Sunday, February 6, 2011

3 Good Reasons to Lose Weight

If you have been thinking about losing weight but need a little motivation, here is food for thought. Obesity is associated with a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. It can lead to painful and debilitating symptoms. And it robs you of the chance to live a full active life, which is something all of us would like to do.

No doubt, you can think of many other good reasons to lose weight. Have your pick. Whatever your reason, use it to motivate you and keep you inspired. You already know you need to do to lose the weight. Just do it.

In case you need a few reminders, read on.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not use insulin properly. As a result, sugar from the carbohydrates you eat does not get shuttled to the cells where it can be used for energy. Instead, it remains in your blood, leading to high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. This could cause inflammation throughout your body and potentially damage your heart, blood vessels and other vital organs. 

Losing weight, in conjunction with eating a nutrient-dense, high-fiber diet, may reduce your chances of developing diabetes. If you already have diabetes, making healthful changes can help to control your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of diabetes complications. If you need help with planning meals and snacks, talk to a registered dietitian.

High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure develops when the integrity of your blood vessels is compromised. Obesity puts a strain on your heart and blood vessels as these organs work to get blood to all parts of your body. Losing weight reduces the strain and might allow the blood vessels to be a little more relaxed. 

If you are obese, chances are you may not be getting enough omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients needed to keep your heart and blood vessels functioning optimally. 

As part of your weight loss program, you will need to focus on eating foods that are high in these polyunsaturated fats and other heart-healthy nutrients. Add fish and fish oil, and walnuts to your diet for a healthy dose of omega-3 fats. 

These fats can help to reduce your triglyceride and cholesterol levels, thus reducing your chances of developing heart disease. Make lots of room on your plate for high-fiber foods like nuts, seeds, dried beans and whole grain cereals, as well.

Heart Disease
Obesity increases your risk of developing heart disease by making your heart work harder to pump blood to the different organs in your body. If you are obese, it might also mean that you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables or other high-fiber foods. As a result, you may be lacking in essential fatty acids. These fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in promoting heart health. 

Protect your heart by losing weight and shifting to a heart-healthy diet that includes fish or fish oil and walnuts or other plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
For real solutions to your diet and nutrition questions, or to get personalized guidance, talk to a registered dietitian. Go to, the American Dietetic Association website to find a dietitian near you. Registered dietitians are the healthcare professionals most trained and qualified to help you solve problems related to weight control and other diet and nutrition issues.
Read today's Daily Diet Guide.