Health Benefits of Losing Weight


If you’re carrying excess weight, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three-quarters of American adults are overweight, and about 43% of those are obese. 

Unfortunately, being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing many serious health conditions, including multiple forms of heart disease, cancer, liver disease, infertility, mental health disorders, and cancer.   

The good news is that losing weight can reduce your risk of developing various diseases and improve your health at the same time. At Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our care team offers personalized weight-loss coaching to help you lose weight and restore your health. 

Our team also believes in the power of patient education. We know that when you understand how your choices impact your health, you’re more likely to make decisions that benefit your overall well-being. 

With that in mind, take a moment to learn about several important health benefits of losing weight.    

1. Improve your cholesterol levels

Being overweight or obese is linked to having higher LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. By losing even a small amount of weight, such as 5-10 pounds or 1-3% of your bodyweight, you can improve your cholesterol numbers. And this, in turn, can lower your risk of developing a host of health problems, such as heart disease and gallbladder disease.  

2. Reduce your blood pressure

Losing even just a few pounds can help lower your blood pressure, which is good news, because this “silent killer” contributes to or causes more than 500,000 American deaths every year. Studies show that if you have high blood pressure, you can reduce your numbers by a point for every pound lost.

3. Prevent or reverse Type 2 diabetes

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which makes up about 95% of all cases of diabetes in the United States. The good news is that by shedding the extra pounds and maintaining a healthy weight, your blood sugar levels can stay under control. This means you can prevent or reverse Type 2 diabetes simply by losing weight.  

4. Lower your cancer risk

Being overweight increases your risk of developing many kinds of cancer, and the more overweight you are, the greater your risk. Researchers believe this is linked to the inflammation, increase in abnormal cell and blood vessel growth, elevated insulin levels, and hormone imbalances that can result from being overweight. 

By losing weight, you can reduce your risk of developing most cancers, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancers
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Keep in mind that while some types of cancer have a stronger link to excess body weight than others, losing weight lowers your risk for most cancers. 

5. Boost your mood

Studies have found a direct link between being overweight and having mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Mental health is complex, and losing weight won’t necessarily “cure” you of depression or other disorders. However, studies show that losing weight can increase your overall mood, self-confidence, and outlook. 

6. Get better sleep (and the health benefits it brings!)

Countless studies support the fact that being overweight or obese increases your risk of having poor quality sleep. By losing weight, you can improve your sleep, which, in turn, can help you feel more rested, have a better mood, and feel more energized. Furthermore, losing weight can also help reduce your chances of developing certain conditions that can affect sleep, such as:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Asthma
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Are you ready to get on the path to better health with personalized weight-loss coaching? To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.

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