When many of us think of weight loss health benefits, it’s the reduced risk of many chronic conditions that come to mind. That said, there is a lot more to it than the already sizeable advantages of reducing your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.
Weight Loss Health Benefits Are Greater Than You Know
It is definitely beneficial to lower your risk of serious chronic medical conditions, and it’s great that those are some of the weight loss health benefits that are better known. That said, there are many other advantages you can enjoy from dropping even 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.
According to a recent CNN report citing Kaiser Permanente Colorado physician Dr. Adam Tsai, who is also a spokesperson for the Obesity society, there are several less-obvious effects to appearance and reduced risk of chronic disease that people don’t typically talk about when they discuss losing bodyweight.
Note: for the purposes of this article, the weight loss health benefits being discussed have to do with reduced bodyweight among people who are overweight or have obesity. Losing weight is not necessarily healthy for everyone. If you are uncertain as to whether your bodyweight is ideal for your wellness, speak with a licensed healthcare provider.
5 Weight Loss Health Benefits You Might Never Have Heard of
The following are 5 weight loss health benefits that are exceptionally common but frequently go unmentioned by those who reduce their bodyweight.
1 – Improved Energy Levels
One of the very first things many people discover when they start reducing their bodyweight is that their energy levels feel particularly high. According to Dr. Tsai, there are many reasons to explain this, from improved oxygen efficiency to simply reducing the number of pounds you’re carrying around with each movement every day.
2 – Better Memory
A 2013 study conducted in Sweden found that after six months on a weight loss plan, older women scored measurably better on memory tests. Those tests also showed greater brain activity during the encoding process – where memories are formed – and less brain activity during the retrieval of memories – suggesting that recall is occurring with greater efficiency.
3 – Nutritious Foods Taste Better
A Stanford University study recently showed that following weight loss through bariatric surgery, 87 percent of patients reported that they experienced a change in their sense of taste. About half of the affected patients said that foods tasted sharper. The more pounds the patients lost, the greater this weight loss health benefit seemed to be. The study’s authors did not determine exactly why this happened. Still, this could mean that as you continue to lose, the nutritious foods you initially considered to be rather bland will start to taste far more flavorful and enjoyable, and you won’t need to rely on salty, sugary, or highly fatty foods to reach flavor satisfaction.
4 – Exercise is More Fun
When your body is lighter, it’s easier on the joints, muscles, heart and lungs to move around. Therefore, a common weight loss health benefit is that as pounds are lost, exercise starts to feel less like hard work and more like something fun to do. It is also easier to develop strength and speed as you lose pounds. It is estimated that for every pound lost, an athlete can reduce the length of time it takes to run a mile by two seconds!
5 – Initial Mood Improvements
Overcoming depression is not typically listed among common weight loss health benefits. However, many people do enjoy mood improvements, particularly as their energy levels rise. They can be temporary, or – if healthy habits such as regular physical activity are maintained over time – they can be sustainable.