Most people want to lose weight because of the obvious reasons; they want to look better, be more attractive and they don’t want to be fat because being fat carries a stigma in our society of being lazy and unattractive. Wherever you look skinny people are idolized in magazines, on TV and on the Internet as being popular, attractive and successful. Everyone wants these qualities because it boosts self-esteem, which is something that people who are overweight battle with on a daily basis. From a very young age right up until adulthood, being overweight comes with a self-consciousness. The 21st century has brought about a health craze, now more than ever people are trying to lose weight. With TV shows like the “Biggest Loser” and “Dance You’re A** Off” we are promoting not only losing weight but becoming healthier. There are so many reasons to want to lose weight however the healthier reasons should be closer to the top of the list rather than the aesthetic ones. Use these reasons to motivate you to lose excess weight.

1. Reduce Asthma Symptoms-Although asthma is not caused by extra weight on the body, excess weight can worsen and aggravate asthma symptoms. When your overweight, the respiratory system has to work harder. Excess weight puts a strain on the lungs and adrenal glands, which manage asthma symptoms. Losing weight can reduce asthma symptoms as well as minimize the frequency of their appearance.

2. Better Breathing- Excess weight puts pressure on the internal organs, which include your lungs. More weight puts strain on the lungs making them have to work harder to breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide. By losing weight, there is less pressure on your lungs making it easier for oxygen and nutrients to be spread throughout the body.

3. Improve Blood Pressure- Overweight people have double the risk for hypertension (high blood pressure). This is caused because the excess weight puts pressure on the veins, making the heart have to pump harder to push the blood throughout the body. When you lose weight its easier for the blood to circulate throughout the body therefore lowering blood pressure.

4. Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease- Excess weight around the abdominal section of the body increases the risk for life threatening diseases such as heart disease. To reduce this risk you need to lose weight, especially around the mid section.

5. Lower Cholesterol-Being overweight increases your risk of having high LDL bad cholesterol, and low HDL good cholesterol. By losing weight you can lower LDL, lower total cholesterol and improve HDL cholesterol. It can also keep you off cholesterol medications that your doctor may recommend.

6. Decrease Medication- Many medications, prescriptions and OTC medications can be traced back to carrying excess weight on the body. Doctors prescribe all types of medications for people who are overweight such as blood pressure (antihypertensive), cholesterol (statin), insulin for diabetes, and drugs to lower blood sugars. However, by losing weight you can reduce the need for these medications. You can even reverse the effects so medication is no longer needed.

7. Reverse Type 2 Diabetes-Obesity is a major risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes is the most common disease for people who are overweight. However, you can reverse the effects by losing weight. Weight loss is the most recommended treatment for people who are borderline diabetic. By losing weight you can regulate blood sugar levels and normalize insulin secretion in the body.

8. Reduced Risk of Cancer- Obesity has been linked to some forms of cancer. Women who are overweight are more prone to have breast cancer, cervical cancer, and ovarian cancer. Men who are overweight are more prone to prostate and colon cancer. By losing weight you reduce the risk for any and all of these cancers.

9. Relieve Arthritis Pain- Excess weight puts added pressure on the joints such as the knees and ankles. For people who have arthritis, inflammation in these joints already reduces mobility and function. By losing weight you can reduce the pressure on these joints, which can relieve arthritis pain. It will also improve function in these joints making it easier to move.

10 Relieve Aches and Pains- Our feet bear all the weight of our entire body. The more weight you have the more stress your feet have to bear on a daily basis. When you lose weight there is less pressure on your feet making it easier to move around and be active.

11. Better Skin- With every pound of extra weight, the more your skin stretches. As we age the elasticity in your skin declines. Therefore having excess weight as you age will decrease the ability of your skins elasticity. Additionally ones diet can cause changes in ones skin color and elasticity. Overweight people consume larger amounts of carbohydrates and sugars, which causes skin to be paler in color and can increase the amount of skin tags, excess growths of skin on the outside of the body. By reducing these types of foods in ones diet, you can lose weight and also revitalize the skin.

12. Sleep Sound- People who are overweight have a higher risk for sleep disorders. Excess weight can increase the likelihood of diminished sleep due to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts sound sleep, which reduces the ability to sleep all the way through the night. By losing weight you can decrease sleep apnea symptoms and sleep all the way through the night.

13. Increased Endurance and Stamina- With every extra pound added to ones weight, you reduce the ability to do every day activities because you become tired or winded. As these activities become difficult you try to avoid them or find ways around them. However if you lose weight it becomes easier to walk, exercise, climb stairs, etc.

14. Better Mood- When one is overweight the bodies system is out of balance. This includes the amount of hormones that control mood. Overweight people are at risk for severe depression and most suffer from depressive feelings. Additionally depression can cause one to become overweight because depression reduces the desire to help or prevent themselves from becoming overweight. Losing weight can improve ones overall well being, boosting self-image and self-confidence. Exercise increases the release of endorphins, a hormone that enhances mood, which eliminates depressive feelings. To balance the hormones in the body reduce the amount of fat tissue in the body.

15. Increase Quality of Life- Overweight people typically suffer from low self esteem, have feelings of shame, and are more socially isolated. Additionally, sexual performance can be compromised by excess weight. When you lose weight you become more confident in yourself. You have confidence in your appearance and you feel better about not only the way you look but also yourself in general. This improves your ability to meet people, gain friends, socialize, and have romantic relationships.

16. Increase Longevity- Added weight on the body not only increases the risk of disease, but it reduces ones life expectancy. Losing weight can drastically increase the length of ones life. Eating healthier and exercising can increase the longevity of ones life. This includes eliminating and avoiding bad habits.