Quick weight loss might seem like a good aim, but it can actually be harmful to your health. The desire to lose weight, and lose weight fast, is common. But unlike gradual weight loss, quick weight loss can be dangerous and ultimately counterproductive when it comes to shedding unwanted fat. In the quest to lose weight as soon as possible, various means have been exploited by people and these include crash diets, unsustainable exercise overkill
The dangers of quick weight loss include imbalances of electrolytes, malnutrition, gallstones and dehydration. Fatigue, irritability, headaches, constipation, dizziness, irregular menstruation, loss of muscle and loss of hair are potential side effects. Here are the dangers of quick weight loss:
Quick Weight Loss Does not translate to Permanent Change
Quick weight loss is usually the result of lifestyle changes that are unsustainable beyond the short term. You might be able to lose weight fast by going into diet and exercise overkill, but your body can’t keep it up indefinitely — and since you haven’t trained yourself to adapt to permanent lifestyle changes, you are much more likely to revert to your old habits and gain back all of that quickly lost weight.
Dehydration and No Fat Lost
Another danger of losing weight too quickly is that you are probably not losing just fat. A normal, healthy rate of weight loss is one to two pounds per week. Because it’s difficult for your body to burn large numbers of fat calories in a short amount of time, the weight you lose could be made up of water or muscle (lean tissue). A lot of the lost weight you experience on crash diets is actually the loss of water weight. You’re not only losing the fat that you want to lose, it also means your body is not getting the water that it needs. Dehydration does not just cause discomfort from fatigue, headaches, and constipation; if prolonged, it can lead to more serious issues, like the formation of kidney stones or even impaired kidney function.
While many crash diets may aim to increase your metabolism, most of them do the exact opposite. Crash diets usually allow very few daily calories, and this sends your body into a “survival mode” where it slows down the metabolism and increases the fat storage as it is scared that you may not be getting enough food to survive. This also means that when you return to eating normally after a crash diet, your metabolism cannot deal with the extra calories fast enough and you pack on all the weight again that you have lost.
At such a calorie deficit, the body goes into starvation mode in order to conserve energy and metabolism slows. You’re also losing muscle because the body isn’t getting the protein it needs. Muscle doesn’t just make you strong and toned, it also helps to boost metabolism. When you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down even more, making it harder to lose weight. While there are definitely situations that call for rapid weight loss, those situations should be closely monitored by a doctor and a dietitian to ensure that it is done safely. Otherwise, severe restriction should never be a means of shedding unwanted pounds. Instead, eating more of the right foods, choosing nutritious combinations, and properly scheduling meals and snacks to increase metabolism should be part of a healthy, balanced, and successful weight-loss plan.
Sudden weight loss over a short period of time often leaves loose skin on the abdomen, arms and legs. This happens because the skin loses some of its elasticity and does not have time to shrink with the rest of the body. While this may not have long-term health consequences, surgery may be the only option to fix it.
Cutting back on food intake throw off body’s equilibrium
Electrolytes play a major role in keeping us alive since they provide the electrical current that allows our muscles, particularly the heart, to contract at the right speed. When there is a sudden decrease of food intake, there is also a sudden decrease in the electrolytes that our bodies are used to getting, particularly potassium and magnesium. If the body cannot handle the deficit, this can lead to impaired cardiovascular function and irregularities such as heart arrhythmias.
Danger of Weight Loss Pills
In 2004, the FDA banned a popular diet-pill ingredient known as ephedra after it was found to increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. However, some ephedra-containing products may still make their way illegally into the market. Many other diet pill ingredients are as yet untested. For that reason, the best way to avoid the possible dangers of diet pills is simply to steer clear.
In 2009, the FDA warned that it had discovered 72 over-the-counter weight loss products that could potentially compromise consumers’ health. Among the ingredients in these 72 products were a number of unreported pharmaceuticals, including rimonabant, a drug not approved for use in the U.S., and the anti-seizure medication phenytoin. Possible side effects of these drugs include heart attacks, seizures and strokes.
Best Practices that can help lose weight
As made crystal clear above, crash diets are NOT the way to go. Rather just make the following adjustments to improve your eating habits:
- Reduce your intake of refined carbs (White bread, white rice, pasta, etc.) and sugar (Table sugar, sweets, cookies, etc.)
- Eat more protein (1/3 of every meal should be protein)
- Load up on delicious fresh fruits, veggies, and salads. It doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless – the internet is chock-full of yummy and healthy recipes.
- Learn to say no to processed and deep-fried food like takeaways.
- PORTION CONTROL – even healthy foods contain calories that can add up if you don’t stick to your portions.
This doesn’t mean that you have to become a gym junkie. It just means that you have to do literally anything to become more active.
Motivation is key to Weight loss program
At times, maintaining motivation while participating in a weight loss program can be challenging. Many individuals lose motivation because they don’t achieve their weight loss goals within a timeframe that they feel is acceptable. In this case, the frustration may simply be due to the fact that their weight loss goals are unrealistic. Evaluate the first few weeks of your dietary and exercise routine to determine the type of results you are seeing. Stick to the plans given by a professional medical practitioner and motivate yourself, then a healthy and feasible weight loss is guaranteed in the long run.