7 Unexpected Benefits of Losing Weight

If you’ve ever set a resolution to lose weight, you’re definitely not alone. Maintaining an optimal weight not only helps to prevent serious diseases, but it also can have some unexpected perks. Here are seven benefits of losing weight that tend to fly under the radar.

1. You might stop snoring

Roughly half of adults snore on occasion, and a quarter are habitual snorers, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Snoring occurs when something obstructs the air flowing through the nose or mouth. And one reason for that interruption of air could be excess weight.

“People who are overweight have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep,” according to Harvard Health. Losing weight can have a significant impact on snoring and sleep apnea — even to the point of stopping it completely.

2. Food might taste better

A woman eats a salad.

For years, researchers have known that obese people often have a weakened sense of taste. Because of that, they consume more food to feel satisfied. And a new study might explain why. Cornell researchers found obese mice fed a high-fat diet had a substantial loss of taste buds, compared to mice on a healthy diet. They also fed another group the high-fat diet but controlled inflammation in their bodies. Even though those mice gained weight, they kept their taste buds.

Thus, the study suggested “that chronic low-grade inflammation brought on by obesity reduces the number of taste buds … and is likely the cause of taste dysfunction seen in obese populations.” But because taste buds are constantly replacing themselves, it’s likely that controlling inflammation — or losing weight — is key to sharpening a person’s sense of taste.

3. You could save some money

According to a study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the medical expenses associated with obese and overweight adults in the United States are a whopping $210 billion per year. And that’s not even factoring in productivity losses, such as missed days of work. It affects businesses, the economy and even medical insurance premiums for healthy people.

The good news is losing weight could seriously benefit your bank account, as well as society at large. The study found a 20-year-old going from obese to overweight would save an average of $17,655 over their life, and if they went from obese to a healthy weight they’d save $28,020. Furthermore, a 40-year-old going from obese to overweight would save on average $18,262, and going from obese to healthy they’d save $31,447. Talk about incentive to shed some pounds.

4. Brain function might improve

Research has shown obesity is associated with impaired memory. But thankfully it seems the reverse is true, as well.

One study followed older, overweight women as they lost weight through healthy dieting. “After weight loss, brain activity reportedly increased during memory encoding in the brain regions that are important for identification and matching of faces,” according to the Endocrine Society. The brain also worked more efficiently to retrieve episodic memories.

5. Your energy could increase

Two people run outside.

Overweight people have a lot stacked against them when it comes to energy. The excess weight puts stress on the body, causing it to exert more energy to function. Also, obesity has been linked to a reduction in the quality and quantity of sleep — further draining energy.

But losing weight — especially belly fat — can improve sleep quality, according to a Johns Hopkins study. Overweight and obese participants were divided into two groups: one that dieted and exercised and another that just dieted. Both groups lost an average of 15 pounds and equally improved their sleep quality, showing that weight loss plays a huge role in recharging our batteries.

6. You might get a raise or promotion

Weight-related bullying is a huge issue for children. And that unfortunately carries well into adulthood, especially in the workplace. “Compared to their thinner colleagues, people who are overweight are less likely to be hired, less likely to be promoted, and ultimately earn lower wages,” the Association for Psychological Science says. One study found employers rated obese candidates less suitable for a job compared to average-weight candidates, regardless of their qualifications.

While some employers are turning to blind hiring practices to try to eliminate bias, those who maintain a healthy weight still likely have an advantage until weight discrimination is fully illegal in the workplace.

7. You’ll be less susceptible to chronic conditions

Sometimes we forget that losing weight isn’t just for looking and feeling better in the moment. People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious diseases. And by losing weight, we can greatly cut down on that risk.

These are just some health conditions associated with being overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cancer
  • Mental illness

So by losing weight, you won’t just improve your quality of life in the short term. You’ll be giving your body a gift for years to come.

Main image credit: Darunechka/Thinkstock

59 comments

Ruth S
Ruth S12 hours ago

Thanks.

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Shirley S
Shirley S2 days ago

A good motivational .

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Christine Stewart

Let's aim to eat better and move more- and not stress out as much about what the scale says!

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tammy C
tammy C3 days ago

and you feel better

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Daniel N
Daniel N3 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R3 days ago

Thanks for posting.

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Lesa D
Lesa D3 days ago

thank you Mary...

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Amanda M

thanks for sharing

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Amanda M

thanks for sharing

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David C
David C3 days ago

thanks

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