We all know that being overweight or obese can increase the risk of numerous health conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
Now, new research has found that gaining weight and going up a dress size every 10 years will lead to a 33% higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Those that gain 2 dress sizes will see that their risk level is even higher at 77%.
What did the study involve?
A team of researchers at the University College London looked at the records of 93,000 women who were in the 50s or 60s who had all gone through the menopause.
These women were all asked to complete a detailed form asking various questions about their lifestyles, including their height and weight, whether they smoke or drink, and what their dress size is now and when they were 25 years of age.
After conducting the research, which took 2 years to compile it was concluded that dress size was the most important lifestyle aspect for determining the risk of developing breast cancer.
What causes this increased risk?
It has long been believed that being overweight causes a release of the hormone oestrogen, which has been shown to trigger the development of tumours.
What this new study has found is that the weight around your stomach is the main cause, as it is this type of abdominal fat that releases the most oestrogen rather than the fat found in other parts of the body.
To reduce your risks it is important that you take steps to lose this abdominal fat and become healthier.
How to drop a dress size?
While going up a dress size will increase your risk of developing breast cancer, dropping a dress will have the opposite affect according to the study. With a 33% reduction in the chances of developing breast cancer.
Of course if you are a healthy weight then there is obviously no need to lose weight. However if you are a little overweight then read on.
To start you need to look at your diet. What are you currently eating?
If your diet consists of dinners out, pre-packaged meals and takeaways then you are probably not eating as healthily as you should.
Try to cut back on these, there is really no reason why you need to eat from a takeaway more than once a week as a treat, or at all for that matter.
Instead you should try to eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables alongside a healthy amount of lean protein sources, such as chicken, turkey or fish.
Next, you will need to look at your activity levels.
If you are coming home from work only to sit in front of the TV then Im sorry but things will have to change.
Even if you do not want to go to the gym you could go for a walk, or do a quick 10-20 minute home workout.
To lose weight you need to find a way to burn off those excess calories, otherwise you will never achieve your goal.
The final tip to help you achieve your goal of dropping a dress size would be to watch what you are drinking.
Caffeinated soft drinks and hot beverages full of sugar, cream and milk are obviously not going to be the best option for you. Even those so called diet drinks have been shown to cause weight gain as they cause sugar cravings.
What you should be drinking is water, which may sound boring but its benefits are plain to see.
Water contains zero calories and can help flush out toxins that can help kick-start your weight loss efforts while clearing your skin. It can also help curb your appetite too.
To improve the taste try adding a slice of lemon or lime.
Making these small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference to your life, helping you to lose weight, feel more energised and best of all reducing your risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer.