If you’re struggling with your weight, your first concern may be about your appearance and your energy levels. After all, the issues you must deal with today weigh more heavily on your mind than any future concerns. While appearance and energy are certainly strong motivators to improve your nutritional habits, there are also some ominous diseases off in the distance that could be fueled by the decisions you make about your weight today. Before you decide to put off getting into shape one more time, consider the implications of continuing to carry that excess weight.
- High cholesterol and the heart disease or stroke that can eventually come with it are health conditions that are greatly influenced by what you’ve been eating all your life. Genetic components can play a role in the progression of the disease, but that should only motivate you to try harder to control your cholesterol early on. Lower levels of saturated fats and a high fiber diet will help with your weight loss goals while helping to reduce plaque buildup before it has a chance to clog your arteries.
- Excess weight makes your heart work harder to get the job done. The long term result of this can be high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke, kidney damage or brain damage. The additional pressure, over time, will narrow your arteries and potentially cause an aneurysm in one of those arteries. A ruptured aneurysm will cause internal bleeding and, all too often, will lead to death.
- Type 2 diabetes is a condition linked largely to diet. Type 2 diabetes is the result of insulin resistance where your body doesn’t process insulin adequately due to elevated levels of blood sugar. Although you may be genetically predisposed to this condition, your lifestyle and your eating habits are strongly tied in its appearance, usually after the age of 40.
- The link between being overweight and certain forms of cancer has been extensively documented. Obesity doesn’t necessarily cause cancer, but it’s been established that excessive body fat can feed existing cancer cells and support their growth.
- Excess weight puts unnecessary pressure on your joints. Conditions such as osteoarthritis come about by the deterioration of the cartilage between bones. Osteoarthritis is painful, debilitating and can eventually lead to joint replacement.
- Excess weight is also implicated in sleep apnea. Extra weight pushing down on your chest while you sleep, and extra fat around your neck can restrict airways, interfering with your sleep and preventing you from getting the oxygen you need to keep all systems running optimally.
Obesity is more than simply an issue of having to buy bigger clothes, wondering how you look in the mirror or how attractive you are to the opposite sex. First and foremost, obesity is a roadblock to achieving your personal best and living a long, full and healthy life. Unfortunately, by the time the problems of obesity start to have an impact on your health, it’s too late to turn back the clock. Today is the time to decide to take control of your health. You will always be grateful that you did.