People want to lose weight for many reasons, including to improve their quality of life, improve their health or regain a sense of control. Some people experience a "trigger" -- a watershed moment that propels them into taking action toward losing weight. This might be a conversation with a loved one, a realization that their weight is impeding their lifestyle or an appeal from a doctor.
When you are overweight, you are at risk of developing potentially life-threatening illnesses. The risk of certain cancers is exacerbated by excess weight, and Type 2 diabetes shows a direct correlation with being overweight, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. You are also at higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and gallstones when you are overweight. Avoiding or reversing these conditions provides many people with motivation to lose weight.
Babies and Biology
For many women, the desire to have children is a major motivation to lose weight. Being overweight can lead to infertility; problematic pregnancies, with the development of conditions like gestational diabetes; and health complications for your baby, including neural tube defects and increased risk of being overweight or diabetic later in life. Being overweight can also lead to hormonal imbalances, which can cause a variety of endocrine illnesses.
Live Long and Prosper
Avoiding weight-related illnesses is also tied to another motivation -- living a long and satisfying life. Being healthy has significant social implications: Seeing your kids grow up, get married and have their own kids is a big motivation for a lot of people. Before that, simply being able to play with your kids without being worn out is an important factor, as is being able to care for aging parents. The Center for Advancing Health found a circular relationship with social and physical well-being -- the healthier you are, the better your social life is, and vice versa.
Winning the Inner Game
Some people who are overweight experience shame and embarrassment over how their body looks and is perceived by others. They can also experience low self-esteem, depression and low confidence. This can impede their ability to get ahead in their career, to build and maintain good relationships, and to feel optimistic about their life. Losing weight can help them reverse all this -- to become confident in themselves and to feel more in control of their lives.
- International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity: Motivation, Self-Determination, and Long-Term Weight Control
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Aim for a Healthy Weight
- Weight-Control Information Network: Do You Know Some of the Risks of Being Overweight?
- Better Health Victoria: Obesity and Hormones
- Center for Advancing Health: Socially Active Older Adults Have Slower Rates of Health Declines
- Journal of Health Psychology: Weight Loss Treatment and Psychological Well-being