Weight Loss

Lose Just 5% of Weight for Better Health

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, but findings from a recent study suggest that losing just 5 percent of your body weight can have a significant impact on your health.

The study, conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine, surveyed a group of 40 overweight individuals who were separated into two groups that followed either a weight maintenance program or a weight loss program, according to a Live Science report. All participants in the weight loss program were asked to lose 5 percent of their body weight through diet and exercise. Ten participants from the weight loss program were then asked to continue the program until they weighed 15 percent less than when the study started.

Researchers discovered that there was significant health benefits to losing that first 5 percent for all participants in the weight loss program. They showed signs of better insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of a fat linked to heart disease in their blood. Those who lost more weight enjoyed even more improvement in these areas.

Losing just 5 percent of body weight is an attainable goal to set when dieting. Someone who weighs 300 pounds would only have to lose 15 pounds to receive significant health benefits While we all enjoy reading stories of dramatic weight loss, when a weight loss goal is set too high it can be easy to get discouraged. Losing weight 5 percent at a time can feel more feasible. The American Heart Association supports a strategy of 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss as a gradual way to improve health in obese individuals, according to the Live Science report.

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