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There’s no denying there are many health benefits of weight loss, but losing weight also has emotional benefits, which are, in many cases, even more, significant as a motivator to lose weight and keep it off.
Yesterday on Facebook, I asked, “What would you say the emotional benefits of being a healthy weight are?”
Confidence came out as the number one benefit.
Feeling generally happier was also up there.
Other suggested benefits were empowerment, or knowing you’ve accomplished something you set your mind to, as well as improved self-esteem.
Today again on Facebook, I asked whether the emotional benefits of weight loss outweigh the health benefits.
I love how Sandra put it when she said, anytime she has started a weight loss program, it was an emotional event that motivated her to start.
What happens, however, is that once your body starts to change and you feel better physically, your emotional state improves as well. I think the two feed off each other. So to answer your question, I do not believe psychological benefits outweigh the health benefits. I think they are pretty much even!
I’d say that’s pretty bang on!
Here are 3 of the main emotional benefits of weight loss:
1. Improved Confidence
My mini Facebook poll proves that the confidence you get when you lose weight is one of the most important factors for people.
This isn’t surprising in a day and age when many seem to think it’s okay, or even funny, to ridicule a person just because of their size.
But, it’s not just passersby who are guilty of criticizing overweight people. If you are overweight, you can probably look back to times when you said or thought things about yourself that were extremely critical. These thoughts do nothing for your confidence levels.
For many, losing weight helps them to get over feelings of being self-conscious in a large group, when they can stop worrying that they’ll be the fattest person in the room, for example.
In short, getting to your target weight can give you the confidence to stop putting yourself down, once and for all.
2. Greater Sense Of Happiness
It’s not that thin people are happy, and fat people aren’t. Certainly not!
However, sometimes, when you feel unhealthy, there is something in your life that is somewhat unbalanced, and this can lead to sadness and even depression.
So, by taking time to focus on yourself — as dieting requires you to — your sense of happiness will improve, with weight loss being an added benefit.
Working out and dieting usually goes hand-in-hand. And, exercise is known to be a powerful tool for improving mood, too.
So, if you are exercising, you will likely experience a mood boost because of exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the body, which can alter your mood and make you feel happier.
3. Ability To Cope Without A Food Crutch
We all know that food is not an acceptable way to deal with problems. However, that’s easy to say, but much more challenging to execute in the real world.
The great thing is, though, that when you follow a balanced weight loss program, it can help you learn how to express your emotions in other ways, rather than turning to food as a crutch.
With help and support, that emotional crutch of turning to food as a coping mechanism will fade, and you can begin to learn new ways of expressing yourself without food.
I’m not saying all the feelings you struggle with because you were overweight will vanish overnight if you lose weight.
But, weight loss is a journey, and often as you learn to put your health first, you begin to experience changes in your mindset, too, which ultimately lead to a more happy, content, and emotionally balanced you.
Often it’s about not only losing weight but emotional baggage, too.
“The time has come to lay that baggage down and leave behind all the struggling and striving. You can be set free as you journey forward into a balanced healthy and rewarding future.” – Sue Augustine
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Last article update: 4/29/2019