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Do Your Feet Get Smaller When You Lose Weight? Here’s The Truth 2022

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

do your feet get smaller when you lose weight

Losing significant weight typically pushes you to change your wardrobe. Many people think of buying new dresses, shirts, skirts, and pants when they hit their goal, but what about new shoes? 

To achieve your goal weight, you would need a combination of exercise and the right diet. Supplements such as CBD oil can also help you along your weight loss journey 

Read on if you are asking yourself:

Do Your Feet Shrink When You Lose Weight?

Significant weight loss can cause your feet to lose fat and become smaller. Your foot length and bone structure do not change even when you lose excess weight. However, you might notice that your feet lose some width. 

When you put on weight, your body distributes the fat across. The fat goes to your belly and arms, and if you gain significant weight, you will notice fat deposits in your feet. Women often go up a half foot size after pregnancy and as we age, our feet tend to lengthen.

Your shoes might hug your feet a little tighter than they used to. The excess fat deposit might place extra pressure on your foot skeleton making your feet flatter. The extra weight your feet bear might wear away your feet fat pad[1] and cause foot pain. 

Do not expect to drop down from size 10 shoes to size 8 by simply losing weight. Significant weight loss might cause your shoes to feel a tad bit loose as you lose some of the fat covering your feet but not as dramatically as you might hope for.  

That is because your natural foot structure remains the same. The bones forming your foot skeleton do not change in structure when you lose weight but tendons and ligaments can stretch and become looser. Even if you do not notice dramatic changes in your shoe size with weight loss, you might notice other benefits for your feet. 

Foot problems that excess weight causes might be relieved by losing weight. For instance, foot pain and foot inflammation due to circulatory issues might improve. 

Benefits of Weight Loss for Your Feet 

Losing excess weight can have tremendous benefits for your health. However, did you know that your feet could also enjoy other benefits from your weight loss besides getting slimmer if you dropped a few extra pounds?

Carrying the extra weight around can put pressure on your knees and ankles. Knee and hip pain are prevalent among the morbidly obese with about 90% of morbidly obese patients[2] awaiting bariatric surgery showing some form of pain symptoms. 

Obesity is a major contributor to the development of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition where your joint’s cartilage cushion wears away[3] causing the bones to rub against each other. This condition can be pretty painful and could limit your mobility. 

Obesity might also have links to uric acid accumulation[4] and your progression. Losing weight can reduce your serum uric acid levels and affect the frequency of your gout attacks.

Weight loss might not cause your cartilages to regenerate but it can slow the progression of your condition and reduce your pain. Therefore, losing weight can help reduce joint pain and arthritis development.

Having less pain in your feet from weight loss can also foster more weight loss by reducing the pain you get during exercise. Therefore, you have the motivation to work out even more. 

How to Lose Fat in Your Feet 

Spot training[5] to lose weight in your feet alone is not possible but if you work on losing weight generally, you will eventually lose some fat in your feet. Typical workouts that will help you lose weight should cause your feet to lose fat over time. 

These general workouts challenge your body to generate energy for your daily requirements from your body fat. Eventually, your body reaches into the fat layer over your feet to supplement its needs.  

These weight loss techniques below outline the basics for weight loss that might grant you slimmer feet.

Exercise 

Cardio workouts are excellent for weight loss. These workouts do not require a very rigid schedule and you do not typically need equipment to perform them. Walking, dancing, and biking, all count as cardio exercises that burn fat. 

You are probably thinking:

How can I lose weight by dancing?

Well, the answer is simple. Like other aerobic exercises, dancing involves multiple muscle groups and it sends your heart racing. These changes cause you to burn calories and ultimately lose weight. 

If you want to use cardio work in your weight loss journey, then you might need to work together with dietary changes. Strength training exercises would also help you burn more fat.

These strength training workouts help your body build muscle and endurance.

If you have specific heart conditions and joint problems, you might want to discuss your exercise regimen with your doctor for approval. That is because you do not want to aggravate your health conditions while trying to lose weight. 

Diet 

Exercise alone might not provide your desired results. Combining your exercise routine with a healthy diet can help you achieve your weight loss goals much faster. 

You could start by cutting out junk from your diet. Even when choosing healthy meals, you could look for low-calorie meals with high fiber content. These types of food fill you up faster so you do not go snacking in between meals.  

Replace high sugar and processed[6] foods with healthier options. For instance, you can swap that can of soda for a glass of water.  

A calorie deficit diet plan will also help you reach your goals. On a calorie deficit diet, your body goes into its fat reserves to provide the extra energy you need to fulfill your daily needs.

 You might want to discuss with your doctor how much calorie deficit is good for you especially if you have underlying medical conditions like diabetes or hypertension. 

Supplements 

Lots of health supplements claim to promote weight loss. Some promote fat loss by suppressing hunger while others might work by promoting fat burning. 

Before starting on weight loss supplements, you will need to discuss them with your physician. Your doctor is in the best place to advise you on how to proceed with supplements for weight loss. 

Cannabidiol, CBD oil, from the hemp plant does not cause psychotropic effects but it has been in the spotlight for its numerous benefits. CBD oil has received attention for its role in pain relief and reducing seizures.  

However, there is the possibility that CBD oil might also help you lose weight. A study found that CBD oil could suppress appetite[7] which might reduce your food consumption and help your weight loss journey. 

Furthermore, CBD oil plays a role in your body’s interactions with fat. There seems to be a link between CBD oil and the conversion of white fat[8] which is the bad fat to brown fat which is the good fat. Your body burns brown fat to generate heat. Therefore by influencing your body’s fat composition, CBD oil might help you lose weight. 

CBD oil and other supplements for weight loss do not take the place of a healthy calorie deficit diet and exercise. Combining the three techniques following your doctor’s advice maximizes your results. 

Conclusion 

Losing weight does not affect your foot bone structure so its length remains the same. However, significant weight loss might cause your feet to lose some of their fatty covering.  

There are no specific exercises that can target your feet for weight loss. However, sticking to traditional weight-loss strategies might help you achieve your goal weight.

Cardio workouts such as dancing can help you lose weight. You can key into strength training workouts too.  

A healthy calorie deficit diet, as well as supplements like CBD oil, can help you with your weight loss journey through appetite suppression or interactions with your body’s fat deposits.


+ 8 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Dr. Jam Feet. (2020). Do Your Feet Shrink When You Lose Weight? | Dr. Jamfeet. [online] Available at: https://www.drjamfeet.com/do-your-feet-shrink-when-you-lose-weight/
  2. Pacca, D.M., De-Campos, G.C., Zorzi, A.R., Chaim, E.A. & De-Miranda, J.B. (2018). Prevalence Of Joint Pain Aand Osteaoarthritis In Obese Brazilian Population. ABCD. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cirurgia Digestiva (São Paulo), [online] 31(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5863990/
  3. Bolash, R. (2020). Here’s Why Losing Weight Is the Key to Losing Joint Pain. [online] Clevelandclinic.org. Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/if-you-lose-weight-you-can-lose-joint-pain-too/amp/
  4. Arthritis.org. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/weight-loss/weight-loss-benefits-for-arthritis#:~:text=A%20key%20study%20published%20in,Ease%20pain.
  5. Livestrong.com. (2011). Can You Lose Fat in Your Feet? | Livestrong.com. [online] Available at: https://www.livestrong.com/article/416621-how-to-lose-fat-in-feet/
  6. Harvard Health Publishing (2016). Want healthy feet? Keep a healthy weight – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/want-healthy-feet-keep-a-healthy-weight
  7. Farrimond, J.A., Whalley, B.J. & Williams, C.M. (2012). Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology, [online] 223(1), pp.117–129. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22543671/
  8. Parray, H.A. & Yun, J.W. (2016). Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, [online] 416(1-2), pp.131–139. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11010-016-2702-5

Medically reviewed by:

Ananya Lahiri holds a Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences and a Master's degree in Bioinformatics. She is also the published author of several Health & Wellness blogs, guides, and e-books. With years of experience in the education and e-learning industry, she is keen on sharing information that can help people in making informed choices. Ananya is an avid dog lover with a specific interest in Huskies and GSDs. She is also a certified translator and holds a certificate in digital marketing. Apart from Health and Medical, Ananya also enjoys writing on tech, fashion, and beauty niches. She has crafted study materials for Cosmetology & Nursing courses.

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