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No matter what your weight is, it's never easy to shed pounds. The number of Americans who are obese will grow to 32 million by 2030, which is an increase of 42 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing weight requires discipline and commitment. You may have diet and exercise plans in place but find it difficult to stick to them. Having incentives can give you motivation and perseverance to accomplish your weight loss goal, along with the willpower to forego that second slice of pie.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects more than 12 million Americans and is most common in overweight and obese individuals. Sleep apnea causes you to pause while breathing, disrupting your nightly rest. Breathing pauses may last from a few seconds to several minutes and occur frequently during the night. Besides causing you to lose needed sleep, sleep apnea may lead to stroke, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Losing only 10 percent of your body weight can help to eliminate or reduce sleep apnea, according to Temple University.
A Healthy Heart
Losing weight is important for a healthy cardiovascular system. According to the Cleveland Clinic, overweight individuals are at increased risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Learn if your weight is in the danger zone by measuring your Body Mass Index, or BMI, and waist circumference. (The Cleveland Clinic provides an online BMI calculator -- see Resources.) The BMI is a measuring formula that factors in your height and weight, and then determines your risk for heart disease. You're considered at risk if your BMI is over 25, and at an even higher risk if your waist measurement is over 40 inches if you're male and over 35 inches if you're female. The good news is that even a small decrease in your weight can protect against heart disease, reports the Cleveland Clinic.
Better Sex Life
An improved sex life may be an incentive for you to start that diet and exercise program. According to Duke University psychologist Martin Binks, a loss of 10 percent of body weight can improve the sex lives of obese individuals. If you're obese, you create a sex hormone binding globulin (SBGH) in your body, which inactivates testosterone, necessary for sexual arousal. The higher the SBGH levels, the less testosterone there is in your bloodstream, causing a decline in sex drive. Losing excess weight also contributes to a healthy sex life by improving body image and self-esteem.
Protection From Type 2 Diabetes
If you're overweight, you're twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The good news is if you lose just 10 pounds and exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, your risk of developing diabetes is cut by more than half, according to The Ohio State University. If you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, starting an exercise program and losing weight can help maintain your blood sugar levels and prevent further complications. You may eventually be able to take less medication.
Your finances may improve by losing weight. A study conducted by The George Washington University in 2010 found that being overweight comes with a high cost. The annual cost of obesity per year is approximately $4,879 for obese women and $2,646 for obese men. The escalated costs include expenses such as medical bills and medication associated with being overweight, lost or low wages, and more expensive rates for health and life insurance.
Lowered Risk of Osteoporosis
If you're overweight, there's more pressure on the bones and joints, increasing your risk for developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become brittle and lose their density, leading to possible fractures and breaks. According to a 2010 study of 50 women conducted by the Radiological Study of North America, those who had more fat around their waistline were more likely to suffer from low bone mineral density and were at higher risk for developing bone loss and osteoporosis.