The Benefits and Challenges of Big Weight Loss Goals

Dr. Christopher McGowan
April 9, 2021

Imagine walking in the door at the end of a long trip and dropping your bags on the floor. Just letting go of all that weight feels amazing. If you are significantly overweight, you might wish you could drop 50 pounds of body weight as easily as you let go of your luggage. 

If you have been struggling with extra body fat, it may seem like a tall order to drop 10 pounds, let alone try to target a 50-pound weight loss. Getting rid of that much extra baggage might seem like a ticket to paradise, but losing that much weight can create some problems as well as benefits. 

What Happens to Your Body After Losing 50 Pounds?

Dropping 50 pounds can have dramatic effects on your body. You are likely to sleep better, especially if you were suffering from sleep apnea. Your cholesterol and blood pressure are likely to drop, and surprising things like memory function and the health of your eyes may even improve. 

Many of the most dramatic changes your body will go through after dropping a lot of excess weight happen under the hood. The positive effects on your cardiovascular health are striking, even if this isn’t a benefit you can see in the mirror. As you lose weight, many of the chemical processes that keep your body going start to improve. 

Even at the beginning of your weight loss journey, your blood glucose numbers are likely to begin improving. This improvement will only be more dramatic if you are cutting empty carbs and filling the space in your diet with veggies, whole grains, and other healthy foods. It may seem like a stretch to think about cutting foods you love from your diet early on, but research has shown there is a surprising benefit to losing weight when it comes to what you eat. 

As you lose weight, your body will start reacting differently to food. Many people have even indicated that foods that used to be appealing no longer are. As this process continues, keeping to your daily calorie goal may get even easier. This is great news in your quest to reach a healthy weight.

Dropping large amounts of weight will make it feel in some ways like you have been given a new body. Activities that would have seemed impossible before may be far more attainable. This includes cardio exercises like running or cycling. This is good news, too, as there is a sneaky trick your metabolism will start to play on you as you lose weight. 

The more mobile you can be, the more you will need to be up and moving. If extra weight had previously kept you living a sedentary lifestyle, it will be important not to fall back into old habits. Your metabolism can slow down since your body no longer has to work as hard to move around or maintain as much body mass. If you do not offset this natural slow-down in your metabolism with extra activity, you could find yourself facing unwanted weight gains that can undo much of your hard work in losing weight. 

Another invisible benefit of weight loss comes from lowering your cancer risk. Studies have shown that carrying excess body weight can significantly increase your likelihood of several forms of cancer. This is particularly true for individuals who maintain a large amount of abdominal fat. Increased pressure on your internal organs and the added stress of chronic inflammation, both linked to obesity, can take a toll on your body. Losing this weight can dramatically lower your risk that more serious health problems develop down the road. 

If you have lost large amounts of body fat, it is likely you will have some extra skin. Stretch marks and sagging skin can often be left behind as reminders of large amounts of belly fat. It is also likely that you will feel colder after you lose a large portion of your body’s insulation. 

Will Losing 50 Pounds Cause Loose Skin?

If you drop large amounts of weight, especially from quick reductions in belly fat, it is possible you will have some extra skin left behind. Prolonged periods of obesity can stretch your skin, eventually damaging the collagen and elastin that help keep your skin tight. When this happens, your skin may lose the ability to retract as you lose weight. 

Other factors such as age, exposure to the sun, and even lifestyle factors like smoking can all affect your skin’s ability to adjust to your changing size as you lose weight. 

There are very few proven ways to tighten or firm up skin that has become damaged by years of being stretched to accommodate excess body weight. Many solutions fall under the heading of eating habits and lifestyle changes you should be considering anyway including:

  • staying hydrated
  • keeping high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • increasing your protein intake
  • getting enough vitamins and minerals

Other solutions such as taking collagen supplements or using firming creams that contain extra collagen and elastin are widely touted on the internet, but finding solid science behind these claims is difficult. It is best to recognize that, just like losing weight in the first place, there are very few shortcuts. Your best bet is to do your best to maintain overall health and eat a healthy, nutritious, balanced diet to give your whole body the best chance at repairing itself after being overweight. 

People who have found that losing a lot of weight has left them with a large amount of excess skin will sometimes opt for plastic surgery to remove it. Getting rid of excess skin is more than just a cosmetic decision in some cases. Having folds of sagging skin can present a hygienic concern, as infections and other skin conditions can form in folds of loose skin. 

Healthy Weight Loss Takes Work

The most important thing to remember is that you are very unlikely to lose a large amount of extra body weight, and even less likely to keep it off, unless you have a plan you can stick to. Maintaining a lifestyle that supports sustained weight loss is no easy task, and keeping on track with dieting and lifestyle changes takes a lot of willpower and maybe a little help. 

Carrying around a large amount of weight is a serious risk to your health. It doesn’t make much sense to put yourself in a new position of risk just trying to stay thin. Establishing a plan and building the new habits that will allow you to lose extra weight in a sustained, healthy manner is important if you are going to avoid the fluctuations in weight that can only cause more health problems. 

At True You Weight Loss, we are committed to helping you lose weight in a healthy manner. Our goal is not to help you just drop pounds quickly, but to help you find the freedom from extra weight that can last your entire life. We will work with you to find realistic goals and ways to achieve them. This can involve steps as dramatic as minimally invasive weight loss procedures, or something like our medical nutrition therapy program to help you build the skills and habits needed to make permanent lifestyle changes and healthy eating a reality. 

It is also important to remember that you may not be able to hit the mark you have set for yourself the first time. This is no reason to stop trying, though. Sustained weight loss can be difficult, and finding the solution that works for you may take a little experimentation. If you are making your first serious attempt at weight loss, or if you have tried to lose weight before without success, request a consultation with True You today. Weight loss can be difficult alone, but finding the freedom from excess body weight makes it worth the fight.  

Dr. Christopher McGowan
Dr. Christopher McGowan
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