New Research Study: Weight Loss and Fitness Doesn’t Lead To Happiness – Here’s Why

happiness and weight loss study

Why do you want to lose weight and become more fit?    Stupid question, right.  You sure?

I realize the beautiful people age 20-40 are the motivators for many to chase weight loss and fitness because, well, they’re beautiful.  But, I’m a 52 year old guy who believes and teaches Six Pack Abs Are Way Overrated  (Guideline 10)  and #Ilovesupersizing (Guideline 22).  This focus has me spending a lot of my time thinking about where all my (and my client’s) efforts will lead.  I wrote about it here:

The Quali is Key to Weight Loss, Fitness on a Completely Unrestricted Diet That Experts Can’t Grasp

There was nothing in that post about how to get shredded or torch fat in 30 days, so it didn’t get much reaction.  Just another yawner about old, average looking Mr. EET raving about all the amazing food I eat while maintaining my weight and fitness on a completely unrestricted diet.

Well, just like here and here, years later, science is now following EET Fitness’ lead, and actually did a study focused on the psychological benefits of weight loss.  Perhaps even the beautiful people will be interested to learn what 2000 people age 50+ had to say about their quality of life depending on if they lost or gained 5% of their body weight, or if their weight remained stable over 4 years – real, LONG-TERM weight loss.


Weight loss over four years in initially healthy overweight/obese older adults was associated with reduction in cardio-metabolic risk but no psychological benefit, even when changes in health and life stresses were accounted for. These results highlight the need to investigate the emotional consequences of weight loss.

Here’s more about the study from researchers:

What about the age factor? “It’s hard to know how well our results would extrapolate to younger age groups, but we would speculate that there would be a similar effect on mood,” Jackson (study’s lead author) says.

…. it appears that the greater lesson to take away from her (Jackson) and others’ research is that weight loss alone isn’t a prescription for happiness. When people struggle for thinness, they can sometimes emerge the unhappier for it, and often just see the weight come back.  Perhaps it’s better to promote a long jog and good eating habits for the sake of health alone….

All that great research, and the experts and media still don’t get it.  If you’ll allow this old guy to interpret the results after 7 years of successful weight loss and fitness efforts:  Good health is an important goal, but sacrificing things you love like amazing food, portions and relaxation in exchange for weight loss and fitness that you now must constantly struggle to maintain at all costs simply cannot make you happy.   Instead, try to always focus on the qualis!

So let me ask you a stupid question:  Why do you want to lose weight and become more fit?

You can read the entire study here:

Psychological Changes following Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study

and here’s an article with a lot more:

Weight Loss Doesn’t Always Lead to Happiness  The Atlantic March 2015


giant donut 2015 after


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