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The Benefits of Sustained Weight Loss

Karen Alexander, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

January 7, 2020

Obesity is a growing epidemic and public concern in the United States. Obesity and postmenopausal breast cancer have been linked because estrogen, a risk factor for breast cancer, is made in adipose (fat) tissue. Evidence in recent years has shown that weight loss may reduce the risk of several cancers, including breast cancer. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that weight loss in women aged 50 and older can reduce the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute analyzed the association of continued weight loss in women aged 50 years or older in correlation to breast cancer risk. The results showed:

  • women with sustained weight loss had a lower risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t lose any weight
  • cancer risk is reduced as women lose more weight
  • women who lost between 4 to 10 pounds had a 13% lower risk
  • women who lost between 10 to 20 pounds had a 16% lower risk
  • women who lost 20 pounds or more had a 26% lower risk
  • women who lost 20 pounds or more and gained some but not all of the weight back had a lower risk of breast cancer compared with those whose weight remained stable

In addition, a study published in Cancer Journal found that postmenopausal women who lost weight over 3 years demonstrated a 12% decreased risk for breast cancer compared with women whose weight remained stable. Based on these findings, we can conclude that a sustained weight loss can bring several benefits, including the reduction of breast cancer in women over 50 years old.

Below are 5 wellness tips to help you committed to your weight loss goals.

  1. Make half of your plate non-root vegetables, one quart with whole grains and one quart of lean proteins.
  2. Watch your food portions and stop eating when you feel 70-80% full.
  3. Snack on veggies to cut calories.
  4. Choose plain water or infused waters instead of sweet drinks.
  5. Be active at least 30 minutes a day.

The recipe of the week: Rainbow Vegetable Snack Bags


  • ½ cucumber, sliced, seeded, and cut into strips
  • 2 medium celery, sliced and cut into strips
  • ½ small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • ½ small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • ¼ cup grape tomatoes
  • Ziploc bags


Put all the ingredients in the Ziploc bag and alternating colors of the vegetables. Enjoy alone or with a low-fat Greek yogurt dressing.

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