Make reasonable modest dietary and exercise changes that you can live with - they can still have a big impact on your current health and chronic disease prevention.

Whittle Away at Weight, a Pound at a Time

Healthy Weightloss

Okay, sometimes weight loss can feel overwhelming, especially if you feel that there is a lot of weight to lose. You might think why bother? And by this time of the year, New Year’s resolutions to be healthier or lose weight have fallen by the wayside, even if you know that your health will benefit from making some lifestyle changes. There is a very interesting study that gives hope to those who are able to lose just a small amount of weight. This study was recently published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

There were 40 obese patients included in this small study. They were working on weight loss, and lost either five percent, 10 percent, or 15 percent of their weight – modest amounts of weight loss, right?

For those study participants who lost just five percent of their weight, there were health improvements:

  • Better insulin secretion from the pancreas, providing better blood sugar control.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity, meaning the cells were better able to use the insulin produced by the pancreas, lowering diabetes risk.
  • A reduction in body fat.
  • Loss of fat in the liver.

This weight loss study should be encouraging to folks with excess weight who are at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Weight loss can improve health outcomes – even very modest weight loss. For example, if a 200 pound woman loses just 10 pounds, her health is improved!

Make modest life-long lifestyle changes to have a health impact:

  • Eat a high-protein breakfast smoothie rather than skipping breakfast completely.
  • Change up beverage choices so that you are drinking primarily sugar-free products like water.
  • Be sure that both lunch and dinner feature large servings of non-starchy vegetables.
  • Add a 30-minute walk to your day.

Make reasonable modest dietary and exercise changes that you can live with - they can still have a big impact on your current health and chronic disease prevention.

Recipes to try:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.