The Power of Ten: September 27, 2013

It’s easy to get weighed down with worry, especially when it comes to the pressure of dropping pounds. But consider the power of ten. The goal may be small, but the benefits big.

“We emphasize to our patients that even with a modest weight loss - with type two diabetes - a 5 to 10% weight loss they can significantly improve their blood sugar control,” says Sharon Krispinski, diabetes educator with Lee Memorial Health System.

When it comes to diabetes, a 10% weight loss can mean the difference between being on medication or not.  Being overweight is also a contributor to poor heart health.

“If your body mass index is over 25 you’re considered overweight and certainly a body mass index over 30 is considered obese. Those tend to be risk factors to develop other medical problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which then could leave to cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Elizabeth Cosmai- Cintron, cardiologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

A modest loss can also lower your cancer risk.

“Obesity has been known for a long time as one of many risk factors for breast cancer.  In my patients who’ve had breast cancer, I’m always telling them to try the low fat diet, make sure they exercise. There’s also some evidence that may be important in colon cancer occurrence as well,” says Dr. William Harwin, oncologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

The 10% goal is doable - that’s 20 pounds for someone who weighs 200, trimming 30 pounds if you weigh 300. People usually go into a diet hoping for much more and achieving much less. In this case the benefits should help you gain motivation.

A 10% loss may also alleviate sleep apnea and help preserve your joints. Those excess pounds are partly responsible for joint replacements and chronic back pain. The power duo of diet and exercise can help you be happier and healthier.