The Benefits of Losing Weight

Smiling woman checking her weight

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Before you set a weight loss goal, it’s important to understand the benefits of losing weight. Understanding the wide range of weight loss benefits may help to keep you motivated during the challenging moments of your diet and exercise program. Every weight loss journey hits a rough patch at some point.

To set yourself up for success, consider all of the different ways that losing weight may improve your social life, your physical health, and your psychological health. Make a list of the weight loss benefits that mean the most to you and keep it in your weight loss journal. Then visit the list on the days when you feel discouraged.

Health Benefits

You don’t have to lose hundreds of pounds to enjoy the physical health benefits of weight loss. If you are currently overweight or obese, you may be able to lose just a small amount of weight to improve your overall health. In fact, some studies show that just a 5% to 10% decrease in your weight can change your health. Losing weight can mean:

  • Decreased risk of diabetes
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Decreased risk of certain cancers
  • Improved mobility
  • Decreased joint pain
  • Improved blood sugar levels
  • Decreased risk of stroke
  • Reduced back pain
  • Decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • Decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of sleep apnea

Your doctor can provide more personalized information about the health benefits you can expect to see when you lose weight. For example, you may be able to decrease or eliminate certain medications or reduce your risk of disease. Your doctor may also be able to provide a recommendation or referral to a registered dietitian or physical therapist to help you build a healthy weight loss program.

Lifestyle Benefits

In addition to the medical benefits, you may also experience an improved lifestyle if you lose weight. People who have successfully lost weight report:

  • More active social life
  • Greater confidence
  • Better sleep
  • Improved energy
  • Improved sex life
  • Decreased stress
  • Improved body image
  • Improved vitality
  • Improved mood

Weight Loss and Your Relationships

The medical and lifestyle benefits may be enough to motivate you to stick to a weight-loss program. But some people also try to lose weight to improve the quality of a relationship. For example, you might want to lose weight to save your marriage

This is an area where the benefits of losing weight get tricky. While some people have better relationships after weight loss, losing weight to make someone else happy is not always a smart idea. There may be other relationship problems that weight loss won't solve. And when you diet or exercise to make someone else happy, you might lose weight in the beginning, but the weight often comes back.

Having social support can certainly have a positive impact on your weight loss journey, but to ensure long-term success, make sure that ultimately, you're losing weight for yourself and your personal goals.

A Word From Verywell

If you decide that there are significant reasons for you to lose weight, then there's no time like the present to start your weight loss journey. Your first step should be to set a reasonable goal. Then make small changes to your daily routine and eating habits. Ask for weight loss help from your health care provider and from friends and family to make the process easier.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing weight. Updated February 4, 2020.

  2. Swencionis C, Wylie-Rosett J, Lent MR, et al. Weight change, psychological well-being, and vitality in adults participating in a cognitive-behavioral weight loss program. Health Psychol. 2013;32(4):439-46. doi:10.1037/a0029186

  3. Gardner J, Kjolhaug J, Linde JA, Sevcik S, Lytle LA. Teaching goal-setting for weight-gain prevention in a college population: Insights from the CHOICES study. J Health Educ Teach. 2013;4(1):39-49.

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