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The Big Benefits of Losing a Little Weight

Here are some of the health benefits that come from losing small amounts of weight.

If you're overweight, losing as little as 5-10% of your weight can provide major health benefits. You don't need to reach an "ideal" weight or lose dozens of pounds to see improvements in various factors affecting your health. Small weight losses have been shown to reduce the risk of many illnesses linked to obesity.

Here are some of the health benefits that can come from a 5-10% reduction in weight:

  • Heart. Lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Diabetes. A 10-pound weight loss can reduce your chance of getting diabetes by 60%.
  • Joints. Every pound you lose takes 3-4 pounds of pressure off your knees.
  • Cancer. Excess body fat causes more than 100,000 cases of cancer annually.

In addition to lowering your disease risk, you'll likely also find that losing even small amounts of weight can increase energy levels, improve sleep and boost self-confidence.

Here's an idea of how much a 5-10% weight loss adds up to, depending on your current weight:

Current Weight

Pounds to Lose

New Weight

140 lbs

7 - 14

126 - 133 lbs

160 lbs

8 - 16

144 - 152 lbs

180 lbs

9 - 18

162 - 171 lbs

200 lbs

10 - 20

180 - 190 lbs

220 lbs

11 - 22

198 - 209 lbs

240 lbs

12 - 24

216 - 228 lbs

Instead of focusing on how you're going to achieve the "perfect" weight this year – or giving up before you start because the thought of how far you have to go seems too difficult – just focus on how you're going to lose the first 10 pounds. Setting smaller and more attainable goals can help you be more successful at long-term weight loss and will also help you achieve health benefits along the way.


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Date Last Reviewed: November 30, 2017
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD
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