A flatter stomach isn’t the only thing you get when you slim down.
You did it! After countless months of dieting, sprinting, and saying “no” to happy hour, you’ve finally reached your weight loss goal. Although you look and feel great, you’ve probably already come to realize that having a tighter tummy means your life is changing in unexpected ways—some awesome and some kinda inconvenient. (This is what we’d call a “happy problem.”)
Read on to discover 25 surprising things that happen when you lose weight, plus ways to deal with each. And for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
You’ll need a cardigan
When you trim down even just 10 percent of your body weight, your thyroid hormone levels can dip, which can make you feel chilly more often than not, says Judith Korner, MD, PhD, the director of the Weight Control Center at Columbia University Medical Center.
Here are the 17 Best Ways to Keep Your Weight-Loss Resolutions.
You’ll have fewer allergies
Being overweight can sometimes put a strain on the adrenal glands and respiratory system, exacerbating asthma, and allergy symptoms. Now that you’re trimmer, you may be able to ditch your inhaler and cut back on the seasonal pill-popping. Don’t change your medication routine without speaking with your doctor first though!
Did you know that the foods you eat could affect your allergies, too? Here are 35 Surprising Foods That Are Making Your Allergies Worse.
You’ll need a new morning routine
When you lost fat from your thighs and belly, your face slimmed down, too. In theory, this sounds like a good thing, but having some fat under your skin can hide the appearance of fine lines and sagging, keeping your complexion youthful and vibrant. Just remember to load up on vitamin C! A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that for every milligram increase in daily vitamin C, you reduce your risk of wrinkles by 11 percent! Superfoods like papaya, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and red bell peppers are all rich in the nutrient. Plumping creams and high-quality moisturizers can also be helpful. Speak to your derm to get a recommendation that’s right for you.
Food will taste better
Strange but true: After losing weight, your dinner may taste even better. Stanford University researchers discovered that overweight men had less taste sensitivity than their slimmer counterparts. The reason: Their taste buds had become dulled from the overuse. Another theory points to hormonal shifts that take place during weight loss, which may change the way taste receptors communicate with the brain.
You’ll be in the mood
Nope, it’s not just your imagination. As your BMI dips, you’re more easily aroused—and it’s all thanks to rising testosterone levels. In one Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism study, heavier men had T-levels comparable to men nearly a full decade older. You may also feel less self-conscious in the nude, which can increase your desire, too.
To maintain your new body, check out these 20 Ways to Lose Weight And Keep It Off Permanently.
Sex will be more satisfying
If you thought sex was awesome before, wait until you get it on in your new, leaner bod! In a Duke University Medical Center survey of 1,210 people of varying weights, obese people were 25 times more likely to report dissatisfaction with their time between the sheets than their leaner counterparts. In the study, a mere 10 percent loss of body weight was shown to skyrocket sexual satisfaction. So, even if you’re not quite where you want to be with your physique yet, you can still reap the rewards in the bedroom.
Before hopping into bed, be sure to check out these 20 Foods That Increase Your Sexual Stamina and Sex Drive.
You won’t know what to wear
If you’ve shopped at plus-sized or “big and tall” stores for most of your life, it’s understandable if you may feel like a fish out of water in the “skinny stores.” It’s also normal to be unsure of what will best complement your new flat belly and feel overwhelmed by the cost of outfitting your new bod.
If you’ve lost 20 pounds or more, new clothing is a must. But if you’ve lost less than that, a skilled tailor may be able to salvage some of your favorite pieces. In some cases, this can save you tons of cash! If you’re set on buying new duds, head to a smaller store where a sales associate can lead you through the process of updating your wardrobe. If you’re comfortable, tell the associate you’ve just lost weight, and you’re not quite sure where to start. Many associates will be happy to help you. On the flip side, department stores offer less individualized attention.
Your happiness may not change
Many people equate weight loss with happiness, but that’s rarely the case. You may not feel more confident right away, either. To improve your happiness, you’ll need to address any underlying emotional issues—whether they contributed to your initial weight gain or not. Seek professional help if you feel you need it.
People may criticize you
As you may have already discovered, when it comes to diet, exercise, and weight loss, everyone is super nosy and opinionated. You’ll likely find that your friends and family will say things like, “I could never” and “I don’t know how you did it that way.” Shake it off. People’s opinions are often a reflection of their own self-worth; don’t let it change your opinions or alter your weight loss journey.
People may not even notice
On the flip side, some people won’t even notice that you’ve lost any weight. The reason: You need to shed about 9 pounds before it becomes noticeable in your face. And unless you’re a lifeguard or walking around without any clothes, that’s the part of your body that recent research says people notice the most when it comes to weight loss.