a very small minority of study participants managed to sustain weight loss, while the majority put all the weight back on, and more in the longer term. "Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people," said Dr Mann.
Dr Mann and colleagues sought to determine the long term effects of dieting and address the question "Would they have been better off to not go on a diet at all?". So they analyzed every study they could find that followed people on diets for 2 to 5 years. Studies that take less than 2 years are "too short to show whether dieters have regained the weight they lost," they said. They discovered that it would have been better for most of them if they had not gone on a diet at all. "Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back," explained Dr Mann.
Their findings show that:
-- People on diets typically lose 5 to 10 per cent of their weight in the first 6 months.
-- But 33 to 66 per cent regain more than what they lose within 4 to 5 years.
Dr Mann and colleagues suspect the real situation is actually even worse; the figures do not really reflect reality, making diet studies look better than they are. They say there are a number of reasons for this:
-- Many participants phone or mail their results in themselves, without an impartial assessor.
-- A lot of studies have a below 50 per cent follow up rate; and the people who put on a lot of weight are less likely to stay in touch.
UCLA graduate student of psychology and co-author of the study, Janet Tomiyama said that "Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain."
One study in particular that they looked at found that men and women who took part in a weight reduction program gained significantly more weight than those who did not over the same period of time.
Tomiyama mentioned another study, this time looking at links between lifestyle and weight in 19,000 healthy older men over four years. This study found that, "One of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started," she said.
Also, in many studies with control groups, the people in the control group very often were better off than the participants who dieted.
Dr Mann suggests that eating in moderation and exercise do make a difference. Although they were not looking at exercise in particular, Dr Mann said that: "Exercise may well be the key factor leading to sustained weight loss. Studies consistently find that people who reported the most exercise also had the most weight loss."
One study following obese patients discovered that:
-- Among those followed for under 2 years, 23 per cent of patients had regained their weight loss.
-- Among those followed for more than 2 years, 83 per cent had regained their weight loss.
Another study found that 50 per cent of dieters weighed 11 pounds (5 kilos) more than their starting weight 5 years after their diet.
Among the health hazards of repeated weight loss and regain are cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function, said Dr Mann and colleagues. They said more research is needed on the effects of weight loss and regain on health, and say scientists do not fully understand the underlying factors involved in this complex relationship.
Dr Mann quoted her mother, who herself has tried to diet many times, without success. Dr Mann's mother said her daughter's findings were "obvious".
Although this study reviewed 31 long term dieting projects, they did not look into specific diets. The researchers are of the opinion that weight loss programs are not good value for money in the treatment of obesity. "The benefits of dieting are too small and the potential harm is too large for dieting to be recommended as a safe, effective treatment for obesity," said Dr Mann.
Between 1980 and 2000, the proportion of obese Americans has doubled, from 15 to 31 per cent of the population.
Prof. Martínez de Victoria (Head of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology at the University of Granada in Spain)
insists that the best way to control body weight is to combine a limited food intake with regular physical exercise. In this sense, he states that with a 500 to 700 calorie deficit, depending on body weight, age and physical exercise, a person can gradually lose 6.5 lbs a month, with the guarantee of not recovering double the weight they lost in half the time they lost it. In the same way, this researcher stresses the fact that a high-fibre diet helps control obesity, as fibre-rich foods facilitate a lower intake because their mastication time is longer and, due to their volume, produce the filling sensation more quickly. Furthermore, fibre speeds intestinal transit time while slowing food absorption.
Not recommended for:
Problem Caused By Being Underweight
| ||Overweight people can lessen the shock to their joints by losing weight. Knees, for example, sustain an impact three to five times the body weight when descending stairs. Therefore a loss of five pounds can eliminate at least 15 pounds of stressful impact on the joint. The greater the weight loss, the greater the benefit.|
Gout / Hyperuricemia
| ||Achieve normal body weight but avoid rapid weight loss diets, which may result in increased uric acid levels in the blood.|
| ||Very attainable weight loss goals are sufficient to reduce pain and therefore motivate overweight patients with knee osteoarthritis to keep that weight off, according to research presented (November 13, 2006) at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC.|
Weight gain dramatically multiplies the pounds of pressure and loading forces on the knee structure. Because this pressure leads to more wear and tear over time, body weight is considered one of the significant contributors to the onset and progression of knee osteoarthritis. Conversely, weight loss can relieve those realities.
Now, a long-term weight loss program has demonstrated that even modest weight loss contributed to improved quality of life in 30 mildly obese patients, and the resulting reduction in pain was so dramatic as to motivate their keeping the weight off.
Diabetes Type II
| ||80% of diabetics are overweight. Obesity is associated with cellular resistance to insulin, thus more insulin is required to maintain normal sugar levels. Weight loss in even the slightly overweight diabetic is essential, so regular exercise is an important part of the prescription. Both aerobic and weight training or Nautilus-type exercise should be done on a regular basis to keep a very high muscle-to-fat ratio in the body. The goal is to make the body "lean and mean."|
Increased Risk of Diabetes ll
| ||Being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Being overweight can keep your body from making and using insulin properly, and can also cause high blood pressure. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a major federally funded study of 3,234 people at high risk for diabetes, showed that moderate diet and exercise of about 30 minutes or more, 5 or more days per week, or of 150 or more minutes per week, resulting in a 5% to 7% weight loss can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes.|
| ||Since being overweight is by far the most critical factor, weight loss is the key to ridding the liver of fat. This is especially necessary if damage to the liver is occurring, and early signs of scarring are present on biopsy. High blood triglycerides and diabetes are also worse with obesity. So, when steatohepatitis is present with these conditions, people gain even greater benefits from losing weight.|
Weight loss should be slow, not the result of fasting or ultra-low caloric diets. This is because free fatty acids are mobilized during weight loss and too many can increase the deposition of fat in the liver. Gradual weight loss with reduced caloric intake and exercise is highly recommended. A major attempt should be made to lower body weight into the healthy range.
Other medical conditions often present, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or elevated cholesterol should be treated also.
Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia
Increased Risk of Stomach Cancer
| ||During analysis of the data from a Yale study (see link between Increased Risk of Stomach Cancer and treatment Vegetarian/Vegan Diet) the research team found that obesity is strongly linked with risk of these cancers. "The increase in the prevalence of obesity in the United States certainly contributes to the time trends... Our results suggest that prevention strategies for these cancers should emphasize increased consumption of plant foods, decreased consumption of foods of animal origin with the possible exception of dairy products, and control of obesity."|
Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack
| ||Being overweight can make psoriasis more likely. During WWII, people who were on protein-deficient, calorie-deficient diets lost their psoriasis, which they regained when they went back on a normal diet. You can starve the psoriasis before you yourself suffer from starvation.|
| ||An obese woman who has ovarian cancer is more likely to die from it than a woman of normal weight who also has ovarian cancer, say scientists from the The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA. They say that fat cells encourage tumour growth by excreting a hormone.|
The scientists concluded that obesity (for women with ovarian cancer):
Undermines a woman's survival rate.
Made recurrence after treatment more likely and earlier.
Made women die earlier. [Cancer DOI: 10.1002/cncr.22194 Aug 2006]
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
| ||Weight reduction can not only reverse testosterone and luteinizing hormone abnormalities and infertility seen with PCOS, but also improve glucose, insulin and lipid profiles. Obesity is an important feature with regard to hirsutism because it is associated with decreased sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This results in increased levels of unbound testosterone and contributes to the acne and hair growth seen in PCOS.|
A study looked at 38 obese PCOS patients and showed that weight loss could ease effects of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Losing weight appears to improve egg release and ovulation function in obese patients, leading to an increased chance of pregnancy. Nearly 70 percent of women diagnosed with PCOS are obese. Researchers note that dealing with PCOS becomes more complicated as the number of obese patients increases, which reflects a nationwide trend of obesity on the rise.
With a control group set aside for comparison, the remaining patients underwent a 24-week diet and exercise program. Those in the program were divided into two groups. Group one used the diabetes drug, metformin, during the study; Group two participants did not. Metformin makes the body's tissues more sensitive to insulin and is one of the most common OHAs, or oral hypoglycemic agent, on the market.
At the conclusion of the 24 weeks, women in both diet and exercise groups showed significant reduction in body weight. Control group participants did not. Also, researchers determined patients using metformin more easily met their weight loss goals.
When it came to ovulation, women who lost weight were nine times more likely to experience regular cycles than those in the control group. Those that lost weight and used metformin were 16 times more likely to ovulate on a normal basis than women who did not lose weight.
Researchers concluded that ovulation restoration can be accomplished with modest weight loss, as well as metformin therapy. While researchers admitted that the data is preliminary and follow-up studies need to be done, they specifically added that physicians should take note of the study. [Yahoo! News August 26, 2004]
Not recommended for:
| ||Lots of new moms regain their figure within 8-12 months. The best time to start exercising (again) is about 5-6 weeks after the birth. Set little goals, like doing 10-minutes of exercise each day and then gradually increase it. Ideally, aim to achieve a regular 30 minutes exercise per day. Exercise brings physical and psychological benefits.|
If you gained no more than the recommended 22-30 pounds, it should take you about 4-6 months to lose it. For extra weight gained, aim to lose an average of 1 pound per week with exercise. Weight loss dieting, if necessary, should be avoided, especially if breastfeeding.