Dr Ginni: Health Benefits of Losing Weight

By author photo Jenny Craig Team

health · 09 Oct 18

Q: WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF LOSING WEIGHT?
What is going to REALLY motivate you to lose weight?

We doctors are often banging on about dropping a few kilos. I can promise you we’re not motivated by trying to have you looking hotter in a pair of jeans. It’s all about your health. We hope that a quick word from us around your health will be the very thing that clicks in your head and makes you take the first step on the arduous weight loss journey of 1000 miles.

Being healthier is a real motivator for some people and a doctor’s nudge can be powerful. We might explain to you that the more overweight you are, the greater your risk of heart disease and stroke. There’s a similar linear connection for cholesterol and high blood pressure. Has your doctor prescribed you tablets for any of these conditions? Hate taking tablets? They’re not a life sentence. Lots of my patients have been able to lose the medicines once their excess weight has come off. Incentive?

The risk of developing type II diabetes, also increases with your excess weight, especially if your weight gain is mostly around your middle. Lots of people don’t realize that being overweight or obese increases your risk of bowel, breast, endometrial and gallbladder cancers. The list goes on… gallbladder disease, immune system dysfunction, fatigue, asthma, sleep apnoea, infertility, miscarriage are also more likely to happen in people who are overweight and obese.

And there’s another sinister link; Obesity is often escorted by depression and the two can trigger each other. Obese women have a 37% higher risk of depression than women of a healthy weight.

So for doctors preaching weight loss, that’s our motivator. But yours might be entirely different. Finding a reason that resonates in your soul to make the sacrifices needed to lose weight is vital to a successful weight loss journey.

You might start your journey hoping to fit into a dress for a wedding. You might be trying to have a baby. You might have been told you are at risk of a heart attack- or worse, you might have had one. What I can promise you is that once you get started on this journey, the rewards will be unexpected and your motives for continuing weight loss may change. Lots of my patients are amazed to find they’re sleeping better, have more energy and haven’t had the usual coughs and colds.

But here is my request from you;

Write down your goals. Why have you made this decision to start the difficult but rewarding journey towards a leaner you? Keep a journal, keep going back to the main game- whatever that may be for you and in moments when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore, look at your goals and hopefully they will motivate you once more! And maybe head back to the doctor for another chat about your health and some reinforcement that whatever weight loss you have had to date is a health bonus- with more ahead!

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