Weight Watchers Get Healthy Freestyle Journey – Week 8
Benefits of 5% Weight Loss
It’s time once again to reflect on the past week. In the last several posts, we looked at how to stay motivated, smart use of free foods, and some tactics for dining out. All of which I had to address to be successful the long term. When setting goals, we tend to think too much about where we want the end result to be and not enough about what we need to do to get there. So when I started, in addition to the BIG goal, I also set smaller goals that I could achieve throughout my journey. Sometimes the finish line is a long way away so setting smaller goals is important for morale and guidance. Be realistic about your weight loss goals and how long it will take to achieve them.
Since I am on this journey with my family, we each have our personal milestones that signal success to us. Mom’s is to lose her first twenty pounds. She was just a half-pound shy this week. So Close!!! After struggling for several weeks my sister achieved her first goal, losing ten pounds, last week. My first small goal was to reach 5% weight loss. I achieved this goal a few weeks ago and am now looking at my next one of losing 10%. I love that my family is keeping me accountable and since they are struggling like me I’m not in this alone. With my personality, I need the motivation and companionship of having them on this journey with me. Even with a busy and stressful life we’ve had these past weeks, I found myself motivated to stay focused on my goal.
It’ hard to believe that this week is my two-month mark! So I thought this would be a good time to discover how the effort that we’ve been putting into this new lifestyle is already benefiting our health.
Benefits of 5% Weight Loss
This seemingly modest weight change results in tremendous health benefits.
When thinking about weight loss we often have a goal body weight and think that unless we reach that number or lose dozens of pounds we will not be any healthier. This is a misconception as studies have shown that health benefits result from a weight loss as low as 5-10 percent. This means that an individual that weighs 200 pounds will benefit greatly from losing just 10 to 20 pounds. There’s scientific evidence that many obesity-related conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea improve with a 5-10 percent weight loss. When weight loss achieves a level of 10 percent, the levels of inflammatory substances, that can result in plaques and clots and turn into strokes and heart attacks, circulating in the blood drop significantly.
Another condition that is seen with weight gain is insulin resistance. In which, the pancreas produces larger than normal amounts of insulin. 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 can cause male pattern hair growth and infertility. However, a modest 5-10 percent weight loss can significantly decrease insulin levels and help reverse the condition.
Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee. According to WebMD, a new study shows that for each pound of body weight lost, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress among overweight and obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Just 10 extra pounds adds 40 pounds of pressure on your knees and other lower body joints! Extra body weight makes your heart work harder, too. Trim 5% from that number on the scale and you can lower your blood pressure by about 5 points.
People who are overweight gain extra tissue in the back of their throat. When your body relaxes that tissue can drop down and block your airway making you stop breathing over and over all night long. Sleep apnea can make you wake up in the morning feeling tired or unrefreshed even though you have had a full night of sleep. The lack of oxygen your body receives can have negative long-term consequences for your health. Slimming down a little can improve sleep apnea. You’ll get more ZZZs and it will be better rest, too. According to a preliminary study from the University of Pennsylvania, when obese adults shed five percent of their body weight, they reported better sleep and improved moods within six months.
For most people, a 5 percent loss is enough to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, losing that weight can help you take less medication, get control of your blood sugar, and lower the odds that the condition will cause other health problems in the future. Extra body weight also seems to raise your odds of having cancer, including in the breast, colon, liver, kidneys, ovaries, cervix, and prostate. There’s no clear proof that losing weight protects you from the disease, but overweight people who slim down end up with lower levels of hormones linked to cancer.
Your emotional health will also benefit.
People who have lost 5 to 10 percent of their body weight report improvements in quality of life, a noticeable reduction in depression symptoms, increased energy, and a more positive attitude to life.
How my freestyle weight loss week went:
Now, as I start to focus on my next small goal I would like to look at how my week went. Although I am still worrying more than usual about my son who lives out of state, my youngest who went to Florida for bike week is back in SC and at work. After all the worrying I did last week, without cookies or lasagna, I had to put into action my new coping skills. I’ve been moving more, even cleaning the door jambs of our exterior doors, and eating less on impulse. Every kind of bad eater there is I am.
Bored – Eat · Upset – Eat · Happy – Eat · See Food – Eat · Lonely – Eat · Stressed – Eat
After the twins went home one on Saturday and the other on Sunday we didn’t need to go anywhere until Thursday to grab a few things from the local store. This week was filled with working on the computer and trying to stay busy. Friday and Saturday were both a bit rocky and I found myself slipping. Saturday afternoon found me with three preteens that needed to be fed somewhere close to the Coliseum before we went to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I tried to find something that wouldn’t blow my diet. Not finding anything on the McDonald’s menu, I settled for a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato only. Then they were hungry again at 10 that night as we set out on the hour and a half drive home. Not wanting a repeat of dinner, the only other place we could find open on the way home was Domino’s so pizza it was. I was hungry after such a meager dinner and had two slices. Not the best choice but oh my was it good! But that goodness didn’t come without a quick and swift price. Not having this type of food for several months I paid for it the next morning and into early Sunday afternoon. My stomach hurt and rebelled like crazy.
Soon it was Sunday evening and the moment of truth could not be put off any longer. I was at my sister’s so I found my way to her scale for my weekly weigh-in. As always, I nervously stepped on the scale. This time the nerves were justified as I found that I had gained 1 pound this week! Not what I wanted to see but not the end of the world. I’ll just have to try harder this week! Until next week… Remember to stay positive and keep looking forward.
Where are you?
Where are you on your journey? What are your health goals? Have I forgotten anything? I would love if you would let me know.
Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook fan page.
I am not a medical professional. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.