30 Little-Known Ways Losing Weight Can Change Your Life
While we may feel as though our lives are pretty mundane, the truth is that humans are ever-evolving; we're always experiencing different things that change who we are and alter our day-to-day lives. And while there's no denying that things like losing a loved one, getting married, and starting a family are big friggin deals, few things are as transformative as losing weight—especially when it's a substantial amount. And that's because, for many, their weight defines how they feel about themselves and how others view them. Our body image dictates how we interact with others, how confident we feel, and impacts how healthy we feel going about our day-to-day lives. So, while you've likely mentally prepared yourself for some of the changes synonymous with slimming down (i.e. buying new pants), there are a number of things—some good and some sort of strange—you may have never realized come along with a trimmer figure. Read on to discover 30 who-knew consequences of shedding the pounds—and while you're at it, check out these 20 Ways to Keep Off the Weight Forever to maintain your hot new bod for life!
YOU MAY GET A RAISE
Infuriating but true: Your boss may treat you better after you've slimmed down. Obese people, especially women, make about 2.5 percent less than their normal-weight co-workers, according to a study in Health Economics. While that may not sound too astronomical, that's the difference of making $60,000 per year versus $61,500. That's enough extra cash to go on a vacation or buy a fancy designer bag! Dropping down to a healthy weight may also up your odds of landing a promotion, according to a recent University of Surrey and University of Oxford report. The psychologists behind the study discovered that weight and perceived attractiveness both play a big factor when it comes to whether or not someone will land their dream job or score a promotion. Basically, they have found that the heavier the person, the lower their odds. It gets worse: If you're an overweight woman, your chances of career advancement are even lower than your male counterparts.
YOU MAY SAY SO LONG TO SEASONAL ALLERGIES
If your eyes used to get itchy every Spring once the flowers begin to bloom, your weight may have been to blame. That's because being overweight can strain the adrenal glands and respiratory system, exacerbating asthma and allergy symptoms. Now that you're trimmer, you may be able to ditch your inhaler and cut back on the seasonal pill popping—just don't do so without speaking with your M.D. first! Still sniffling after you've ditched the meds? Make Eat This, Not That! to Fight Spring Allergies your seasonal bible.
FOOD WILL TASTE BETTER
Get this: After losing weight, your dinner may taste even better. According to a Stanford University study, overweight people have less taste sensitivity than their slimmer counterparts. The experts behind the report say this may be because taste buds become dulled with overuse. Another theory points to hormonal shifts that take place during weight loss, which may change the way taste receptors communicate with the brain. Crazy stuff!
Eat This! Tip
Try healthy foods you never enjoyed before. (Like these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body!) In your trimmer frame, they may become new favorites that can help you maintain your weight loss in the long run.
YOU'LL MAY BE ABLE TO TOSS YOUR MEDS
You already know that reaching a healthy weight can ward off things like heart disease and diabetes, but did you know that losing weight can also help improve the symptoms of your current conditions? That means you might be able to take lower doses of your current medications or stop taking certain meds altogether. (Which will save you tons of cash!) Check in with your M.D. and see what types of changes he or she thinks the slimmer you might benefit from. And for more ways to save money and slim down, check out these 17 Simple Swaps That Save $255 a Month on Groceries.
YOUR SEX DRIVE WILL IMPROVE
Nope, it's not just your imagination. As your BMI dips, you're more easily aroused—and it's all thanks to rising testosterone levels. In one Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism study, heavier men had T-levels comparable to gents nearly a full decade older. You may also feel less self-conscious in the nude, which can increase your desire to get it on, too.
Eat This! Tip
Before you get it on, be sure to check out these 50 Best Foods for Your Penis!
AND YOU'LL ENJOY SEX MORE, TOO
If you thought sex felt great before you lose weight, wait until you go at it in your new, leaner bod! In a Duke University Medical Center survey of 1,210 people of varying weights, obese people were 25 times more likely to report dissatisfaction with their time between the sheets than their leaner counterparts. The best news of all? In the study, a mere 10 percent loss of body weight was shown to skyrocket sexual satisfaction. So, even if you're not quite where you want to be with your physique yet, you can still reap the rewards in the bedroom. And to make your romp even hotter, be sure to nosh on a few of these 15 Foods for the Best Sex Ever!
YOUR JOB WILL SEEM EASIER
Slimmer bod, smarter brain? Maybe. Heavier men have poorer cognitive skills than trimmer men, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. To become even more of a brainiac, nibble on some of these Best Food for Your Brain!
THE COUCH WILL SEEM LESS APPEALING
Before you lost weight, those extra LBs were straining your joints and weighing you down—literally. So it's really no wonder you were tired and craving couch time on the reg. Now that you've shed the weight, however, your joints will probably be less achy and your energy levels will rise, making your oh-so-squishy couch seem less appealing.
YOUR PRIORITIES MAY CHANGE
Dannii Martin, the blogger behind Hungry Healthy Happy, lost a whopping 98 pounds in 18 months after her doc informed her she had developed issues with her heart. In a blog entitled "Losing Weight Did Change Me—I Am Not The Same Person"* she writes: "My priorities have changed. Going out and drinking used to be what my life revolved around and now my life is much more balanced. [My priorities now] include work, good food (sometimes junk, mostly healthy), spending time with the people I love, workouts, and generally being happy. Of course, there are still some parts of my personality that have not changed..but I am different. I completely changed my life." Don't be shocked if you experience a similar shift, too.
YOU'LL SLEEP BETTER
They may seem totally unrelated, but snoring, sleep, and weight loss shares an interesting relationship. Sleep apnea and snoring—which are often caused by excess weight around the neck—can vanish with a weight loss of as little as five percent. So, once you've shed some weight you'll probably sleep better, which can help accelerate your weight loss wins even further! To make the most of your nightly slumber, check out these 30 Things to Do 30 Minutes Before Bed to Lose Weight.
YOU MAY BE MORE CHILLAXED
Fred Lechuga, who pens the blog Fat 2 Fit Fred, used to have horrible road rage prior to shedding an impressive 150-pounds. But, since shedding the weight, he said he's cool as a cucumber. In his post,
"10 Ways How My Life Changed After Losing Over 150 Pounds," he writes: "When I was overweight and behind the wheel, my middle finger was out the window quite a bit when I was going to and from work. (I know, I know, stupid.) Nowadays, my attitude is more like, 'Whatever dude, cut me off, I don't care.' Now some of that may be a result of maturity, but I truly believe I am just a more relaxed person due to my lifestyle changes." While everyone reacts to weight loss different, a more laid back you may just be one of the many perks of your leaner physique!
YOUR MEMORY MAY IMPROVE
If remembering people's names has been a struggle for you most of your life, the extra weight you were carrying around may have been to blame. In one study, women performed better on memory tests after losing weight than they did prior to dropping the pounds. Why? Brain scans revealed that once the women lost weight, there was more activity while they were forming memories and less activity during memory recall, suggesting that carrying around excess pounds may make it more difficult for the brain to work efficiently. To ensure you'll be able to recall vital information late into life, be sure to steer clear of these Fatty Foods That Hurt Your Brain.
YOUR TOLERANCE WILL PLUMMET
When Reddit user Digbybare asked fellow "formerly obese Redditors" to share their "most surprising/unexpected change after losing weight" she received over 3,257 comments! And you can bet we dug through a fair share of them for some insight! In response to the query, MattressCrane writes: "I'm about 50 pounds down since this October, and I notice that any time I drink, I get considerably drunk from unexpectedly small quantities of alcohol. No more nine beers to get buzzed for me. Just another perk, I guess." Fewer calories and fewer dollars spent—definitely a win! Want to learn more about better-for-you booze options? Check out our exclusive guide Eat This, Not That! for Drinkers.
YOU'LL BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE ALL SEASONS
Another common theme among Redditors who have lost weight? Being really cold—like, all the time. Some of them even said that they needed to invest in a good winter coat for the first time in years after their weight loss! And it makes sense; when you lose as little as 10 percent of your body weight, thyroid hormone levels can dip, which can make you feel chilly more often than not, says the director of the Weight Control Center at Columbia University Medical Center Judith Korner. Invest in a coat for the cooler months and keep those sweaters and hoodies on hand around the clock, people!
YOU MAY FIGHT MORE WITH YOUR PARTNER
We already told you that losing weight can improve your sex life, so that must mean becoming a skinny Minnie can improve your romantic relationships, too, right? Not quite. Instead, relationship experts warn that your partner may feel threatened after you've shed the pounds. They may worry that you'll get romantic attention from more people, or they may feel uncomfortable by your new healthy lifestyle—especially if they know they should also make changes to improve their health, too. The important thing is that you don't let friction with your partner dissuade you from maintaining your trimmer figure. Simply being aware that this may happen should help to mentally prepare you and be ready to communicate with your partner about it.
AMUSEMENT PARKS WILL BE MORE FUN
One of the more surprising and funny responses on the Reddit forum we came across came from user Justcallmezach, who had recently shed a considerable amount of weight: "I was freaking shocked the first time I jumped into a go-kart and flew around the track. I thought they had upgraded the karts, then I just realized that they [go a lot faster] when they're hauling 135 [fewer] pounds."
YOU RISK OF CANCER WILL BE LOWER
While most people know that things, like smoking and getting too much sun, can up their cancer risk, few people realize that obesity is also linked to cancer. (Disease-causing inflammation triggered by obesity is to blame.) That's the bad news. The good news is that levels of inflammation can be lowered by losing just five percent of your body weight, according to a Cancer Research study of postmenopausal women. And a recent study on morbidly obese men who underwent bariatric surgery had similar results. Sounds like a reason to celebrate with one of these delicious weight loss smoothies to us!
YOU'LL BECOME A GYM RAT
When you're carrying around extra pounds, it's not uncommon for workouts to cause a burning sensation in your lungs. It's also not uncommon for your joints to be in a great deal of pain. For this reason, once the weight starts to peel off, exercise will likely start to feel more like fun and less like a chore. Plus, what they say is true: Those feel-good endorphins that flood your bod after a killer Zumba class really are addictive. Not to mention, progress is addicting, too! When you start to lose belly fat and gain strength you'll want to keep going back for more.
YOU WON'T BE AS HUNGRY
While some dieters report feeling hungrier after slimming down, Fatsecret member Deana Garcia writes on the site's message board that that after losing 25 pounds, she "eats much less" and doesn't "feel hungry all the time" like she used to. If we had to guess, that's likely because she eating healthier foods packed with satiety-boosting nutrients like protein and fiber. If you're following a similar slim-down strategy, you can expect to keep your hunger under wraps while eating less and maintaining your trimmer bod.
YOU'LL HAVE MORE SPENDING MONEY
Those who clock in at a healthy weight spend 42 percent less cash on medical bills and health expenses than their overweight peers, according to a Health Affairs report. And they're not just saving a few Benjamins; these skinny minnies are spending $1,429 fewer dollars per year than their heavier counterparts. A second study reports even more staggering statistics: Extremely obese Michigan residents spend 90 percent more on their annual health care than their healthy-weight peers. Eek! More money in your wallet is just another reason to get stoked about a leaner physique.
YOUR HAIR AND SKIN MAY IMPROVE
Reddit user Oppiken said that his complexion cleared up and his hair began looking healthier and "less limp" after dropping weight. Since many nutrients found in healthy foods have beautifying benefits, it's safe to assume his weight loss diet is likely to thank for his improved appearance. Want to lose weight and improve your complexion, too? Add these Healthy Foods That Give You Glowing Skin to your weekly lineup.
YOU FIND OUT WHO YOUR REAL FRIENDS ARE
There's no denying it: When your body changes, so do your relationships. Most of your friends will be happy for you, but it's possible that a handful will be jealous and resentful—especially if your friendship was built on a mutual understanding of what it's like to be overweight. If this happens to you, ask your friend what's up. Tell them that you value their friendship, and ask if you can talk about why they've been acting differently toward you. If they are open to talking about it, you can likely work things out.
YOU'LL SWEAT LESS
When you've overweight, you're essentially wearing a weighted vest in a hot room 24/7—which is no easy feat. (Fat insulates the body and raises core temperature.) This is why obese individuals tend to sweat more than their slimmer counterparts. Before losing weight, Reddit user somebunnylovesyou said that her sweat stains were so bad that she'd have to get to class 15 minutes early to wipe herself down in the bathroom with wet towels. Since dropping the pounds, she's excited to report that says she no longer gets super sweaty and "no longer worries about hugging people."
PEOPLE MAY BE NICER TO YOU
While it's totally not okay, our society puts so much value on being thin—which is why those who are overweight are discriminated against or treated poorly. It's such an issue, in fact, that obesity researchers will often use something called a Fat Phobia Scale—a questionnaire for determining weight bias—to ensure their study results aren't swayed. That said, after you've lost weight, it may feel like you're going about your day-to-day in an alternate universe. People who once snubbed you may greet you with a smile, and people may also do little things like go out of their way to lend you a hand or hold doors for you. "I have lost 120 pounds now, and people treat me so much differently," writes FatSecret message board user girlygirlatheart. User jkessler9508 agrees. "Sad, but true…it seems everyone is nicer to you [after you lose weight.]"
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YOUR ENERGY WILL SKYROCKET
After dropping the pounds, you may have noticed that you had far more energy. It's not just the more nutritious food you're eating, either. Simply put, when you're lugging around less weight, your body uses less energy to keep you alive. Slimming down has also been shown to improve oxygen efficiency, so you likely won't get as winded going up the stairs or looking after your little ones.
PEOPLE WILL COME TO YOU FOR ADVICE
It makes sense: After people see that you've shed the pounds, they'll want to come to you for advice! Be proud that people are looking to you for inspiration and guidance, be open and honest about what worked for you, and share the challenges you had to overcome. It also couldn't hurt to tell them about these 44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat!
YOU'LL BECOME MORE MEMORABLE
After reading through numerous message boards for people who have recently trimmed down, one thing became abundantly clear: They felt others were noticing them more. "When I first lost weight, guys paid me a lot more attention…After being sort of invisible because of my weight, I found it hard to get used to," writes one user. Another user adds, "I lost 100 pounds. The most surprising thing to me was that I don't get mistaken for someone else anymore. When you're 300+ pounds, all people see is the fat. [Many people think that] all fat people look alike."
YOU MAY BECOME MORE JUDGY
"[Since losing weight,] I blow past people on the sidewalks and get impatient with fat people now," writes Reddit user R3solv. "Whenever I see a fat person, I want to tell them there's a better way! But I have to keep my mouth shut since, you know, that [would] just be mean." This_raccoon agrees: "That happened to me, too! I suddenly realized that I was silently judging obese people, especially those with carts full of junk at the grocery store. I don't understand this. As an ex-fat person, shouldn't I actually be more understanding?" If you find yourself being judgemental, take a step back and refocus on your choices—not someone else's.
RELATED: 20 Healthy Fats to Make You Thin
YOU MAY NOT FEEL HOW YOU LOOK
Countless heavy people think that their body confidence will get an immediate boost after they lose weight—but for many, that's not how the story goes. "After losing weight, it took me awhile to be able to feel the way I looked, and I'm still not quite there," admits Fatsecret message board user anna_sankar. "Two years ago, I was 167 pounds and a size 12. Now I'm 120 pounds and wear a size 2 or 4, but I still feel like I should be wearing an 8 or a 10!" She goes on to explain that there's a "huge emotional connection between your exterior and interior." She adds, "It takes time for you to accept your new body. No matter how many people tell you how thin you look, unless you're able to see it for yourself, you're not going to believe them."
YOU'LL MOVE TO THE MOON
—or maybe just live long enough to see someone else settle in up there. A leaner you = a longer life. But hey, you probably already knew that.