If you are obese and have high cholesterol, losing weight can be a great way to reduce your cholesterol levels and the risk of other obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Even a small to moderate weight loss of just 10 to 20 pounds can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. To get started, try reducing portion sizes and filling half the plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with whole grain starch, and the other quarter with lean protein. Additionally, choose calorie-free drinks as your primary source of fluids and keep your hunger levels in mind to limit the extra calories from meaningless snacking.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you may be able to significantly lower your cholesterol levels if you lose 5 to 10% of your body weight. This is because being overweight or obese affects how the body produces and delivers lipoproteins, including cholesterol and triglycerides. Losing weight can help with cholesterol levels because it can reduce the amount of fat you have in your body and lower your chances of getting inflammation. Every 10 pounds you are overweight causes your body to produce up to 10 milligrams of extra cholesterol each day.
In one study, people who lost at least 5% of their weight significantly reduced their LDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Meanwhile, current results support the message that 5-10% weight loss is good and greater loss is even better. Among a small sample of hypercholesterolemic women who had lost weight in an intensive 48-week program, subjects who maintained a loss of 5 to 10% and those with a loss of 10% showed significant improvement in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Change in risk factors by weight loss group and sex, in patients with elevated baseline risk factors.
Weight loss of 5 to 10% resulted in improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, but greater weight loss was associated with even greater improvement. The overall decrease in HDL cholesterol in the present study was somewhat disappointing given the commonly assumed weight loss benefits of this cardioprotective lipoprotein. However, it is important to note that even a small amount of weight loss can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Therefore, if you are overweight or obese, it is important to get rid of extra pounds for improved health outcomes.