Losing weight is a major achievement that comes with many benefits, but some changes affect more than your body.

If you’re in the midst of losing weight or have reached your target goal, you need to focus on all the positive outcomes and yet be aware of the challenges that might crop up.


  1. Rise in anxiety

    Often people who lose a lot of weight find that the pressure to keep it off is sometimes greater than it was to lose it in the first place. That can create anxiety and even lead to an element of self-sabotage.

    When people begin to lose weight, one hindering concern may be how people will treat them once they're thinner. There’s also anxiety over what people may think of them if the weight is gained back.
  2. Changing relationships
    If a person is in a negative environment and not getting positive reinforcement for their healthy goals by the people around them, relationships may change or end with a spouse, partner or friends. That can be due to jealousy from those close, or people who were comfortable with the way you were, even though they knew it wasn’t healthy.
    However, there can also be positive scenarios. If your new lifestyle and goals match or inspire your spouse or friends, relationships can improve. There could be more common interests and time spent together going for a run or to the gym.
    Be prepared for either scenarios.

  3. Skin may sag

    If you lose a lot of weight, especially rapidly, chances are you’ll have loose skin. Sometimes the only solution is cosmetic fixes.
    Rather than focusing on the loose skin, try to remember the benefits that came with it that go beyond aesthetic changes.
    Losing weight can help prolong life, reduce the need for some medications, improve energy, mood, sleep and optimism about the future. Remember you took on a big challenge and won. That dedication and success can be applied to other areas of your life.
  4. Bone-density debate

    Some research claims that when a person carries extra weight, that can make their bones denser.
    However, other studies have shown that if you’re overweight and not eating nutritiously, you may leach minerals such as calcium and phosphorus out of your bones and be more prone to osteoporosis.   
  5. Depression debate
    You may read articles that say if you have depression, it will remain even if you reach a goal like weight loss.
    However, it’s important to remember that one of the benefits of exercise is the release of endorphins and dopamine, the feel-good hormones.
    How you feel about your body also has a lot to do with your mood. As you shed weight, it makes you feel better about yourself. Often, people who are beginning to lose weight are more inclined to work out in social settings such as group classes or with a partner because they’re not as self-conscious about exercising in front of others.

Positive outcomes

  1. Energy increases

    Once your body is operating closer to ideal weight, you can feel the benefits of increased activity levels and better cognitive abilities. You’re not working as hard to do the same tasks as those who are overweight.
    Your metabolism picks up, your adrenal glands function better and hormone production starts to correct itself.
  2. Improved sleep
    When you’re overweight, your body is searching for balance and working hard. By the end of the day, you may be chronically tired but unable to fall asleep or reach deep sleep.
    Losing weight can improve that, as well as impact sleep apnea. Your diaphragm will work better, especially when you’re lying on your back, so your airways are staying open and you can breathe better.
  3. Healthy prevention
    The No. 1 markers for cardiovascular diseases and cancer are related to body fat percentage. By losing weight, you’re lowering markers for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease and many forms of cancer.
  4. Fertility boost
    There are many reasons people may experience problems conceiving a child and weight can play a role.
    Studies have shown that women who are extremely overweight may have more trouble getting pregnant, plus, there’s more risk while carrying a child because of that extra weight.
    You’re also going to gain weight during the pregnancy, so having a healthy weight prior to conceiving will help and also make it easier to lose the weight afterward.
  5. Spending less on clothes
    This is one area many people don’t think about. When you’re overweight, your closets are likely full of clothes that don’t fit anymore or are styles that hide your body.
    When you lose weight, there’s a satisfaction in the simplicity of choosing what to wear because it fits, and you feel good and comfortable with your body.

The bottom line is that losing weight is great, but keeping it off is even better. Make sure you’re prepared for the benefits and challenges. Consult a professional, build your support group and acknowledge that it’s a long road for weight loss to be sustainable.