Recent Blog Articles

Staying Healthy

The far-reaching effects of a little bit of weight loss

April 01, 2020

Losing 5% of your total body weight triggers a cascade of health benefits.

9e5292d3-514f-45fc-bf09-80a4fed291a0

Losing weight is tough for all of us, whether it's shedding a few pounds or 50. And if in the past you've not been able to lose as much as you would like, you may assume there's little point in trying. But if you lose even a small amount of weight, you'll reap benefits that will make a big difference in your health.

"The magic number is 5% of your total body weight; that's when we see clinically significant physiologic changes," says Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.