If you are overweight or obese, you are not alone. But what you might not know is just how bad being overweight is for the immune system. The first reason is that the fat we hate on our belly, butt and thighs is not just ugly flab. Scientists believe that excess fat in the body also releases a range of potentially toxic substances which can leave you open to illness, or even trigger it. The second main reason being overweight is bad is that toxic substances and chemicals we consume can also be stored in fatty tissue, making it doubly dangerous. These toxins might even accumulate over time, causing serious damage to the body. A third reason is that body fat damages our metabolism, slowing it down, thus making it even harder for you to lose weight. Exercising to build muscle will reduce your overall percentage of body fat, and thus the number of toxins in your body as you increase your metabolism. Lean muscle burns the calories you consume much more efficiently, leading to weight loss and healthy weight maintenance once you reach your weight loss goal. Yoga, tai chi, light weights, and resistance bands can all help you build lean muscle without looking like a bodybuilder. Another important reason why being overweight is so dangerous is that it is now being described as a persistent low level of chronic inflammation in the body. Therefore, doing all you can to get down to a normal, healthy weight and reducing the wear and tear on the body from inflammation can do a great deal to improve your overall health. Watching what you eat can help cut calories, but did you know it can also reduce inflammation and add disease-fighting antioxidants to your diet? Eating a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables every day can help you lose weight even as you eat a more nutritious and balanced diet. Anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, broccoli, olive oil, and peppers. Antioxidants are powerful disease-fighting agents found in red kidney bean, blueberries, apples and more. Fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstones of any attempt to lose weight healthily. The water content and fiber will help you feel full for longer. They are also so tasty that adding these foods to your eating lifestyle will usually mean you will be more likely to steer clear of foods that are bad for you, such as red meat and highly-processed sugary sweets made with white sugar and white flour. Exercise is key to reducing blood pressure and inflammation, decreasing stress, and elevating mood. Therefore, when used in combination with a healthy diet, you should soon see the benefits of weight loss for your appearance, mood and immune system.