Unexpected benefits of weight loss
Reviewed by our clinical team
We all know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for our health. And if you’re overweight losing weight will be beneficial to lots of different areas of your health.
Being overweight can put you at risk of a number of conditions including:
- Colon, liver, pancreas and kidney cancer
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
By losing weight, and remaining at a healthy weight, you can reduce your risk of all these conditions, drastically improving your physical health now and in the long-term. But what other benefits might you see from losing weight? What are the unexpected changes you might make to your life. In this article we’ll look at some of the key advantages of losing weight, which you might not know about.
Reduced joint pain
Being overweight can put a lot of strain on your joints. By losing weight you’re likely to have less back pain or joint pain throughout your body.
Being overweight also puts you at an increased risk of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, which occurs when the cartilage at the end of/between bones wears away. This is because carrying extra weight puts stress on the joints and fat tissue can produce proteins that cause inflammation around the joints. Osteoarthritis can result in joint pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of flexibility.
If you’re overweight, losing weight can ease your symptoms and staying at a healthy weight can help slow osteoarthritis down (as it tends to get worse over time).
Improved mental health
There’s evidence that people who were overweight and after losing some weight they see an improvement in their mental health.
Reduced risk of depression
Being overweight can put you at risk of mental health conditions like depression. Making healthier food choices can help to improve your mental health.
Increased self-esteem and confidence
For lots of people, losing weight can help them to feel more confident and boost their self-esteem. If you’re more active thanks to your weight loss programme, this can also release chemicals into the body which boost confidence, leaving you feeling happier and less self-conscious.
Diet and your mood
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can really help boost your mood and energy levels.
Not a miracle cure
With all that being said, we do have to be a bit careful when we say losing weight will improve your mental health. The majority of people will see the positives, but some people might find their mental health gets worse. Losing lots of weight, getting attention and praise, can tip some people into an unhealthy attitude toward their body image, diet and weight.
Better sex life
Having more self-esteem and confidence can really help your boost your sex life. Being self-conscious over your body image can mean you don’t feel like getting undressed or being intimate with someone, and it can have an impact on your libido. By losing weight you might find that your libido improves.
Less erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a condition which impacts a man’s ability to get an erection and maintain it long enough for sex. Losing weight if you’re overweight, can improve erectile dysfunction, making you less likely to experience it.
Positive impact on fertility
Being a healthy weight is important if you’re thinking about having a baby. Actually, being overweight or underweight can impact fertility, for both men and women.
If you have a high BMI (body mass index), bringing it down by just a couple of points can help improve your chances of conceiving.
For men, being overweight can impact the quality of their sperm. For women, being overweight can disrupt your menstrual cycle. This might make it harder to predict when you’re fertile and the best time to try and conceive.
Being overweight and pregnant can put you at higher risk of problems in pregnancy. Expectant mothers with high BMIs are at a higher risk of:
- Blood clots
- Gestational diabetes
- Long labour or needing an emergency caesarean
- Premature baby
- Heavy bleeding post-birth
Having said that, if you’re pregnant and have a high BMI, it’s not advised you diet or try to limit foods. So, it’s best to try and lose weight before getting pregnant, if you need to.
Help with losing weight
Here at Online Doctor, we’re here to provide advice and support on your weight loss journey. We have a range of weight loss and lifestyle advice articles, filled with top tips from our clinicians. We can also help with weight loss treatments if you’re medically suitable. Read our guide to medicated weight loss here.