Benefits Of Weight Loss Men’s Health


Weight loss is a sensitive topic, especially when you are made aware that your weight may be contributing to your declining health. You might feel as if there is nothing wrong and it can feel insulting to be told you need to lose weight. But, you may feel that it has not ever been explained how, or why, losing weight has many benefits to your physical health. Or when it is explained, you may hear terms like good and bad cholesterol, atherosclerosis,  and wonder - what exactly is meant by all this? Why is it that calories, more specifically a caloric deficit, are so important for weight loss? It can feel all too confusing when you’re trying to tackle the issue of weight management when you’re not sure what the benefits are.

Men in particular have a higher risk of diseases in which excess weight is a very important risk factor, making this a public health issue. Examples include heart disease, where there has been a consistent gender gap in those who have heart attacks and Type 2 diabetes which men are twice as likely to develop.1,2 This is a major public health concern and indicates that more needs to be done to reduce the risk factors of developing such health issues, particularly in men who are seemingly more likely to develop them. Fat gain also has effects that affect men uniquely, in particular affecting testosterone levels and harming  overall reproductive health.3

If you are reading this, you might be a man with similar questions to those that were raised above about weight loss or you just might be wondering how losing weight may benefit you. That’s where this article comes in. In this article, I’ll go on to explain why excess belly fat might contribute to disease, how losing weight prevents this and also the many general health benefits that losing weight has in men.

Benefits of weight loss in men

To understand the benefits of weight loss we must first understand how excess fat occurs, why it is that excess fat causes health issues, and potential reasons why this affects men more in particular ways. This is where we introduce a very familiar term - calories.

But what are calories? They are a unit of measurement that measures the amount of energy contained within a food source.4 You need the energy to carry out the many biological processes your body conducts to keep you alive, as well as the energy to move around and do things. As a result of this, your body typically requires a set amount of calories per day to function normally.

But what happens if you eat more or less calories than you need? The traditional view of obesity has always been that eating excessive amounts of calories leads to your body storing that energy as fat.5 This is believed to be so that if you end up eating fewer calories than you need, your body will then use those fat stores to provide the energy, and this is the rationale behind managing your food intake to lose weight. Fat is stored as adipose tissue - also known as fat cells - and these fat cells have a range of roles including the breakdown of fat for energy and releasing hormones.6 Generally, consistently eating more food and therefore more energy than you need will result in weight gain, while taking in less food and putting your body in a calorie deficit will lead to weight loss. 

You can also achieve a calorie deficit by increasing your physical activity. This is why high intensity exercise is generally recommended in weight loss programmes because the excess energy burned alongside a healthy eating plan puts you in a calorie deficit. The combination of exercise with a good diet and healthy habits has consistently been shown to be the most effective method of losing weight.7,8

So why does more weight cause health problems? There are a multitude of reasons. You may be familiar with cholesterol and have often been told high cholesterol is bad for you, but why is that? In your body, you have HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and LDL/Non-HDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and it is known that with increased weight/fat gain, your levels of LDLs rise but your HDL drops. Good cholesterol has the role of transporting excess cholesterol to your liver and getting rid of it. But when you have more bad cholesterol this does not occur as effectively. 9 The increased amounts of LDL cause fatty deposits in your blood vessels - this is the process of atherosclerosis. These deposits cause blockages which, if large enough, cause blockages. If this occurs in the arteries of your heart this leads to coronary heart disease and may lead to a heart attack.

Excess fat also causes hypertension (high blood pressure). Excess body fat causes your visceral fat to rise. This is the type of fat that covers your organs and it can influence metabolism by releasing hormones.10 One of the hormones that fat tissue has a role in secreting is one called angiotensinogen.11 This hormone triggers a pathway called the Renin-Angiotensin system which your kidneys typically use to regulate the blood pressure in your body. Men store more of their fat this way than women.10 Increases in this type of fat may compress the kidney, which causes further problems with blood pressure regulation thus causing it to rise.11

There are many other hormonal consequences of excess fat but the most famous is the association between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.12 Diabetes is a condition where the hormone insulin cannot effectively transport the glucose your body produces from breaking down food into the cells that need to generate energy. This means that your cells cannot make the energy they need to carry out all of the complex processes that keep your body working. Type 2 diabetes specifically is a condition caused by insulin resistance, which is where your body does not respond to the insulin it produces the way it should.12 This causes a rise in blood glucose which has many health effects including exacerbating the previously mentioned conditions.

In men, weight gain has consistently been associated with low testosterone and is thought to be a result of fat interfering with its production process.13 This is a very important hormone and is vital for overall reproductive health. The rise in male infertility worldwide has also been associated with the increase in the amount of men of a reproductive age who are overweight or obese, indicating the significance of this issue. Low testosterone as a condition also has many negative health effects including worsening weight. Studies in men undergoing androgen (sex hormones) deprivation show striking changes in their body composition, including more fat gain with a loss in muscle.13 So, effects of low testosterone may further worsen obesity and this could be an additional factor to explain why men are at higher risk of many of the diseases associated with excess weight. 

So what are the benefits of losing weight? There are many benefits to weight loss but the ones of note include: 14,15

  • A decreased risk of developing heart disease
  • A decreased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Reversing Type 2 Diabetes in those who have it
  • A decreased risk of High Blood Pressure
  • A decreased risk of strokes
  • Better reproductive health and fertility
  • Better erection quality because of better blood flow both from decreasing the amount of resistance to blood flow16
  • Positive effects on your own self-image and mental health
  • Losing weight is also easier on your joints which may prevent or at least reduce the development/severity of osteoarthritis17
  • Prevention of the condition Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease which can lead to Liver Cirrhosis and liver failure 


At what age do men gain the most weight?

A study of 13,000 Americans looked at changes in weight over participants in 10 year intervals, and it was found that generally adults gained most of their weight between their mid 20s and 30s.18 Men continued to gain weight in their 40s and 50s, but would begin to lose weight between their 60s and 70s. So roughly 20-40s is when men may expect to gain the most weight. 

Is losing weight easier for men?

Generally, studies where both men and women have engaged in similar weight loss programs have shown that men have consistently been shown to lose more weight and do so faster than their female counterparts.19,20

At what age is it easiest to lose weight?

A recent study showed that there isn’t much of a difference in weight loss between older and younger adults enrolled in a weight management program.21 However there are factors that might make it easier to lose weight when younger - more lean mass (muscle and bone), and those who are younger are generally more active. As you get older you may have more responsibilities which may affect your ability to remain active or eat healthier. 


There are numerous benefits weight loss has in men’s health which range from preventing future severe disease, improvements in reproductive health, and generally increasing overall health. The fact that men are more likely than women to develop certain severe diseases because of weight gain make this a particularly large public health issue. If you are considering losing weight so you can attain these benefits, it might be good to find out more about weight loss services in your area to get some weight loss tips. Overall, the benefits of weight loss for men’s health should not be underestimated.


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  2. Nordström* A, Hadrévi J, Olsson T, Franks PW, Nordström P. Higher Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Men Than in Women Is Associated With Differences in Visceral Fat Mass. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2016;101(10):3740-6.
  3. Bates JN, Pastuszak AW, Khera M. Effect of Body Weight on Sexual Function in Men and Women. Current sexual health reports. 2019;11(1):52-9.
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  8. Robertson C, Avenell A, Stewart F, Archibald D, Douglas F, Hoddinott P, et al. Clinical Effectiveness of Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Interventions for Men: A Systematic Review of Men-Only Randomized Controlled Trials (The ROMEO Project). American journal of men's health. 2017;11(4):1096-123.
  9. Huff T BB, Jialal I. Physiology, Cholesterol. StatPearls [Internet]: StatPearls Publishing; 2022 [December 2022]. Available from:
  10. Nauli AM, Matin S. Why Do Men Accumulate Abdominal Visceral Fat? Frontiers in physiology. 2019;10:1486.
  11. Jiang SZ, Lu W, Zong XF, Ruan HY, Liu Y. Obesity and hypertension. Experimental and therapeutic medicine. 2016;12(4):2395-9.
  12. Wondmkun YT. Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Type 2 Diabetes: Associations and Therapeutic Implications. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy. 2020;13:3611-6.
  13. Kelly DM, Jones TH. Testosterone and obesity. Obesity Reviews. 2015;16(7):581-606.
  14. Ryan DH, Yockey SR. Weight Loss and Improvement in Comorbidity: Differences at 5%, 10%, 15%, and Over. Current obesity reports. 2017;6(2):187-94.
  15. Adams KF, Leitzmann MF, Ballard-Barbash R, Albanes D, Harris TB, Hollenbeck A, et al. Body mass and weight change in adults in relation to mortality risk. American journal of epidemiology. 2014;179(2):135-44.
  16. Molina-Vega M, Asenjo-Plaza M, Banderas-Donaire MJ, Hernández-Ollero MD, Rodríguez-Moreno S, Álvarez-Millán JJ, et al. Prevalence of and risk factors for erectile dysfunction in young nondiabetic obese men: results from a regional study. Asian journal of andrology. 2020;22(4):372-8.
  17. Bliddal H, Leeds AR, Christensen R. Osteoarthritis, obesity and weight loss: evidence, hypotheses and horizons – a scoping review. Obesity Reviews. 2014;15(7):578-86.
  18. Tucker LA, Parker K. 10-Year Weight Gain in 13,802 US Adults: The Role of Age, Sex, and Race. Journal of Obesity. 2022;2022:7652408.
  19. Christensen P, Meinert Larsen T, Westerterp-Plantenga M, Macdonald I, Martinez JA, Handjiev S, et al. Men and women respond differently to rapid weight loss: Metabolic outcomes of a multi-centre intervention study after a low-energy diet in 2500 overweight, individuals with pre-diabetes (PREVIEW). Diabetes, obesity & metabolism. 2018;20(12):2840-51.
  20. Williams RL, Wood LG, Collins CE, Callister R. Effectiveness of weight loss interventions--is there a difference between men and women: a systematic review. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. 2015;16(2):171-86.21.   Leyden E, Hanson P, Halder L, Rout L, Cherry I, Shuttlewood E, et al. Older age does not influence the success of weight loss through the implementation of lifestyle modification. Clinical Endocrinology. 2021;94(2):204-9.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Jeandy Mibanzo-Ilamu

Master of Research Biology of Cancer - MRes University of Liverpool

Jeandy is a final year medical student which has allowed him to acquire strong clinical knowledge and familiarity with general health and wellbeing.His master's degree focused on the Biology of Cancer, a keen area of interest and allowed him to develop a lot of the skills he uses in writing his articles.

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