Why Losing Just 5% Body Weight is Actually a Big Deal...
While many people want to lose weight for aesthetic reasons, excess weight can also be a health concern. We know that having a BMI over 25 is associated with an increased risk for weight-related health issues—think diabetes and heart disease. Excess fat can increase the burden on joints (especially knees) or lead to reduce sleep quality from sleep apnea.
Yet, just a 5% weight loss may lead to improvement in many other areas. Some observational studies in people with excess weight making lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise saw improvements in various risk factors with even modest weight loss—such as 5%. More controlled clinical studies still need to confirm this.
Because of studies like these, 5% weight loss has become the clinically-meaningful guideline for healthcare providers to recommend to their patients. But what else could a 5% weight loss from diet and exercise (or more) accomplish in your body?
May Cut the Fat
A 5% weight loss doesn’t just mean lost pounds. It also means losing proportionally more fat—especially visceral intra-abdominal fat (aka “bad belly fat”). Higher levels of visceral fat, no matter your BMI, increase your risk of weight-related health issues.
May Reduce Risk
A 5% loss in body weight is also associated with improvements in certain risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, including lowering blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, in addition to improving insulin sensitivity.
May Help Your Knees
Losing 5% or more of body weight can also have a positive impact on your joints, especially load-bearing ones like your knees.
May Help You Catch Some Zzz’s
Losing weight could improve symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition that impacts many people with excess weight. However, here the goal should be to lose 10% or more of body weight to reflect the positive results seen in studies.
Note: CONTRAVE, along with diet and exercise, was studied in clinical trials for long-term weight loss only. There are no data from randomized, controlled trials on the effects of CONTRAVE-induced weight loss on the other health outcomes discussed in this blog.
It's important to remember that losing weight for health reasons doesn't need to be a race to the bottom. Losing 15%, 10%, or even 5% of your baseline body weight can give your health a big boost.
Of course, it’s easy to look at a number and think it’s not a big deal to lose 5% of your body weight. But it is!! The numbers coming out of a clinical study don’t reveal the hard work and dedication it takes to lose even 5% of your body weight. So whether your goal is 5%, 10%, 15%, or beyond—keep up the good work, your body thanks you.