THE BLOG

Why Every Little Counts When it Comes to Weight Loss

21/05/2015 21:20 BST | Updated 21/05/2016 10:59 BST

We all know that feeling, when at first you lose a few pounds and then your weight loss plateaus, or simply doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. It can be disheartening, and make you feel as though that goal is unattainable. We would all like to be in the 'ideal' weight range, but when we feel like we're not getting anywhere, we just give up and the weight goes back on. A self-fulfilling prophecy!

But, the truth is that even a modest weight loss can have an impact on our health and here's why:

Five is the magic number

Science shows that losing even just 5% of your weight can pay dividends when it comes to your health. If you are currently weigh around 13 stone, for example, that means a weight-loss of around 9 pounds. Even if your 'ideal' weight goal is 10 stone, that 9 pounds is important! How? Well, research studies have identified that losing just 5% of your body weight can improve your glucose control, helping those with diabetes and perhaps reducing the risk for those on the verge of developing it. Improving or preventing diabetes has positive knock-on effects on your heart, blood pressure, kidneys and many other areas. Win win.

Every pound counts

A modest amount of weight loss can also help your joints. Did you know that being overweight puts a lot of pressure on your poor knees? Every extra pound you carry puts an extra four pounds of force through your knees? So lose nine pounds and your knees will feel a whole 36lbs less pressure on them... 2 ½ stones worth!

Small, manageable steps are better than a 'quick-fix'

The great news is that losing a little bit of weight is far easier than losing a lot. If you have a couple of stone to shift, the quick-fix, rapid-results, crash diet seems like a good idea. How else will you keep motivated for long enough? Trouble is, you and I both know that sort of approach doesn't work long-term. If your goal is fixed on losing just a few pounds, you can look at smaller, easier ways to achieve it... simply swapping your morning high-street coffee-shop latte and muffin for a black coffee and an apple will save a few hundred calories (and a few quid!) and could be enough in itself to lose a few pounds over a couple of months. Or swapping fizzy drinks for water, or walking instead of driving to work. Small changes add up to a few pounds weight-loss pretty quickly. Then, once you have developed those healthier habits and lost that bit of weight, you can choose some new habits to work on and shift another few pounds!

So, we need to remember that even if we lose just a few pounds and keep it off, we have done ourselves a huge favour. And with that knowledge, the next time we manage to shift just a little bit of weight, we can give ourselves a huge pat on the back. Rather than feeling disheartened, we may then feel able to slowly take it to the next step...another few pounds will achieve even greater health benefits. Instead of recording the number of pounds you have lost and how far you still have to go, think of how much good health you have gained! And think of how much healthier you can get! And just remember... every little helps.

If you're looking for help with creating small, manageable changes to your life, then take a look at the Vavista Programme.