doctor using calipers to get body measurements

Does Losing Body Fat Help Improve Longevity?

Today, much of the population struggles with being overweight. The mortality rate of the population worldwide is higher for obesity-related conditions than for anorexia-related issues or starvation. Our obesity rates result from a variety of factors, such as excess consumption of fast food, food manufacturers bombarding their products with harmful ingredients, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle. The result is known as “creeping obesity” or an eventual increase in body fat over time.

If you’re currently overweight or obese, losing body fat can reduce your risk for developing various health conditions. Even a slight weight loss of 5 percent of your current body weight, offers health benefits. Adding to the issue is our age. As we get older, our metabolism tends to slow down, compounding the problem even further. Therefore, we must make the distinction of approaching weight loss as a healthy, sustainable lifestyle involving balanced nutrition and exercise instead of a diet or worse yet – a dreaded crash diet!

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why losing body fat and getting into shape now can help you in the long run.

Eight Good Reasons to Get in Shape

1. Reduced Risk of Developing Diabetes

Being overweight increases your chances of developing type-2 diabetes. One’s BMI plays a strong role in diabetes and insulin resistance. The more excess weight your body carries, the more resistant your tissue and muscle cells become to insulin. People who have type 1 diabetes also need to keep their weight under control. An abundance of fatty tissue can make it difficult for insulin to work correctly, leading to raised insulin levels and trouble controlling blood sugar.

2. Lower Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure can pose chronic health problems. The risk of developing high blood pressure triples for adults who carry excess weight. On the positive side, each pound of weight loss can lead to a drop of one point in both the upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) number readings in your blood pressure measurements.

3. Less Joint and Knee Pain

Did you know that around four pounds of added stress are placed on the knee joints for each additional pound of bodyweight you carry? For example, a 150-pound person who is 10-pounds overweight will add 40 more pounds of pressure to every step. That same person would experience joint relief of about 30-pounds of pressure by reducing their bodyweight by just 5 percent.

4. Reduced Heartburn

The bad news is extra body fat places excess pressure on your stomach, which can force a reflex action of stomach acid up into the esophagus, resulting in that fiery heartburn discomfort. The good news is, dropping weight relieves some of this pressure and eases the effects of heartburn.

tape measure

5. Extra Energy!

When you lose weight, you typically feel more energized! The more body fat you accumulate, the harder your body has to work to carry out essential functions and movement, resulting in that sluggish and lethargic feeling. The body requires more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that powers every cell, which is why you feel tired. When you manage to reduce body fat, though, you use up less ATP resulting in higher energy levels for all the tasks you wish to carry out! Overall, you feel better and healthier all day long.

6. Improved Sleep

Overweight individuals are more susceptible to having poor quality of sleep and increase the risk of getting sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a troubling condition characterized by multiple pauses in breathing occurring throughout the night. Reducing weight can often minimize sleep apnea episodes, letting the person finally catch a good night’s sleep!

7. Increased Self-Esteem

In short, losing body fat and getting in shape makes you feel good about yourself on all levels – body, mind, and spirit. You look and feel better, which in turn boosts your self-esteem. You have more confidence to tackle daily interactions and feel more positive about life in general.

Following a healthy and balanced diet that includes all your macro and micronutrients is key to shedding body fat. Your daily meal plan should involve each of the major food groups, as well as vitamins and minerals. The primary food groups include proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats and oils, dairy or non-dairy alternatives, fruit and veg, and vitamins and minerals. Be sure to practice sensible portion control as well. A good rule of thumb for the portion size of protein and starches is the size of the palm of your hand. The rest of the meal should be constituted of plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, and salads. In addition, be sure to integrate exercise and movement into your life routine.

8. Make Exercise a Priority

Make sure exercise and daily movement are a part of your daily routine. Find activities that you enjoy doing by yourself and with your family. It can come many forms, such as gym or home training, doing cardio or training for a road race. You can also in daily mobility work, yoga, tai chi etc. to your weekly schedule. Or you might be someone who enjoys activities such as golf, tennis, swimming, or biking. Finally, focus on building up you lean muscle. Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, in turn, speeding up your resting metabolic rate.

Final Thoughts

We can take some inspiration from the way the French maintain their diets. They tend to remain in shape naturally. But, how do they do it, you ask? In general, they don’t indulge in overeating, and avoid processed foods and instead opt for using fresh, natural ingredients. They will typically enjoy a small healthy breakfast, including cereal, yogurt with fruit, or muesli or bread. Lunch and dinner will include conservative portions of meat, veggies, and carbs, and some cheese and coffee to round off the meal.

The ultimate goal of fat loss is to improve your overall health and well-being. As a result, you live a more active lifestyle. If continued, you can be active well into your golden years. If you feel stumped and overwhelmed about tackling weight loss on your own, you might find it helpful to find a good coach. Visit Jefit Coach to find out more on getting help to reach your health and fitness goals.

Stay Strong Together

The Jefit app comes equipped with an advanced customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.

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