Updated: February 28, 2020
Have you set a goal to reach a healthier weight? If so, congrats! As you begin to make healthier food choices and incorporate exercise into your routine, you might start seeing some surprising benefits. According to researchers, losing just 5% of your body weight could make significant improvements to your health.1 In fact, Jenny Craig’s science-backed program, Rapid Results, could help you lose up to 16 pounds in your first 4 weeks† by working with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Here are 16 benefits you may experience when you lose 16 pounds.
†Avg. weight loss in studies was 11.6 lbs. for those who completed the program.
1. Support your heart health
Obesity may be a risk factor for heart disease, even if you don’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.2 Help keep your heart healthy by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
When you eat matters too. Find out the best time to eat for heart health.
2. Reduce inflammation
Excess abdominal fat may increase the body’s production of inflammatory immune cells, which could increase your risk of coronary artery disease and other health issues linked to obesity.3 Research shows weight loss could help reverse some of these adverse effects.3
3. Save money
Trips to the doctor, expensive treatments and medications can weigh down your wallet. In fact, obesity is linked to an increased risk of several potentially costly conditions, including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.4
A 2016 review of health care costs found that weight loss-related health improvements might help eliminate costs that could break the bank. If individuals with a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more lost 5% of their weight, they could potentially reduce their annual medical costs by $2,137.4 Here’s what else losing 5% to 10% of your weight could do.
4. Decrease your risk of developing diabetes
You may not be able to control your genetics, race, or age, which can all play a role in your diabetes risk, but you can be proactive about losing weight. Studies show that people can decrease their odds of developing the disease by losing weight and keeping it within a healthy range.5
5. Save your knees
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For every pound lost, you’ll alleviate four pounds of pressure from your knees.6 So, if you lose 16 pounds, your weight loss will result in a whopping 64 pounds of reduced pressure, leading to more runs down the ski slope and dances with your kids in the kitchen. You’ll also preserve your knee cartilage, which helps protect your bones.7
6. Reduce acid reflux
Tired of tossing back antacids and ready to toss them out instead? The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy says obesity is the leading cause of frequent heartburn.8 Extra weight causes abdominal pressure, which can increase your odds of experiencing heartburn symptoms.9 Weight loss may help to ease these symptoms, according to experts at Healthline.8
7. Potentially decrease your risk of breast cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, individuals who are overweight after menopause are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.10 A 2019 study found that women who lost weight after age 50 and maintained that weight loss had a lower risk of breast cancer than those with stable weights.11 The more weight they were able to keep off, the lower their risk of breast cancer.10
8. Lessen menopause symptoms
Research has found that people with higher BMIs tend to have worse hot flashes, but by following a healthy diet and exercising, it’s possible to lose weight and reduce those uncomfortable symptoms.12 Here are a few more helpful ways to stay healthy during menopause.
9. Reduce your risk of migraines
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According to the American Migraine Foundation, obesity can increase your risk of having migraines by as much as 50%, and the risk only grows with excess weight.13 By lowering the number on the scale, you may reduce your risk for debilitating headaches: Research suggests that people who lose weight may experience them less often, and may be able to reduce the duration and pain of their migraines.14
10. Get better sleep
Having trouble sleeping? Weight loss could help. One study reported that losing belly fat was connected to better sleep.15 The reverse is also true: Too little sleep could lead to weight gain16 — all the more reason to get a great night’s rest! Try these 10 sleep hygiene tips to help you catch those zzz’s.
11. Breathe easier
If you have difficulty breathing from time to time (especially at night) — weight loss might help. Why does extra weight make breathing more challenging? Fat deposits on the chest wall, abdomen and upper airway can make the body work harder to breathe.17
Obesity is also a risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person’s breathing to irregularly stop and start, and it’s also linked to an increased risk of asthma. These uncomfortable effects don’t have to be permanent — following a reduced-calorie diet to lose weight could help.14
12. Curb unhealthy cravings
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The new, healthy strategies you’ll learn throughout your weight loss journey could help to transform your lifestyle and eating habits. When a craving for something sweet or salty hits, practicing mindful eating could help, experts say.18 Try it for yourself: Check out these seven mindfulness techniques for weight loss.
13. Lower your LDL cholesterol
Increased levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) can be troublesome for your health. Too much LDL could put you at risk for heart disease, experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine say, but weight loss could help to lower your numbers.19
14. Keep up with your kids (and grandkids!)
When you lose weight, you might find you have more energy to do other activities. Visiting theme parks, playing games and going camping with your loved ones can all be part of your plans with the increased mobility that’s possible with weight loss.
15. Live a higher quality of life
Participants in the Jenny Craig program not only lost weight,† but also reported improvements in their quality of life and their eating habits.20 And they’re not the only ones to notice a difference: Hear from real Jenny Craig members who’ve found success!
16. More time to do what you love
Finding a weight loss program that works with your lifestyle means you’ll have more quality time to do the things you love. If you’re juggling a busy schedule and want to improve your health — Jenny Craig can help! We take the guesswork out of weight loss — there’s no messy meal prep or time-consuming calorie counting. You’ll eat six times per day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks (even dessert!).
Jenny Craig gives you everything you need to get real results: Delicious, chef-crafted meals that are ready to go when you are, and a personal weight loss coach to support you and cheer you on every step of the way.
Ready to lose up to 16 lbs. in your first 4 weeks† and see what changes in your life? Book your free appointment at Jenny Craig today.
†First 4 weeks only. Avg. weight loss in studies was 11.6 lbs. for those who completed the program.
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. A San Diego native and an endurance sports enthusiast, you can usually find her swimming, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.