Overweight individuals are at risk of higher levels of cholesterol in their blood, which may increase their risk for cardiovascular disease. For this reason, weight loss is often recommended to help lower cholesterol. While weight loss is an effective tool at lowering cholesterol, it may temporarily raise cholesterol, although this effect is not permanent.
If you’re in the process of losing weight and your blood cholesterol levels have risen, in spite of your weight loss, don’t panic. It’s completely normal for blood cholesterol levels to go up temporarily as your body burns stored fat. You may not see accurate blood cholesterol readings until your weight has stabilised for at least four weeks, and your blood cholesterol levels have had a chance to normalise.
When we lose weight, our fat stores shrink. The fat and cholesterol normally stored in fatty tissue have nowhere to go but the bloodstream, causing a rise in cholesterol. This effect is not permanent and cholesterol levels will drop as your weight stabilises. Medications used to treat high cholesterol are not effective in controlling cholesterol when it comes from fatty tissue stores.