You might even start to love kale!

Most of what you hear in terms of the best reasons to lose weight is centered about “get your bikini-ready body!” or “fit back into your wedding dress!” or any number of other enticing sayings to get you to think the only value of weight loss is how you look on the outside.

Is that important?  To some, sure!  There’s nothing wrong with that, and I won’t judge – I like to look good in a bikini myself, which is all about my definition of good, not anyone else’s.

To others, outward appearances don’t matter, and in some ways that’s ok, but on others, it’s not, at least from a health perspective.  Go too far on either end of a healthy weight range and you invite health problems.

Health problems are exactly the best reasons to put your weight into a healthy range.  The internal mental and physical changes that happen when you gain and lose weight can be profound.

Here’s a short description of these 5 reasons:

1. You’re more likely to survive surgery and childbirth

With an increase in body fat, comes an increase in possible and likely complications, from the risks of anesthesia, to complications afterwards, and more.  To boot, being overweight makes you more likely to need surgery, and need surgical intervention for childbirth, and in some cases, being too overweight could preclude you from even safely having the surgery at all.

2. Your immune system will function better

Fat actually produces hormones, which means the more fat cells you have, the more of those hormones you produce relative to the rest, and that unbalances everything.  When a body is out of balance, all sorts of weird and often unhealthy things start to happen.    Since hormones play an important role in your immune system’s health, having those out of whack means your immune system is out of whack.

3.  You’ll taste your food better, or at least differently

How can that be?  Well, truthfully, nobody really knows.  Theories include things like fat cells actually changing how you taste things (maybe because of those hormones, above).  But it might be a chicken and egg sort of thing – did your taste change, and you started craving the fatty/salty/sweet foods, and being turned off by things like healthy vegetables which can have a bit of a bitter component, especially the ever-debatable kale?  Or did you end up overweight because you simply made poor eating choices over time, and that changed your taste, so going back to eating healthy foods just wasn’t appealing?  The jury is definitely still out on that relationship, but the relationship does exist.

4.  You’ll have better quality sleep

Sleep apnea.  You’ve heard of it, I’m sure.  Possibly even experienced it yourself, or know someone who has.  It’s not just an annoying phenomenon to the sleeper and possibly the bed buddy, but it’s very dangerous, as in, it’s actually killed people.  Excess fat cells reduce the opening of your airway, you have more fat around your head/mouth/jaw/neck, and, well,  your body gets in its own way and closes off your airway.  In addition, fat cells produce hormones (remember above?) and hormones also play a role in sleep cycles, so when those get out of balance, so does your sleep.  The statistics on how gaining fat weight increases your risk of, and severity of sleep apnea, is terrifying.  If you already have sleep apnea, and you gain just 5% of your weight in fat, your risk of severe apnea increases by 250%!  20% weight gain (from fat) is through the roof at an increase of severe apnea at a whopping 3,700 percent!

5.  Your aching joints won’t be so achy

This is a whole vicious Catch-22 circle  You’re overweight, so you don’t want to move as much, which means your joints don’t get the movement and lubrication they need, which makes them hurt, so you move even less, so you lose muscle mass which should be supporting your joint function, which makes you gain some more weight, so you want to move even less, and so on.  In addition, excess fat cells result in some increase in inflammation, which compounds the issue of arthritis and sore joints.

 Want to know more?

Take a closer look at the Precision Nutrition article from which these 5 reasons were taken:

The end result of these 5 things, all folded up together, is that you’ll just feel better.  Your body will feel better, your mind will feel better.  And everyone I know wants both of those things.

What unexpected side-effects of weight loss (or gain) have you experienced?  I’d love to hear about your experience, so leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to read it!

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