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Weight Loss

From the effects of the hormone cortisol to the role of genetics in weight loss, this category is packed with everything that you need to know about losing weight the healthy way.

The 16 Health Benefits of Losing Weight

Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight can lead to many physical and mental health benefits. See all the benefits weight loss has to offer and find the simplest way to reach your goals!

The 16 Health Benefits of Losing Weight

From cutting the risk of heart disease to sharpening memory, the benefits of weight loss are compelling and numerable!

16 Benefits of Losing Weight

1. Improves Lipid Levels

Lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol can simply be lowered through diet, though raising HDL or the "good" kind is much harder to raise. Fortunately, losing weight and exercising regularly can help improve HDL cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides, or the lipids that transport fat for storage and energy.

2. Reduces High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (BP) is often a result of carrying extra weight, particularly as the heart forcefully pumps blood into the arteries, and dropping even a few pounds can help reduce BP.

Incorporating components of the DASH Diet, including increasing fresh produce and decreasing salt intake, can help lower blood pressure even more and facilitate greater weight loss.

3. Cuts Down Heart Attack and Stroke Risks

Particularly related to the weight loss benefits of improving lipid levels and blood pressures, you can cut the risks of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

4. Prevents and Manages Diabetes

Overweight and obesity dramatically increases the risk of diabetes, though controlling weight can deter prediabetes. In fact, research shows that reducing body weight by 5 to 10 percent can cut diabetes risk in half! For an individual weighting 200 pounds, that translates to 10 to 20 pounds.

If currently managing diabetes, weight loss can help better control blood sugars, the risks of health complications, and reduce the amount or volume of medications.

5. Lowers Cancer Risk

Though weight loss has not directly shown to protect against cancer, there is evidence showing a relationship between obesity and the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, there higher amounts of body fat are associated with increased risks of a number of cancers, including endometrial, esophageal, liver, kidney, pancreatic, colorectal, gallbladder, breast, ovarian, and thyroid cancers.

6. Combats Inflammation

Carrying excess body weight triggers inflammation, as body fat itself is an active tissue that creates and releases pro-inflammatory chemicals, including cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 (IL-1).

These inflammatory markers increase the risk of his is linked to health conditions such arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

7. Alleviates Joint Pain

Excess body weight can increase the risk of and exacerbate arthritis, particularly related to increased inflammation in the body and wear and tear of the joints. In fact, every pound of excess body weight contributes to four pounds of extra pressure on the knees.

That being said, even a modest amount of weight loss can alleviate joint pain associated to arthritis.

8. Protects the Brain

Along with the physical advantages, benefits of losing weight also relate to brain health. In fact, a higher midlife body mass index (BMI) is suggested to increase the risk of dementia, but weight loss during the preclinical dementia phase may mask such effects.

The research published in the Alzheimer's & Dementia journal analyzed data from 1.3 million adults living in the United States and Europe, finding people near dementia onset, who then go on to develop dementia, tend to have lower body weight than their dementia-free counterparts.

9. Sharpens Memory

Along with obesity being a known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, one of the benefits of weight loss links to a sharpened memory. In fact, memory performance shows to improve following weight loss related facilitated from consuming a healthy diet.

10. Reduces Depression

A meta-analysis published in the journal Appetite reviewed 17 studies that assessed for changes in depression following a weight loss intervention. The findings? Of the 17 studies analyzed, only one of them did not observe a significant reduction in depressive symptoms!

11. Eases Anxiety

While anxiety can provoke weight changes and sabotage personal wellness, does losing weight help anxiety? Though the link between weight loss and anxiety is scarce, there are nutritional strategies to ease anxiety, all of which are nutritionally-dense and can help optimize overall health.

12. Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence

Individuals who learn lasting behavioral changes that support weight loss may be able to reframe their mindset to more positive thinking in regards to self-esteem and confidence.

Furthermore, research published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows greater weight loss results to larger decreases in body size dissatisfaction.

13. Improves Sleep

Maintaining a healthy weight staves against sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that causes breathing to become shallow or completely stop during sleep. As a result, sleep is likely extremely fragmented and likely to be poor.

And not to mention, an active lifestyle and regular exercise helps induce sleep cycles, increase sleep duration, improve sleep quality, and decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms that may be keeping you up throughout the night.

14. Increases Happy Energy

A good night’s rest puts a little more pep in your step, while that nutrient-dense diet and exercise regimen increases energy and happiness!

15. Mends and Builds Interpersonal Relationships

Feeling more self-assured, healthy, and strong can help you mend and build interpersonal relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, etc. Signing up for a new gym membership and taking cooking classes in the community can also help you grow relationships with new, likeminded people.

Speaking of relationships… One of the benefits of weight loss links to a boosted sex drive, including by increasing sexual desire in women, sexual performance in men, and confidence related to a healthier lifestyle.

16. Adds Quality Years of Life

From optimizing physical health to elevating happiness and mood, perhaps the most cohesive benefit of losing weight is adding on not only more years of life, but more quality years with loved ones!

If needing or desiring assistance, consider a meal delivery service to help you develop healthy eating habits and lose weight!

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on January 07, 2019.


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