50 pounds is A LOT of weight to lose. The hardest part is often just getting started. But once you’ve made the commitment and started seeing results, it can be an amazing experience.
Moreover, while the physical benefits are great, there are also some “not-so-great” side effects that come along with extreme weight loss (1).
If you’re ready to embark on your own weight-loss journey, here’s what you need to know about the good and bad of losing 50 pounds and why the journey will be worth it in the end.
The Good Side Of Weight Loss
The benefits of losing 50 pounds are numerous and here are just a few of the many positive changes you can expect to experience:
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of losing weight, but also one of the most important. Carrying around extra weight puts a lot of strain on your body and can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.
But as you lose weight, your risks for these diseases decrease dramatically (7). In fact, just losing 5 to 10% of your body weight (if you are overweight or obese) can have a significant impact on your health. So if you’re 50 pounds overweight, dropping some of those pounds will do wonders for your health and well-being.
Gives You More Energy
When you’re carrying around extra weight, it takes a lot more energy to do everyday tasks. Just think about how much harder it is to walk up a flight of stairs when you’re overweight as opposed to when you’re at a healthy weight.
As you lose weight, your body will require less energy to do the same activities. You’ll have more energy to play with your kids, go for a walk, or even just do household chores. Furthermore, since you won’t be as exhausted, you’ll be able to enjoy your increased energy levels even more.
Having Better Sleep
Being obese or overweight often leads to sleep problems like sleep apnea and insomnia. But as you lose weight, your sleep should improve. You’ll be able to breathe better and you’ll be less likely to wake up in the middle of the night (10). Hence, you’ll wake up feeling more rested and well-rested. Moreover, since good sleep is essential for health and well-being, this is a major benefit of weight loss.
It has been suggested that obesity may cause impairments in memory and cognitive function. The reason is unclear, but it’s thought that the chronic low-grade inflammation in the body caused by obesity may be to blame.
The good news is that as you lose weight, this inflammation decreases, and your memory and cognitive function may improve. So if you’ve been struggling with forgetfulness or mental fog, weight loss could help you out (4).
Improves Sexual Health
Being overweight can lead to sexual problems like erectile dysfunction and low libido. However, as you lose weight, these problems often improve.
This may be because carrying around extra weight can damage your blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to erectile dysfunction. Losing weight might help improve blood flow and reduce nerve damage, making it easier to get and maintain an erection (5).
Additionally, since obesity has been linked to altered testosterone levels in men, losing weight might also increase your libido. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for sex drive, so balanced levels may make you more interested in sex.
It may also be as simple as improved confidence and self-esteem after weight loss making a person more interested in sex.
The benefits of weight loss for sexual health aren’t limited to men only as women can also experience improved sexual function after weight loss.
Lessen Joint Pressure
If you’re overweight, your joints have to bear the brunt of your extra weight. This can lead to joint pain and stiffness, especially in the knees and hips.
However, as you lose weight, the pressure on your joints decreases. This can help relieve pain and stiffness, making it easier to move around and stay active (6).
If you’ve been carrying around extra weight for a long time, it can really take a toll on your self-esteem. When you can’t accomplish simple tasks or you don’t feel good in your own skin, it’s tough to feel confident and happy.
As you lose weight, you’ll start to feel better about yourself. You’ll be able to do things you couldn’t do before and finally feel comfortable in your own skin. This boost in self-esteem can lead to even more success in your weight-loss journey as you’ll be motivated to keep going.
BetterMe app will kick you out of the mental funk, shake off your extra weight, rid you off your energy-zapping habits, and help you sculpt the body of your dreams. Intrigued? Hurry up and change your life for the better!
The Bad Side Of Weight Loss
Some not-so-great side effects that come along with extreme weight loss include:
Possibly Having Loose Skin
One of the not-so-great side effects of losing a lot of weight is loose skin. When you lose weight quickly, your skin doesn’t have time to adjust and can end up sagging. This is especially true if you’ve been carrying around extra weight for a long time (2).
How much loose skin you end up with depends on a number of factors, including your age, genetics, and how much weight you lose.
While there are some things you can do to help minimize loose skin (like staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet), there’s no guaranteed way to prevent it. So, if you’re worried about loose skin, it’s important to keep this potential side effect in mind.
Losing Muscle Mass
When you lose weight, you typically lose both fat and muscle. While it’s great to lose that extra fat, losing muscle mass can be detrimental to your health. Muscle mass is important for keeping your bones strong, your metabolism high, and your body functioning properly.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to focus on losing mostly fat, not muscle. This can be done by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Strength-training exercises are especially important as they help maintain and build muscle mass (9).
Slowing Down Of Metabolism
As you lose weight, your metabolism will naturally slow down. This is because your body needs fewer calories to function when you weigh less (8).
This can make it more difficult to lose extra weight and keep it off in the long run. So, if you’re trying to lose some pounds, it’s important to be aware of this potential side effect and put in extra effort to keep your metabolism high.
Some proven ways to do this include exercising regularly, eating plenty of protein, and getting enough sleep.
You May Experience Nutritional Deficiencies
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to make sure you’re still getting all the nutrients your body needs. However, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals.
This is especially true if you’re following a very restrictive diet or if you’re not eating enough calories. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you’re eating a well-rounded diet and taking a multivitamin if recommended by your doctor or registered dietitian to prevent any deficiencies.
Another side effect of weight loss is feeling colder than usual. This is because fat helps insulate your body and keep you warm. So, when you lose fat, you may find that you need to bundle up more than usual to stay comfortable.
This side effect usually goes away as your body adjusts to its new weight. In the meantime, try wearing layers of clothing to stay warm.
You May Notice Stretch Marks
Loose skin is not the only cosmetic change you may notice after losing a lot of weight. You may also see stretch marks on your skin.
Stretch marks are common, especially in people who have lost a lot of weight quickly. They usually appear as reddish or purplish lines on the skin.
Stretch marks are harmless, but if you don’t like the way they look, some treatments can help improve their appearance. Some treatments include skin care products containing retinoids, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion.
How Long Does It Take To Lose 50 Pounds Healthily?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a safe and healthy rate of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week (7). So, at this rate, it would take you anywhere from 24 to 50 weeks to lose 50 pounds healthily.
Of course, the amount of time it takes to lose 50 pounds may vary depending on your individual weight loss journey. However, if you’re aiming to lose 50 pounds healthily, the CDC’s guidelines are great as a head start.
The Bottom Line
Losing 50 pounds can have both good and bad side effects on your body. The good side effects include a lower risk of disease, improved self-esteem, and increased energy levels. However, the bad side effects can include loose skin, nutritional deficiencies, and a slower metabolism.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to be aware of both the good and the bad side effects. This will help you better prepare for your weight loss journey and set realistic expectations.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 5 alarming dangers of extreme weight-loss you can’t afford to ignore (n.d., activehealth.sg)
- Body Contouring Following Massive Weight Loss (2010, nih.gov)
- Benefits of moderate weight loss in people with obesity (2016, nih.gov)
- Diet-Induced Weight Loss Alters Functional Brain Responses during an Episodic Memory Task (2015, nih.gov)
- Effect of Body Weight on Sexual Function in Men and Women (2019, nih.gov)
- Here’s Why Losing Weight Is the Key to Losing Joint Pain (2020, clevelandclinic.org)
- Losing Weight (2022, cdc.gov)
- Metabolic Slowing with Massive Weight Loss despite Preservation of Fat-Free Mass (2012, nih.gov)
- Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss (2017, nih.gov)
- The association between sleep health and weight change during a 12-month behavioral weight loss intervention (2021, nih.gov)