Self-help Success in Dieting

Written by Rita Kennen

The self-esteem gained by losing just a little weight can help you succeed in other aspects of your life.
Every little bit counts when it comes to fighting the battle of the bulge. Shedding even 5 pounds can dramatically change a person's life. 

DVD:Dr. Andrew Weil on Wellness and Happiness
Overweight people get health benefits from losing as little as 5 pounds.
Gaining 5 pounds has just the opposite effect.
Losing weight also boosts emotional health. 
Overweight women who lost 5 pounds showed increased vitality, suffered fewer aches and pains and had less difficulty with everyday movements like climbing stairs. Slapping an extra five on those thighs appears to have just the reverse effect.

A four-year study of more than 40,000 nurses ages 46 to 71 in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that even small changes in weight can have a positive effect on your quality of life.

In the past, most of the research on overweight people centered on high-risk illness like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. "The vast majority of overweight people don't end up getting those diseases," says Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, professor of medicine and one of the authors of the study. "But when we're talking about things like being able to walk up stairs, we're talking about something that potentially affects everyone."

Doctors also say that even minimal weight loss provides an emotional boost, giving people the self-confidence to change jobs, move ahead in life and improve relationships.

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