Professional Support & Guidance
Surprising Benefits of Losing Weight
More than just looking better, losing weight can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life and lifespan.
A multi-billion dollar industry, the topic of weight loss (and how to keep it off) is one of the most Googled in the world. It also happens to be one of the most perplexing, as more people are trying to lose weight and fewer are actually losing it.
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 3% increase in Americans “who said they were on diets,” They also found the prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5% to 41.9%. Furthermore, the CDC reported that severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.
What Makes Losing Weight SOOO Hard?
The diet and exercise culture is so engrained into the American way of thinking that the dynamic duo is often considered the primary way to lose weight. Can diet and exercise lead to weight loss? Certainly.
Unfortunately, diet and exercise are rarely enough for patients to achieve sustained weight loss. This is because diet and weight loss do not address the cause of weight gain. They only treat the symptoms, which means patients are battling against their own bodies.
There are a variety of key factors that can make it extremely difficult to lose weight. These include, but are not limited to:
- Metabolic Markers
- Hormone Imbalances
- Physiological Markets
- Excess Stress
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Poor or Lack of Sleep
10 Benefits of Losing Weight that May Surprise People
For many, losing weight is about that little black dress or feeling confident at the beach. But slimming down has more benefits than smaller pants. Long-term weight loss can lead to some surprising (and often undiscussed) benefits.
1. Getting a Raise
While the discrimination is infuriating, data shows that a higher body mass index (BMI) contributes to lower socioeconomic status. In a 2016 study conducted by the UK Biobank, women with a higher BMI were found to have completed less education, have lower household incomes, and have lower odds of working in a skilled profession.
Another 2016 study conducted by the University of Surrey and the University of Oxford found that perceived attractiveness played a substantial role in landing a good job. The study found that individuals with a lower BMI had a higher level of perceived attractiveness and statistically higher wages.
2. Reduced Appetite
There’s an old adage that to lose weight is to be hungry. And for some, that may be the case. But a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endrocrinology & Metabolism found that losing weight — specifically belly fat — could actually help reduce appetite.
Ghrelin is a hormone the body naturally produces to help trigger hunger signals. The study found that those who lost weight had lower fasting ghrelin levels.
3. Sharper Cognitive Skills
Can a slimmer body lead to a smarter brain? Research suggests it can. In a 2017 study, researchers evaluated the correlation between body weight and the academic performance of university students. Results showed that healthy body weight and increased academic performance were tightly linked.
4. Better Sleep
What if sleeping more could actually help you lose weight and sleep better? In a 2022 randomized trial published by JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that more sleep leads to more weight loss. Participants who increased their sleep by roughly 1.5 hours a night lost approximately 1 pound in two weeks (or 2 pounds a month).
Furthermore, the more you lose weight, the better your sleep becomes. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine found that losing weight helped increase both the total amount of sleep and the quality of sleep.
5. Lower Alcohol Tolerance
It’s fairly common knowledge that those who drink more often have a higher BMI. But what’s often not talked about is how a lower BMI makes it harder for a body to absorb as much alcohol. With less mass, the body is slower to absorb and tolerate alcohol, meaning skinnier individuals traditionally have a lower alcohol tolerance.
6. Reduced Cancer Risk
Most people are likely aware that things like tanning beds and cigarettes increase their risk of getting cancer. But few individuals realize that excess body weight is also linked to cancer.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “being overweight or having obesity are linked with a higher risk of getting 13 types of cancer.” Furthermore, these 13 types of cancers make up 40% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States each year.
7. Healthier Skin
Losing weight with a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables promotes a healthier complexion. According to researchers, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption can deliver noticeably better skin within six weeks of optimizing a patient’s diet.
8. Increased Passion for Exercise
Excess weight can make working out extremely uncomfortable. Obesity can heighten a burning sensation in the lungs during heavy exertion.
Those extra pounds can put an unnatural strain on the body’s ligaments, joints, and bones. But as the weight comes off, exercise can feel fun, rather than a painful chore. Plus, the endorphins produced during exercise deliver an emotional high that can make it, dare we say, addicting.
Furthermore, research shows that exercise plays an essential role in “cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity, glycemic control of type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and depression scores.” All of these factors help with weight maintenance and overall well-being.
9. Increased Sex Drive
A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found a direct correlation between lower BMI and increased testosterone levels. Losing weight can boost testosterone levels, helping to increase desire.
Additionally, the sexier someone feels, the more they tend to desire sex. In a recent study, ‘The Relationship Between Body Image and Sexual Function in Middle-Aged Women,’ researchers found that “women with a positive body image had higher sexual functional valuation.”
10. People May Be Nicer
While it’s an incredibly sad and unacceptable circumstance in our society, there is no denying that body size plays a role in how people are treated. Namely, people who are thinner tend to be treated better.
In a 2020 article published by MIT Sloan Management Review, researchers found, “consistent evidence that heavy (versus thinner) job applicants are more likely to experience subtle forms of discrimination.” Why does this happen? Psychological scientists Emma Levine and Maurice Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania believe it correlates to the perception of competence.
Levine and Schweitzer argue that this negative bias may be based on people’s beliefs that obese individuals are lazy or lack self-control. People may see obesity as a character flaw or a choice—leading them to unfairly associate obesity with low competence.
3 Strategies to Support Weight Loss Goals (that ACTUALLY WORK!)
It doesn’t matter how you slice it, losing weight isn’t a cake walk. It’s hard. It takes commitment. And, more often than not, it requires a good support system.
1. Work with a Medically Supervised Weight Loss Provider to Identify & Treat the Underlying Cause of Weight Gain
One of the biggest problems with the ‘diet’ industry is that it typically want’s to find a one-size-fits-all golden solution. It promises quick results, with minimal effort — that can often be achieved without drastic lifestyle changes. Furthermore, the ‘diets’ are typically not sustainable. Meaning, when individuals revert back to their previous lifestyle, they regain the weight (and then some).
Medically Supervised Weight Loss is a personalized approach to losing weight. It involves a thorough evaluation to identify any imbalances or deficiencies that could be hindering weight loss goals. Patients also undergo a thorough historical evaluation that looks at both their past and any family history.
Working directly with each patient, naturopathic doctors help them develop a highly customized weight loss plan. Each plan is tailored to a patient’s specific goals, lifestyle, and medical needs.
2. Use Weight Loss Incentives
Whether you believe every kid should get a trophy or not, there’s no denying that rewards can be an effective motivator. And, science has proven this to be true. In a 2021 mega study published in Nature, researchers found that even just a few pennies could increase your chances of losing weight.
The key is to find weight loss rewards that work for you. Sure, a cookie may be something you want. But it also may not support your weight loss goals. To get the creative juices flowing, check out our list of 53 weight loss incentives that don’t involve food!
3. Celebrate Non-Scale Victories
Make no mistake about it, the number on the scale can be a big motivator. But when that number isn’t changing, the scale can also become an enemy that derails weight loss goals.
Non-scale victories (aka NSV) help change this phenomenon by celebrating the way that losing weight and getting healthy enhances the overall well-being of a patient. Research shows that celebrating NSVs — especially publicly on social media — can help motivate weight loss patients to make positive and sustained changes.
22 Non-Scale Victories to Celebrate
An NSV is a small or big life improvement that is achieved through lifestyle changes. These NSVs may seem small or trivial to those who have never carried excess weight. But for those who are heavyset, overweight or obese, these small life improvements can have a drastic impact on their overall wellbeing.
- A visible collarbone
- Wearing a necklace without choking
- Sizing down a ring size
- Wrapping a bath towel around your body
- Shopping in regular stores
- Shopping in your own closet
- Being light enough to go skydiving, horseback riding, ziplining, etc.
- Not asking for a seatbelt extender on an airplane
- Being able to lower the tray on an airplane
- Finishing a workout with stopping for a break
- Receiving compliments
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased confidence
- Increased energy
- Boosted sex drive
- Better orgasms
- Improved mood
- Bigger eyes
- Smaller wrists
- Inspiring others
- Enjoying new foods
- Improved mental strength
Get Professional Support
Going it alone is a tough road. Losing weight requires support and often professional guidance. Our Medically Supervised Weight Loss program offers a personalized approach to losing weight and keeping it off for good.