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How losing weight boosts your health from head to toe

May 22 2019
Helen Foster
By Helen Foster

You know that slimming down is good for you—but did you know how good? From your memory to your breathing, dropping pounds if you’re overweight can have positive effects all over your body. So let’s take it from the top!

How losing weight boosts your health from head to toe

Brain Not only could maintaining a healthy weight help keep the brain working well as you get older, it could also perk it up—research suggests memory and executive function (the mental processes that help us get things done) can both improve after weight loss.

Heart Slim down and the benefit to your heart is actually visible, say doctors at Washington University School of Medicine. Their study found that losing five to 10 percent of body weight was linked to a decrease in heart size and artery thickness—which are both good news for your heart attack risk.

Breasts If you’re overweight, losing five percent of your body weight or more—and keeping it off—could lower your risk of breast cancer by 25-40 percent.

Lungs Losing five to 10 percent of your weight has been shown to reduce breathlessness and improve lung function. This can make a big difference to your day-to-day life—being able to walk upstairs without getting out of breath sounds simple, but it can be life changing.

Back While being overweight can make you more prone to back pain, slimming down and moving more can help prevent it in the first place. And it can speed up your recovery, as losing weight removes extra pounds that are hard work for our muscles and spine to carry.

Liver Shedding pounds helps prevent fat building up in the liver. If not dealt with, fatty liver can cause scarring and, in more serious cases, lead to liver cancer or liver failure. However, by losing weight, many people are able to reverse damage and restore their liver to its normal state.

Bowel There’s strong evidence that being overweight increases your risk of developing bowel cancer. Being a healthy weight may help protect you, and eating plenty of fruit, veg and whole grains—which you’ll naturally be doing when you’re following Slimming World’s Food Optimizing eating plan—can reduce your risk, too.

Knees If your BMI is 30 or more, you’re more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee. But every pound you lose results in a four-fold reduction in the load you put through the knee. So losing even a small amount of weight can make a big difference to the strain put on your weight-bearing joints.

Feet Carrying excess weight can affect the way you walk—with feet wider apart and toes pointed outwards. This lowers the foot arch, making the feet less stable, and can lead to problems like foot, knee, hip and lower-back pain. The good news? Losing weight can improve symptoms in as little as 12 weeks.

Inspired? You’ll find lots more support and inspiration on our website, helping you to make real, lasting changes and lose weight for life.

This information is intended to provide general knowledge and should not be used to replace a visit with a healthcare provider. You should consult your healthcare provider before beginning, or changing, any weight loss program.