Being overweight increases the risk of health problems, but what benefits can you expect if you lose weight? Is there an immediate health pay-off, or is it impossible to get quick results? Losing weight and then keeping it off usually takes a lot of motivation, because we really have to change our lifestyles if we want to change our weight for the long term. Changing long-established habits and patterns of behaviour is hardly ever easy. If we want to lose weight, not achieving our goals can make us feel quite bad about ourselves. Being a normal weight is important for our health, but that is not the only issue for many of us. Our society places great importance on how we look. This is why we can become unhappy or even depressed if we feel unattractive because of our body size. On the other hand, there is also the view that overweight people just enjoy life and have more fun than other people. Contradictory messages like this are common when it comes to weight and weight loss. So what happens emotionally when you lose weight? How many of your problems could losing weight solve?

Unfortunately, despite all the claims about weight and weight loss, there are not many reliable answers to these questions. But some of the research could help you find your way through the maze of claims and counter-claims about weight loss.