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Why We Should Lose Weight

author image James Patterson
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President's Cancer Panel and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports.
Why We Should Lose Weight
Woman standing on a scale. Photo Credit: Rostislav_Sedlacek/iStock/Getty Images

It's no wonder losing weight is on the minds of so many people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 68 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese. But understanding the reasons behind why you should lose weight can be one of the most motivating factors, especially for people who may be facing life-threatening medical conditions.

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Health Risks

The impact being overweight or obese has on your body is one of the main reasons to lose weight. The more weight you gain, the more at risk you put yourself for some serious medical conditions. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis and even some forms of cancer are linked to carrying around excess weight. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 112,000 people die every year from conditions related to being overweight or obese. Even losing a moderate amount of weight when you're obese -- 5 to 10 percent -- can significantly reduce your risk for chronic disease.

Physical Fitness

Being overweight or obese also prevents you from being in top physical condition. Even if you're not looking to become a triathlon champion, physical fitness has an impact on your daily life. Excess weight, especially around your midsection, may make it harder for you to breath, making simple tasks like walking up stairs or even walking out to your mailbox more difficult. Exercise that leads to weight loss will help you get back your physique and make it easier to perform the everyday tasks that now seem difficult.


For many, how much you weigh has a direct influence on how you feel about yourself. Being overweight can make it so you can't fit in your favorite clothes. Some people are even embarrassed about going out in public because of their weight. According to the CDC, people who lose weight and keep it off end up feeling not only better physically, but emotionally as well.


Talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. If you have certain medical conditions or are severely overweight, your doctor can help customize a weight-loss program that will meet your special needs. Be sure to set realistic and reachable goals with your weight loss. Failing to do so may result in setbacks and frustration that could cause you to abandon your weight-loss efforts.

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