Trying to lose weight can sometimes seem like a long and winding obstacle course. But you don’t have to shrink by two dress sizes to reap the benefits of weight loss.
In fact, research shows that shedding as little as 5% of your body weight can translate to positive, measurable outcomes.
These are the 7 amazing things that happen when you lose just 5% of your body weight:
You’ll have a better ratio of good cholesterol to harmful cholesterol
Having an imbalanced diet that’s high processed foods and saturated fat (ahem, pandemic snacking) can take your cholesterol levels off the charts. This can possibly lead to chronic heart issues and increase your risk of stroke.
In a trial comparing three popular diets – the low-fat diet, the low-carb diet and the Mediterranean diet — researchers found that all led to slight weight loss. Respectively, it averaged 3.3kg, 5.5kg and 4.6kg of weight loss over the course of 2 years.
Despite the relatively modest shed, all participants improved their ratio of good cholesterol to harmful cholesterol. The low-carb group showed the most improvement at 20%, but even the low-fat group which came in last didn’t trail too far behind at 12%.
You’ll be less susceptible to metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a group of interrelated red flags that severely raise your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
If you have a waist circumference of more than 90cm (for men) or more than 80cm (for women), have high blood pressure or high blood sugar, chances are you have it.
The good news is if you’re obese or overweight, bringing your weight down by just 5% could lower your chances of getting metabolic syndrome by 22%.
And the more you lose, the more you stand to gain. Those who lost 20% of their weight lowered their risk of metabolic syndrome by an amazing 53%.
You may stave off type 2 diabetes
Another reason to keep your eyes on that 5% weight loss target: it’s enough to beat back major risk factors that are behind type 2 diabetes. Research shows that even with moderate weight loss, your body’s insulin sensitivity will improve as a whole.
This means your cells can use the glucose in your blood more efficiently, which helps to suppress your blood sugar.
“These results demonstrate you get a large bang for your buck with a 5% weight loss,” shared researcher Samuel Klein of Washington University School of Medicine. “You don’t have to lose 50 pounds to enjoy important health benefits.”
You’ll see improvements in your blood pressure
If you’ve been experiencing in spike in blood pressure, losing a touch of weight may help reverse some of the damage. According to a year-long study with overweight adults, even a 2-4kg weight loss resulted in tremendous upsides in terms of blood pressure.
And those who kept on with their diets after 12 months made a larger dent on other markers of health.
Goes to show that dieting is a marathon, not a sprint! Instead of going for quick-fix crash diets, it’s more important to adopt a realistic eating habit that you can sustain.
You may downsize your cancer risk
But don’t lose hope just yet. Several studies have found that weight loss can impact cancer incidence and mortality. This is especially true with female obesity-related cancers such as breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.
There are several reasons why excess weight can heighten your cancer risk. When present in massive amounts, fatty tissue can fire up chronic inflammation throughout your body. This may in turn result in DNA damage and cancerous growths over time.
You may not be able to control all the factors that cause cancer, but keeping an eye on your weight may be the best preventative measure. A study by Concord Cancer Centre also concludes that weight loss could stop cancer from relapsing in survivors.
You can suppress chronic inflammation
Age, stress, poor sleep and – you guessed it – excess weight can create constant inflammation in your body. When this happens, your body starts to attack itself. This can trigger symptoms like itching, redness, psoriasis and allergies.
The annoying part about inflammation is that it can lead to even more aggressive weight gain, thereby creating a vicious cycle.
Even losing 1kg a month can help to rein in the cytokines that are responsible for this inflammation. Start small!
You can stave off incontinence
Leaking a little every time you laugh, sneeze or exercise? Weight may be putting extra pressure on your bladder. This is why doctors often recommend shedding kilos as one of the first lines of action to combat incontinence.
In a six-month weight loss programme, overweight women who lowered 8% of their body weight saw 47% fewer episodes of weekly incontinence. Additionally, one of the study’s authors also credited weight loss for enhancing our sleep and libido.
Maximise your health benefits and enjoy a slimmer figure
Trying to lose just 5% of your weight may not seem like much. But if you’re already struggling with slow metabolism, this goal can feel out of reach.
Here’s where we can help. Our signature CSH therapy® uses traditional Chinese techniques to boost your metabolism in a long-lasting manner, helping you lose as much as 6kg in a month* without any exercise, extreme diet or supplements.
*Results vary between individuals.