There's nothing wrong with loving your body, regardless of your size. In fact, research consistently shows that body shame can actually cause you to gain weight. If you've given up on weight loss because it seems to hard, though, think again. Weight loss does a lot more than just sculpt your body and get your doctor off of your back. It also yields tangible health benefits – including many you probably don't know about!
1. Better mental health
Research consistently shows that people who maintain healthy body weights also have lower rates of depression and anxiety. The steps you take to lose weight can also improve your mental health. Exercise, according to some studies, is just as effective as an anti-depressant, and research has repeatedly shown that physical activity can reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Likewise, the right diet can add up to major mental health gains. Junk food clouds your mind and inhibits your ability to sleep, and too much sugar can undermine memory, depress mood, and even lower your IQ.
2. Less pain
Chronic pain can destroy even the most optimistic of minds, and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety frequently yield chronic pain. You don't have to undergo surgery to get rid of the pain, though. Losing weight means less pressure on your joints, and strength training strengthens your muscles, thus reducing muscle tension and pain.
3. Better sex
Research has consistently shown that people who maintain healthy body weights have stronger libidos and more active sex lives. This is likely due to an increase in self-esteem coupled with a better physical ability to keep up with the demands of sex. Losing weight can help you enjoy sex more, and an enjoyable sex life can reduce your risk of depression, help you cope with chronic medical conditions, and even prolong your life.
4. Improved cardiovascular health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Save yourself from this dangerous killer by maintaining a healthy body weight. Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure and pulse while improving circulation, thus reducing your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. By eating a healthy diet, you also reduce your bad cholesterol numbers. And losing weight in and of itself reduces the pressure on your heart, since your heart won't have to work as hard to pump blood through a smaller body.
5. Better sleep
Sleep may just be the magic key to good health. It can make you smarter, improve your mood, boost the quality of your sex life, and even help you live longer. Being overweight makes it harder to get a good night's sleep. Issues like sleep apnea, weight-related aches and pains, and the stress of having an unhealthy body can all conspire to make good sleep challenging. Exercise, though, is correlated with better, healthier, and longer sleep, not to mention a reduction in nightmares and a decrease in pain during sleep.