Here's What Losing Just 5 Pounds Can Do
for Your Health

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March 24, 2015

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

It’s no secret that America has a weight problem. The
average woman weighs 166 pounds and the average man
196 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. With an average waist circumference of
37.5 inches, that makes the average woman overweight,
close to obese. And with obesity comes serious health
problems. But the magnitude of the problem can be too
much to deal with – you want to lose weight, but it seems
like an impossible task to lose the many pounds you need to
be in optimum shape.

But the good news is, you don't have to lose a ton of weight
to see improvements in your health.  Even a small weight
loss  --- just five pounds --- can reap huge health benefits.

You don’t need to be intimidated by huge weight loss
targets. You can cut your risk of heart attack, lower your
cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and more -- by
shedding just five pounds.

How Do You Lose Five Pounds?

For many people, even the task of losing five pounds is
daunting in the face of habit, temptation, and sedentary
lives. Potions and supplements promise quick weight loss
but, the basic fact is, if you want to lose weight safely you
need to burn more calories than you take in – and the best
way to do this is to reduce calories while increasing physical

Here's the math: 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound
of fat, so you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you
consume to lose one pound.

If you cut out 500 calories a day from your diet you would
lose around one pound a week - five pounds in a little over a
month, approximately.  Are you game?

Is Five Pounds Enough?

When it comes to improving health, every little helps. Modest
weight loss is frequently cited by experts as important for
better health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “The
good news is that no matter what your weight loss goal is,
even a modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10% of your total
body weight, is likely to produce health benefits, such as
improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and
blood sugars.”

The authors of a 1995 study from New England Deaconess
Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston state that “clinical
and laboratory evidence clearly supports the value of a
modest weight loss goal to attain health and emotional
benefit. Weight loss as low as 5% has been shown to reduce
or eliminate disorders associated with obesity.”

Losing just five pounds puts you firmly on the right track,
and  even if you do not lose any more you will still gain
health benefits.

We looked at recent scientific evidence to find out exactly
how a small  weight loss can boost your health.

How Losing Just 5 Pounds Boosts Your Health

Five Pounds Lost Lowers Your Cholesterol Level

LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that helps deposit
plaque in your arteries, is linked to obesity. Your cholesterol
level soars when you put on weight but it just as easily
drops when you lose weight – and it starts to drop
immediately the pounds come off.

A controlled, modest weight loss of one or two pounds a
week brings high cholesterol back down.

Weight loss of five pounds also improves HDL cholesterol –
good cholesterol. A 1992 study from authors A Goldman, J
Wylie-Rosett, C Swencionis, and E Dornelas showed a
weight loss of three pounds increased HDL cholesterol from
238.0 to 249.5 mg/dl.

Losing Five Pounds Lowers Your Blood Pressure

The American Heart Association says if you are overweight,
losing as little as five pounds may help lower your blood

For every pound you lose, your blood pressure drops.  The
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says for every 20
pounds you lose, you can drop systolic pressure 5-20

In other words, drop a pound, drop a point.

This makes a big difference if you suffer from high blood
pressure, which puts you at greater risk of heart failure and
kidney failure. Losing just five pounds decreases your blood
pressure, thereby protecting your heart and kidneys.

Lose Five Pounds to Lower Your Heart Attack Risk

As mentioned above, losing a small amount of weight helps
to lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure – both
actions help to cut your heart attack risk.

Every little bit helps – drop just two pounds a week, lose
five pounds and you have decreased your heart attack risk,
says the American Heart Association.

Keep going, and keep losing safely, for maximum heart

A 1997 study from Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen,
Belgium says modest weight loss reduces cardiovascular risk
factors and significantly reduces cardiac events and total
mortality from cardiac events.

Improve Glycemic Control for a Reduced Risk of Diabetes

The more excess weight you are carrying, the less sensitive
your body’s cells are to insulin which is the hormone that
regulates the amount of sugar in those cells. When you build
up a resistance to insulin you are at greater risk of diabetes.
A 1992 study by the Indiana University School of Medicine,
Indianapolis shows modest weight reduction appears to
improve glycemic control and the regulation of insulin.

Five Pounds Loss Improves Urinary Incontinence

According to a 2010 study from Miriam Hospital, Providence,
Rhode Island, overweight and obese women improve
urinary incontinence through modest weight loss of five
pounds or more.

Compared to women who gained weight, those who lost five
percent to less than 10 percent of their body weight had a
significantly greater reduction in the number of incontinence
episodes they experienced.

A Drop in Five Pounds Improves Your Heart Rate

When scientists looked at moderately overweight post-
menopausal women they found that even a modest weight
loss – which can start at just five pounds of weight –
improves heart rate variability.

The 2013 study from Copenhagen University Hospital,
Denmark demonstrated that modest weight loss was
accompanied by an improvement in heart rate variability.

Improve and Prevent Arthritis Symptoms with Five
Pounds’ Weight Loss

When you carry extra pounds it puts huge pressure on your

In fact, for every extra pound you have, you experience
three times that pressure on your knees.

So if you have five extra pounds around your middle you
experience 15 pounds of pressure bearing down on your
joints that you don’t need, and that you can remove by
losing the extra weight.

When you walk up stairs you up the pressure to seven times
your weight – that’s 35 pounds pressure. Over time this
pressure wears down your cartilage and can cause arthritis.

And if you already suffer from arthritis, losing five pounds
quickly cuts pressure on your joints and this kind of modest
weight loss improves joint function and lessens pain,
according to a 2004 study from Wake Forest University,

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