Monthly Archives: October 2017

This Is the Crazy Amount of Money You Can Save by Losing Weight

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If you’re overweight or obese, losing a few pounds may save you some serious cash. A new study has shown that weight loss at any age resulted in significant financial perks, with people around age 50 saving the most—an average of $ 36,278(!) over the course of their lifetimes.

The new research, published in Obesity, is the first to take into account not only the medical costs associated with obesity and its related diseases, but also losses in productivity at work that could be attributed to weight. This helps paint a more complete picture of the real price tag of extra pounds, according to the authors.

“People often think of obesity as an insurance issue, and they know that expensive health care problems are associated with it,” says lead author says Bruce Y. Lee, MD, executive director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “But they rarely think about the full magnitude of its societal and workplace costs.”

To find these numbers, Dr. Lee and his colleagues developed a computer model to represent the U.S. adult population, and estimated lifetime health effects for people who were obese, overweight, or healthy weight at ages 20 through 80. The model simulated the health status of these three groups year by year, and tracked medical costs (to the insurer or health-care facility), productivity losses, and sick time they would likely sustain as a result of their weight.

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

They found that, at every age between 20 and 80, going from one weight category to another resulted in significant cost differences. A 20-year-old who goes from obese to overweight, for example, would save an average of $ 17,655 over his or her lifetime. If that same person went from obese to a healthy weight, those savings would grow to about $ 28,020.

Middle-age adults had even more to gain: The model suggested that an obese 40-year-old could save between $ 18,000 and $ 32,000 over their lifetime by losing enough to be simply overweight or a healthy weight. Cost savings peaked at age 50, with an average total savings of more than $ 36,000.

The cost gap between being obese versus overweight narrowed as people aged, so that people between 50 and 80 benefited much more from moving to the healthy weight category, rather than simply moving from obese to overweight. “This emphasizes the importance of weight loss as people get older,” the study authors wrote in their paper, “for both individuals with obesity and individuals with overweight.”

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Dr. Lee says it was a bit surprising that these cost savings remained significant throughout every decade of a person’s life. “Someone might think that if they’re 80 years old and they’ve lived their entire life without losing weight, then maybe it’s not worth trying at that point,” he says. “Our study suggests that if you really want to focus on reducing costs, then it is actually still important.”

Dr. Lee points out that the productivity losses in the study were based on median wage—and that if a person makes a higher-than-average salary, they’re likely to lose even more because of obesity-related problems. “You’re essentially forfeiting potential salary, you’re going to the hospital and the doctor’s office, you’re getting too sick to work, or your life is getting cut short,” he says.

Dr. Lee hopes the research helps employers realize the importance of prioritizing their workers’ health and wellbeing. He also hopes it serves as an incentive for people who know they need to lose weight but haven’t been motivated to do so for their health alone. “Everyone is interested in trying to save money and maximize what they can do with their salary,” he says, “and this study suggests one way they can do that.”


Weight Loss – Health.com

These Real Women Showed Their Excess Skin to Make an Important Point About Weight Loss

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Stories about people who shed lots of weight after adopting a healthier lifestyle are super inspirational, especially if a photo shows a person looking healthy and happy at her goal weight. But often something important is glossed over: that dropping major pounds tends to leave a dieter with loose skin.

Some successful dieters choose to have the skin removed surgically. Others live with it and make a point about it on social media—it's a very real part of their journey, after all. Here are six women who got real on Instagram about their excess skin and how they struggle to deal with it.

After shedding 185 pounds in 15 months, Jessica Weber was left with excess skin around her midsection. “I was always prepared for it, but it is still such a struggle to deal with daily,” Weber told People. “I’ve seen some people lose weight and have it not be such a problem, but I wasn’t that lucky.”

Weber regularly shares bits of her new, healthier lifestyle on Instagram, along with motivational messages. "I'm still learning to love my new body and ths journey that i Am on!" she admits in one post, which shows her bearing her stomach in a bikini.

When you think of a bodybuilder, ripped muscles and a perfectly taut stomach come to mind. Jana Roller is a bodybuilder who fits part of this stereotype, with one exception—she chooses to show off her excess skin from weight loss when she wears her competition bikini. 

Meeting a major weight-loss goal offers much to celebrate, and Jordaan Spark didn't let her loose skin stop her from doing just that, posting this snap of her boyfriend picking her up in a pool. The 24-year-old told People she doesn't want to "sugarcoat" weight loss, which is why she opted to post the photo.

After losing over 100 pounds, Rachel Graham shared a photo of her excess skin. While she said it sometimes makes her self-conscious, she wouldn't change her weight-loss journey for the world, since it's made her happier and healthier. "I'd be lying if I said my loose skin wasn't an insecurity of mine.. But I refuse to let it consume me," wrote Graham.

Hitting the beach in a swimsuit can provoke anxiety no matter what you weigh. But Jacqueline Adan went for it, bearing her excess skin from a 350-pound weight loss. When onlookers reacted critically to Adan's body, she strutted her stuff and then posted this on Instagram. "I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life,” she wrote. “They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They do not know how I am recovering from major surgeries. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me.”

Simone Anderson shed 194 pounds and documented the whole process on her Instagram page. Now, the lifestyle blogger shares everything from her cute outfits to her workouts to her incredible before-and-after photos, which remind her followers of her inspiring journey. In an interview with People, Anderson shared her thoughts on the excess skin: “I needed to show that yes, I do have loose skin, and it’s actually a side effect of something I am proud of. Obviously, I can’t wait for it to be gone, but it’s not something I’m ashamed of or embarrassed of.”


Weight Loss – Health.com

Craig Robinson Lost 50 Lbs. By Going Vegan and Cutting Out Alcohol: ‘It Was Much Easier Than I Thought’

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Craig Robinson is feeling better than ever.

The star of the new series Ghosted talked about his slimmer physique on Harry Connick Jr.’s talk show, Harry.

“I lost a bunch of weight, I lost about 50 lbs.,” Robinson, 45, says.

The former The Office actor says his weight loss started as an experiment.

“I haven’t been drinking,” Robinson explains. “Since January I just put down the alcohol, I was going to detox. I had heard, I don’t know how true it is, but I heard you can regenerate your liver in six months. I was like let me see if I can go six months and I just haven’t gone back.”

And his alcohol detox inspired other healthy habits.

“[I’m] working out and I’ve been trying this vegan lifestyle too. It’s amazing,” Robinson says. “There are so many great vegan restaurant and dishes. It’s much easier than I thought it would be.”

Still, he does miss one dairy-filled dish.

“Mac and cheese,” Robinson says without hesitation.

On Ghosted, Robinson plays a skeptic mall cop who gets roped into investigating unexplained paranormal activities with a true believer, played by Adam Scott.


Weight Loss – Health.com

Body-Positive Instagram Star Claps Back at Critics of Her Skin Removal Surgery: ‘Loving Yourself Does NOT Mean You Have to Stay the Same’

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Instagram star Amanda Roberts (@mandas_muffintop) credits the body-positive Instagram community with helping her love and appreciate her body when she was at her heaviest. But after she made the decision to have weight loss surgery and subsequent skin removal surgery, Roberts was surprised to find herself at the receiving end of negative comments on the social platform, where she has nearly, 70,000 followers.

"I am a self-proclaimed self-love and body positive activist, but people think that because I decided to finally rein in my health (after a lifetime of obesity that was affecting my health), I didn't truly love myself," she told Health in an email. "I've received comments like, 'If you love yourself so much, why did you change yourself?' It's truly frustrating to try to explain over and over again that loving yourself does not mean you have to stay the same."

RELATED: What Are Skin Tags—and How Can I Have Them Removed?

A viral before-and-after photo Roberts recently shared on Instagram expands on this message. "I loved myself at 330lbs [sic] on the left. I loved myself at 180lbs with loose skin. And I love myself now at 185lbs with my scars," she wrote. "I decided to change myself BECAUSE I love myself. This my my journey, and I’m proud of it."

Roberts first discovered the body-positive ("Bo Po," as she calls it) online community when she weighed over 300 lbs., and tells Health that she's mostly received support and encouragement on the platform. "It wasn't until I found the Bo Po community that I truly started loving myself," she says. "From that inner self-love, I found a reason to want to be the best me."

After undergoing weight loss surgery, Roberts immediately realized that she would one day need skin removal surgery, too. "I had always had issues with rashes and sores, especially due to eczema, when I was plus-size, and I knew that the loose skin was only going to make it worse," she explains. As a stay-at-home mom in a low-income household, though, Roberts couldn't afford to get the surgery right away. In the meantime, she used her Instagram account to help spread the message that "loose skin isn't grotesque—it's very common and is worth the battle to lose weight if that is what someone decided was best for them."

When she landed a spot on the popular CBS show The Doctors, Roberts was fortunate to have the skin removal surgery done for free. The procedure was a success, and helped ease her day-to-day discomfort. But afterwards, Roberts began to notice some negative comments from followers. "I got backlash about it, with more people saying, 'If you love your loose skin so much, why are you having it removed?'" she says. "A lot of people tried to say I wasn't a body positive activist."

RELATED: I Had Seven Pounds of Skin Removed After Major Weight Loss—Here's What You Should Know

Luckily, though, Roberts says that the majority of her followers understand that the surgery was about feeling comfortable in her own skin, and she's "thankful" for their kindness and support. Today, she's focusing on using her platform to celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes.

"I think my body has always been amazing at every stage of my journey," she says. "We all deserve to practice self-love and feel positive about our bodies, no matter what they may look like."


Weight Loss – Health.com

How Two Sisters Helped Each Other Shed a Collective 106 Lbs.: "Sisterhood Gave Us the Strength to Change"

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Gina: In college, late night takeout was one of our favorite pastimes. I soon found myself just shy of 200 pounds, while Amy weighed in at 138. Being overweight began taking its toll.

Amy: A stranger’s rude comment here, a pair of extra-large pants there added up, but photos from a family beach trip in 2004 were the final push we needed. That fall, we signed up for Weight Watchers.

Lessons in healthy

Gina: From day one, we attended the weekly meetings together, debriefing each other on lessons learned. For me, having smarter portions of my favorite foods—hello, pasta!—and logging regular runs and boot camp classes were key. I was down to 155 pounds by the summer of 2005.

Amy: While the point system helped me make better food choices and drop 30 pounds in just six months, after a year I trusted myself to eat clean on my own. I started meal prepping staples like egg muffins or avocado toast for breakfast.

Gina: I fluctuated after my initial loss, but staying true to what I had learned helped me ditch another 20 pounds by 2007. After that, I turned to MyFitnessPal.

RELATED: These Real Women Showed Their Excess Skin to Make an Important Point About Weight Loss

Stronger together 

Amy: Exercise wasn’t on my radar until 2011, when Gina and I ran a 5K. After that, I was hooked.

Gina: Tracking what I ate and working with a trainer with Amy kept me at 135 pounds for years. Then, in 2015, I stopped snacking after dinner and started using a food scale. The result: I hit my goal weight of 122. Finally, victory.

Amy: We’ve now completed five half marathons, and I’m down to 108 pounds, even after having a baby in 2015.

Gina: We love that our weight loss has been a team effort. Sisterhood gave us the strength to change.


Gina and Amy's tone-it-up tips

1. Go halfsies: We often share an entrée when we eat out. That way, we know we’re eating a reasonable portion. Bonus: We don’t feel bad getting the occasional scoop of ice cream afterward! It’s all about balance.

2. Love your lower body: We used to hate leg day, but strengthening our lower bodies helped us shave 20 minutes off our half-marathon time.

3. Remix your sweets: We love creating healthier versions of our favorite splurges, like Brownie Overnight Oats: oats, mashed banana, almond milk, vanilla, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and chia seeds. Yum!

 

As told to Anthea Levi


Weight Loss – Health.com