20 Reasons to Lose 20 Pounds By Summer
You know that dream you had as a kid where you're standing in front of a crowded room in only your underwear? The adult, real-life version of that trauma is standing on a beach looking frumpy in your swimsuit. The good news is that nightmare doesn't need to become a reality.
While looking good is one of the perks of toning your tummy, the reasons to lose weight go beyond lowering the number on your scale. From a healthier heart to improved memory, slimming down by 20 pounds can impact nearly every aspect of your life. Whether you choose to count calories or try the keto diet, you'll need the motivation to see real results. Let this list of weight loss benefits inspire you to live your best life. And if you're already sold on the idea, start the process by following these 200 Best Weight Loss Tips.
You'll Look Better
Goodbye, flab. Hello, fab! Losing weight will help you look better and give you a boost of confidence because looking better lifts the mental and physical weight off of you, so to speak. Following a realistic weight loss routine will help you shed the pounds—and keep it off.
You'll Move Better
According to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), working out can help you improve your mobility, which you're at risk of losing if you're overweight or obese. Doing a mix of cardio and strength training can help you boost your metabolism, so you burn calories and fat.
You Can Wave Goodbye to Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies have hit a fever pitch during this time of year. If you want watery eyes and an itchy nose to disappear, losing some weight might actually relieve some of your symptoms, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Being overweight is likely to worsen allergies and lead to asthma in the future.
You'll Have a Better Sex Drive
Losing weight can also provide some benefits in the bedroom. A study from the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy showed that women who lost weight significantly spiked their positive body image and increased their sexual activity. Dudes will see a difference between the sheets, too. Overweight men often have low testosterone levels, but a new study from Endocrine Society suggests that weight loss can increase testosterone levels by 50 percent. So go ahead, get it on.
You'll Sleep Well
If you're not sleeping well, putting some work in at the gym can help you get some essential shut-eye. A study from Johns Hopkins University showed that exercising at least 150 minutes a week can help treat sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. In overweight participants, frequent nasal blockages occurred during the night and led to unrestful sleep, but losing weight helped them get better quality zzzs.
Your Memory Improves
It turns out losing weight will also keep you sharp as a tack. According to research in Neurology, the cognitive abilities of overweight people decline significantly faster than those who are at a healthy weight or are losing weight. Crossword puzzles and board games might boost your noggin, but shedding some pounds can help you lower cortisol levels, which can affect memory.
Your Food Will Taste Better
If that green salad, or better yet, your favorite comfort food doesn't taste as delicious as you remembered, the number on the scale might be to blame. One of the most surprising reasons to lose weight is that being overweight actually decreases your sensitivity to taste and can lessen the number of taste buds you have, according to a study in PLoS Biology. Slimming down can help you truly savor your meals and enjoy the food in front of you.
You'll Save Money
When you cut back on calories, you'll naturally reduce your medical expenses because you'll be in good health. According to a Health Affairs report, slim people spend thousands of dollars less on medical bills and health expenses than their overweight peers. With all that spending money you'll save, you can treat yourself to a summer vacation!
You'll Have More Energy
Like a well-timed cup of coffee, losing weight can serve as the energy boost you need to make it through everything from a long workday to a marathon. And since you're sleeping well too, you'll have more energy to power your day. Research from Harvard Health Publishing agrees. Simply put, when you weigh less, your body requires less energy to function.
You'll Have Clearer Skin
Whether you're a teenager or an adult struggling with acne, studies suggest that losing weight can contribute to less clogged pores and problem spots. Unlike fruits and vegetables with skin-loving nutrients, high-glycemic foods that pack sugar and fat are zit-causing culprits. So the healthier you eat, the more you'll glow from within.
You Can Relieve Joint Pain
Living with chronic joint pain makes it difficult to be active, but losing some pounds can help relieve pain and give you more freedom of movement. A study from Radiology reported that being overweight places extra pressure on your joints and cartilage, causing them to wear faster and more easily. People with more body fat typically see more inflammation in the joints, which also contributes to pain.
Your Partner Could Lose Weight, Too
Your weight loss can inspire friends, family or your partner to be more proactive with their health and adopt positive habits, too. Let's face it: Eating clean and working out is much easier with a swole mate. Studies have shown that if surround yourself with people who want to make the same healthy lifestyle changes, you're more likely to stick to them.
Your Metabolism Will Skyrocket
The NIH reported that people who reduced their waist size by five percent saw improvements in their metabolic function. Maximizing your metabolism is the best way to get the most out of your fat loss, so engage your inner powerhouse through a healthy diet and exercise.
You'll Be More Confident
Like Demi Lovato crows in her recent Top 40 hit, there's nothing wrong with being confident. One of the top reasons to lose weight is that when you feel good in your favorite pair of jeans, you'll feel better about yourself and have a positive mindset to tackle challenges that come your way.
Your Heart Will Thank You
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But research shows that losing weight can vastly improve your cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, and reducing bad cholesterol.
You'll Breathe Easier
When you can move around easily, sleep better, and feel good about yourself, you can breathe easier, too. Dropping pounds has been proven to improve respiratory function and have positive effects on your overall endurance. The day you can climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air is just a few pounds away.
You Can Lower Your Risk of Cancer
Excess body weight is one of the leading causes of cancer, according to a study. Intentional weight loss has been shown to not only improve your overall health but also to greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer. Be sure to also incorporate these top 50 foods for lowering your cancer risk into your diet
Your Blood Pressure Will Stabilize
Dropping some pounds can also help lower your high blood pressure and reduce your risk for hypertension. A study from Informed Health showed that people living with hypertension are at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. The same study tested over 2,000 participants, and those who lost around 10 pounds in a year also saw their blood pressure go down.
Your Risk of Diabetes Decreases
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you eat a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, your blood glucose levels skyrocket, which leads to insulin resistance. In a study from The Lancet, a group of adults who were living with type 2 diabetes for six years underwent intensive weight loss training, and after a year, nearly half of them no longer had the disease. Following a nutritious diet and regular exercise routine can help completely reverse the effects of obesity and improve your overall health.
You Could Live Longer
If you're at a healthy weight and are leading a positive lifestyle, you'll increase your longevity because you're reducing your risks for diseases that come with aging. Besides losing weight, also check out these 35 Expert Tips to Live Longer if you're looking to lengthen your lifespan.