Obesity is the major risk factor for heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. A sedentary lifestyle is a big contributing factor.
Many people assume that you must lose huge amounts of weight to modify cardiovascular risks. They set their goal to lose a huge amount of weight, hoping to return to the weight of their teenage years. In some cases, this amount is 50 to 80 pounds of body weight. However, this is not necessarily the case.
The good news is that dropping just five to ten percent of your body weight can have a significant, positive impact on the health of any overweight individual.
Metabolism is the full system of biochemical processes working inside your body, and your metabolic rate is the rate at which you use energy or calories for these processes. You burn the most calories each day with basic bodily functions like breathing, circulating blood and maintaining body temperature. This is your basal metabolic rate, which accounts for 60 to 75 percent of your total calorie needs.
Physical activity and the digestions, absorption and storage of food make up the rest. Age, gender and genetics - things you can't change - largely determine your metabolic rate. Diet, exercise and body composition also influence your calorie-burning potential.
A three-hundred-pound person with a 30-pound weight loss will reduce blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol. Sustained weight loss of ten percent reduced coronary heart disease in obese persons; reduced the number of years with hypertension from 4.1 to 2.9 years; and increased life expectancy anywhere from two to seven months in men and two to five months in women.
See also: How Does Metabolism Affect Your Weight?