Weight Loss and Good Health are Not Always the Same
When they want to get fit and healthy, many people automatically think of losing weight. A few will think about adding muscle, but most will be concentrating on the weight loss aspect.
However. weight loss is not always synonymous with better health.
Oh, there is an excellent chance that, in most instances, getting rid of some excess weight will result in improvement in some areas of physical wellbeing. Your blood pressure might improve, for example, or your arthritis might not bother you as much, but that does not mean that your overall health is better simply because you shed a few pounds.
Your age, your sex, your present and past lifestyle, your genetic make-up, as well as many other variables will be involved in the overall outcome.
You cannot control your age, sex, or genetic inheritance, but there are good lifestyle choices and bad ones which can have a strong impact on your health. Choosing the wrong ones, particularly in combination, can result in a general increase, or even a decrease in health, even though one or two specific factors may still be positively affected. However, just as weighing more than what a chart says you should does not mean you are not healthy, weighing what the chart says does not necessarily mean that you ARE healthy either.
One example often given is that of the muscular athlete who, while in prime physical condition, weighs more than the charts say is the best weight for physical health.
For most people, being overweight creates a condition of risk for many health issues in addition to reducing the ability of the individual to enjoy life, or have a high level of self-esteem. Simply changing the weight to a lower level does not automatically produce better health.
A friend of mine decided that losing weight through nutrition and exercise was too difficult. Therefore, she chose to undergo bariatric surgery. After an initial, and significant, weight loss, she found that a lot of the weight eventually came back because of her reluctance to change her lifestyle. Additionally, due to the disruption of her body’s ability to extract nutrients from the food she ate, she began to experience several health issues, including aggravation of a latent condition of anemia. At this time, she is disabled, unable to work or do many of the things she previously took pleasure in.
By the same token, choosing to lose weight by extreme diets, or, for that matter, by extreme exercise programs, can actually create poor health rather than improving it.
The human body is designed to operate at peak when the factors which affect it are kept within a range of values. Moving outside of those ranges can produce ill-health. By the same token, keeping all factors at a minimal level, for example, not getting “enough” exercise, or not ingesting proper quantities of the “right” foods or nutrients can also negatively affect one’s health.
Extremes of exercise or diet may be a good choice for the professional athlete. For the rest of us, choosing to perform moderate exercise regularly and make rational choices of foods, both in kind and quantity, is going to, first of all, produce a condition of health, or at least better health than without those choices. Generally, producing a better state of health will produce either a better overall bodyweight or at least one made of leaner mass than previously. Once that is accomplished the diet and activity can be modified to produce weight loss.