Anyone trying to lose weight should be familiar with the danger of rapid weight loss. However, because a lot of people desperately want to lose weight, they tend to overlook the adverse effects of weight loss programs that promise immediate and fast results. Read on to learn the danger of rapid weight loss and what you can do to prevent it.
Take it slow
The key to losing weight safely and effectively is to do it gradually. Rapid weight loss can lead to several adverse effects, such as eating disorders, heart disease, and even death. When you lose weight rapidly, your body struggles to keep up with your new weight, which may cause you to feel weak and lethargic. This can keep you from concentrating on your daily tasks and make you unproductive.
The skinny on fat: what you are really losing
Your body needs fat to get energy for regular functions, such as digestion and cell restoration. The biggest danger of rapid weight loss is the depletion of body fat, which leads to a loss of energy. When you lose weight rapidly, your body tends to put up a defense mechanism because it is going to think that it is going to starve for long periods of time. Therefore, it will hold on to more of your fat, so what used to be a safe amount of food could be enough to make you gain weight again.
Another danger of rapid weight loss is that you can lose too much water weight and muscle tissue. This is bad because you need your muscles to be able to burn more calories, even when you are resting. If your muscles are weak, you can start gaining your weight back as soon as you start eating normally.
Your mind and body
A lesser known danger of rapid weight loss is psychological and neurological dysfunction. Rapid weight loss slows down your response. Your brain can also instruct your body that it is still hungry even if you are already full, resulting in overeating and thus more weight gain.
Perhaps the most known danger of rapid weight loss is eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia nervosa is a psychological disorder characterized by a distorted view of one's body image with an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Anorexics therefore try to maintain what they think is an ideal body weight (which is in fact way too low) and control it by purging, vomiting, starvation diets, excessive exercising, and other measures for weight control such as diuretics, laxatives, and diet pills.
Bulimia nervosa is also a psychological condition, this time characterized by a pattern of binging and then intentional purging. A bulimic eats large amounts of food in one sitting, then purges everything by forcing themselves to vomit. They can do this using various medicines or enemas, or by simply sticking a finger down their throat. These eating disorders can cause a wide range of health problems, such as malnutrition, dehydration, loss of electrolytes, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, anemia, hypertension, hormonal imbalances, infertility, insomnia, osteoporosis, arthritis, fatigue, and internal organ failure.
Rapid weight loss can also lead to depression, reduced sex drive, irritability, fianting, rashes, bloodshot eyes, seizures, prolonged hunger, respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, malnutrition, and even death. The effects are even more pronounced in people with existing health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The danger of rapid weight loss products
Remember that too much calorie restriction, unusual eating patterns, and taking unsupervised medication can be dangerous because there is a high possibility that these methods can be abused.
o Using diuretics - Diuretics make you lose weight by forcing your body to pass urine, so that it will not retain water. While these have no effect on body fat, they can cause serious side effects such as blood thickening, liver and kidney damage, and cramping.
o Using medications - Some medications are prescribed as weight loss supplements. Avoid those that have amphetamines and other illegal drugs. Before taking any medications, consult your doctor to see if it will work for you.
o Fasting - This can lead to malnutrition and weaken your body against disease.
o Using stimulants - These work by increasing your metabolism and reducing your appetite. However, they can cause liver and kidney damage, heart attacks, strokes, and addiction.