6 Things Nobody Tells You About Losing Weight

Article posted in: Lifestyle

It seems like everybody wants to lose weight. A 2014 Gallup poll found that more than half of all Americans said they would like to lose weight, but only half of that group is actually making an effort to do so. Which is too bad, because a lot of great stuff happens when you lose weight. Sure, you get compliments, but there are lots of positive things that happen when you shed pounds. Here are six of them:

Certain Activities Become Easier. Imagine that you have a backpack at the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor of your house. And imagine that every time you go up or down those stairs, you need to pick up that backpack, strap it on your back and tackle the stairs. When you go up, you get short of breath and your pulse pounds; when you go down, your knees and ankles creak. Now imagine that the 50 pounds is actual weight you’re carrying on your body. And imagine that you lost that weight, or even just a portion of it. Suddenly, traversing those steps gets a lot easier. So do things like pushing a shopping cart in a grocery store, walking across sand at the beach, or getting on the floor to play with your kids. Every pound you lose makes moving around a little easier. Maybe that’s why so many people who lose weight consider completing a 5k run or walk to be a true sign of their success.

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You’ll Save Money. It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you eat less food—and portion control is an important part of a Nutrisystem weight loss program—you’ll spend less money. Let’s use one of our favorite tips about how to eat at a restaurant and still stay on your weight loss program as an illustration. We like to say that you should ask for a takeout box as soon as your entrée arrives, then put half the food on your plate in the box and take it with you for tomorrow’s dinner. Now let’s say you eat that entrée every night of the year, and it costs $10. That’s an annual expense of $3,650. Well, if you have tomorrow’s dinner in your box, you’ve just cut that expense in half, to $1,825. Thinner, and wealthier. Well done.

Your Spouse Will Be Healthier. A study of 5,000 married couples conducted at Brigham Young University found that men who were in good shape tended to have wives who were in good shape, too. Researchers conjecture that the spouses influence each other with their healthy habits, including eating what the other prepares in the family kitchen. Other studies show that if one partner in a couple exercises, the other tends to as well. Do your honey a favor and start your program!

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You’ll Sleep Better. Many people who are overweight have sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing stops and starts several times a night, causing you to wake up and fall back asleep. Some people with sleep apnea aren’t even aware that they woke up, but don’t feel well-rested the next day because the quality of their sleep was impaired by the awakenings. Studies published in The Lancet and The Journal of the American Medical Association show that a lack of quality sleep increases fat storage as well as production of the hormones that make us feel hungry even though we’re full. If you lose weight, the apnea should go away, sleep should improve and your weight should stabilize. Another weight-related sleep disorder: obesity can lead to lower back problems, which can also impair sleep, leading to the same problems.

It Takes Discipline. We wish we could tell you that losing weight was always a breeze. But we can’t. The pounds may fly off at first, but there are times on every weight loss program when you will hit a plateau, or when the losses aren’t quite so impressive. Those are the times when you may be tempted to run for the comfort of a favorite snack food or of a binge-eating session. Don’t. Those are the times when you need to be strong and disciplined. Sound too hard? Call a friend and tell her what you’re going through. Go for a walk. You can get through it.

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You Can Get New Clothes! We saved the best for last. When you lose weight, all those clothes that you used to wear, perhaps as a shield from the world, no longer fit you. With even a modest weight loss, your clothes can start to feel much looser around your waist, legs, stomach and shoulders. This provides a potent excuse to go on a shopping spree and buy a new wardrobe. But it also provides an opportunity to select clothes that flatter your new form and show it off. And not just your shape: your new attitude too.