What does Losing 10% of your body weight do for you?

Healthier HeartBy losing just 10 percent of your body weight, you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your blood pressure, says G. Ken Goodrick, PhD, psychologist and associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. High cholesterol and elevated blood pressure are two major risk factors for heart disease.
Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
If you're overweight, you're at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, which means your body can't make enough, or properly use, insulin, a hormone that helps convert food to usable energy. By losing just 10 percent of your body weight, you'll improve your body's ability to use the insulin it makes, possibly preventing the onset of the disease, Miller-Kovach says. If you already have type 2 diabetes, shedding that 10 percent may improve your symptoms and possibly prevent complications, she adds.

More Pep
"Just a 10 percent weight loss increases feelings of vigor and vitality," says Miller-Kovach. "You'll feel better and have more energy."

A Mental Edge
Losing 10 percent can give you the self-confidence and motivation you need to keep going. "Success builds on success," says Miller-Kovach. But be sure you recognize it. "Losing 10 percent is a milestone in the journey," says Miller-Kovach. "Once you get there, take the time to congratulate yourself on your efforts."

Reality Check
After losing 10 percent, you gain a sense of what it will take to lose the rest and reach your final goal weight. "It gives you a context in terms of saying, 'Am I willing to put in that much more effort to lose even more weight?'" Miller-Kovach says. If the answer is no, that's okay. "Some people only lose 10 percent and that's it," says Goodrick. If that's you, pat yourself on the back. "Health-wise, a 10-percent weight loss is a great achievement," Goodrick says.

contributes by WW..

Thank you to Pam who sent is some reading on how water is wonderful for you!!!
Water – Nature’s Gift
Posted: 04 Mar 2011 11:40 AM PST
Don’t roll your eyes! The potion for losing excess body fat is all around you. It covers two thirds of the planet. Most people don’t drink enough water. Most people are also carrying around a few more pounds then they would be if they did drink enough water. If you can’t seem to get that weight off, try “drowning your sorrows” in nature’s weight-loss mineral!
Let’s talk about the function of water in our body:
From “Dr A’s Habits of Health”, page 114-115:
“Water plays a key role in supporting health, particularly during weight loss when it helps remove toxins and other unhealthy substances stored in your fat cells. Being well-hydrated helps all your organs and systems function properly. In fact, every function in your body takes place in water. It’s the solvent that moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies, and oxygen through your bloodstream and lymphatic system, and removes waste. And of course, it’s essential to your kidney’s ability to filter and eliminate metabolic byproducts and toxins. If you don’t drink enough, your body is forced to recycle dirty water, diminishing the efficiency of every metabolic function.”
Benefits of water:
  • Improves endocrine (hormone) function
  • Increases metabolic function
  • Decreases appetite
  • Increases fat used for energy
  • Liver function improves
  • Decreases fluid retention
  • Increases natural thirst
Your lungs expel between 2 & 4 cups of water each day through normal breathing – even more on a cold day. If your feet sweat, there goes another cup of water. If you make half a dozen trips to the bathroom during the day, that’s six cups of water. If you perspire, you expel about 2 cups of water (which doesn’t include exercise-induced perspiration). In “Dr A’s Habits of Health”, he states we “…actually lose nearly twelve cups of water every day. And in high altitudes or dry environments, you lose even more…”
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions. Eight glasses of water every day is recommended. That amounts to about 2 quarts of water. This is adequate for the average size person, but if you’re overweight, you should drink more. You should also up this if you live in a hot climate or exercise very intensely. An easy thing for me to remember is to drink as close to 100 ounces as possible, every day!
Some signs of dehydration may include:
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Little or no urination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
Have you ever experienced some of the above symptoms and thought that you needed to eat? I have!
How about first grabbing an 8-12 ounce glass of water and seeing if that doesn’t help? It sure won’t hurt!
Additional Benefits of drinking water:
  1. Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. A decrease in water intake may cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water can actually reduce fat deposits. Here’s why: The kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. When they don’t work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But, if the liver has to do some of the kidney’s work, it can’t operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body and weight loss stops.
  2. Drinking enough water is a great treatment for fluid retention. If the body receives plenty of water, the body will be able to release stored water (fluid retention). Remember, as your kidneys excrete water, it also takes away excess sodium which will also help reduce fluid retention.
  3. Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract. You can lift weights until you’re blue in the face, but if your muscles are suffering from a drought, you won’t notice a pleasant difference in your appearance. Muscles that have all the water they need contract more easily, making your workout more effective and you’ll look much nicer than if you had flabby muscles under sagging skin.
  4. Water also helps prevent the sagging skin – shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient. Water flushes out impurities in your skin and can leave you with a clear, younger looking, glowing complexion!
  5. Water can help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source. When a person drinks enough water, normal bowel function can return.
“I’ve tried it and I couldn’t stand it!”
Many decide to increase their water intake but few stick with it. That’s understandable. During the first few days of drinking more water than your body is accustomed to, you’re running to the bathroom constantly. This can be discouraging and it can certainly interfere with an otherwise normal day at work. It seems that the water is coming out just as fast as it’s going in, and many people decide that their new hydration habit is fruitless.
Have courage! What is really happening is that your body is flushing itself of the water it has been storing throughout all those years of “survival mode”. It takes s a while, but this is a great thing happening to you. As you continue to give your body all the water it could ask for, it gets rid of what it doesn’t need. It gets rid of the water it was holding onto in your ankles and your hips and thighs, maybe even around your belly! You are excreting much more than you realize. Your body figures it doesn’t need to save these stores anymore; it’s trusting that the water will keep coming, and if it does, eventually, the flushing will cease, allowing the human to return to a normal life. This is called the “breakthrough point.”
Tips to “Get it in!”
Water consumption is best when spread throughout the day. Try to pick three or four times a day when you can have a big glass of water, and then sip in between. Don’t let yourself get thirsty. If you feel thirsty, you are already becoming dehydrated. Drink when you’re not thirsty yet.
It’s probably a good idea to stop drinking water a few hours before you go to bed. YOU KNOW WHY!
“Cold or not?” This is debatable. Most experts lean toward cold water. It is absorbed more quickly when cold. Some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually burn more calories! On the other hand, some people drink warm water more easily, therefore may drink more of it! Do whatever suits you. JUST DRINK IT!

Healthy Eating - Overview
How do you get started on healthy eating?
Healthy eating starts with learning new ways to eat, such as adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.
A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, and moderation.
·         Aim for balance. Most days, eat from each food group-grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, and meat and other proteins, including beans. Listen to your body. Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.
·         Look for variety. Be adventurous. Choose different foods in each food group. For example, don't reach for an apple every time you choose a fruit. Eating a variety of foods each day will help you get all the nutrients you need.
·         Practice moderation. Don't have too much or too little of one thing. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating. Even sweets can be okay.
Why pay attention to what you eat?
Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have plenty of energy.
Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent health problems, such as:
·         Heart disease.1
·         Stroke.1
·         High blood pressure.2
·         Type 2 diabetes.3
·         Osteoporosis.4
·         Some types of cancer.5
Is healthy eating the same as going on a diet?
Healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.
Diets are temporary. Because you give up so much when you diet, you may be hungry and think about food all the time. And after you stop dieting, you also may overeat to make up for what you missed.
Eating a healthy, balanced variety of foods is far more satisfying. And if you match that with more physical activity, you are more likely to get to a healthy weight-and stay there-than if you diet.
How do you make healthy eating a habit?
First, think about your reasons for healthier eating. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to feel better? Are you trying to set an example for your kids?
Next, think about some small changes you can make. Pick ones you can keep doing.
·         Don't try to change everything at once.
·         Set an easy goal you can reach, like having a salad and a piece of fruit each day.
·         Make a long-term goal too, such as having one vegetarian dinner a week.
Where can you get support?
Having support from others can be a huge help. The more support you have, the easier it will be to make changes. Ask family and friends to practice healthy eating with you. Have them help you make meals, and share healthy, delicious recipes and cooking tips.
If you need more help, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Look online for groups that support healthy eating and share success stories.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity

You know exercise is good for you — but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than old-fashioned exercise.
The merits of regular physical activity — from preventing chronic health conditions to promoting weight loss and better sleep — are hard to ignore. And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing? Check out seven specific ways exercise can improve your life.

1. Exercise improves your mood.

Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help you calm down.
Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You'll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent osteoporosis? Physical activity might be the ticket.
Regular physical activity can help you prevent — or manage — high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.
And there's more. Regular physical activity can help you prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.

Want to drop those excess pounds? Trade some couch time for walking or other physical activities.
This one's a no-brainer. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn — and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. You don't even need to set aside major chunks of time for working out. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials. Better yet, turn off the TV and take a brisk walk. Dedicated workouts are great, but physical activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too.

4. Exercise boosts your energy level.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Don't throw in the towel. Regular physical activity can leave you breathing easier.
Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular physical activity helps your entire cardiovascular system — the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels — work more efficiently. Big deal? You bet! When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you'll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

Struggling to fall asleep? Or stay asleep? It might help to boost your physical activity during the day.
A good night's sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And you guessed it — physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. There's a caveat, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day.

6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

Are you too tired to have sex? Or feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Physical activity to the rescue.
Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise — especially as they get older.

7. Exercise can be — gasp — fun!

Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Looking for an activity that suits the entire family? Get physical!
Physical activity doesn't have to be drudgery. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you're moving, it counts!
Are you convinced? Good. Start reaping the benefits of regular physical activity today