You can’t really go anywhere these days or search on the internet without advertisements trying to sell you the latest dieting craze. Most of these ads promise that you can drop insane amounts of weight in short periods of time. Rapid weight loss programs, diets, pills and cleanses have been around for decades. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry, with consumers spending $33 billion each year on weight loss products.
Losing weight, especially if you are obese, is important for improving your quality of life and your overall health. However, doing it quickly in short amounts of time is unhealthy and can be dangerous.
What is rapid weight loss?
Rapid weight loss can be broken down into three main categories. The first is starvation diets, like the “master cleanse” diet that Beyonce made popular, where you only have water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for ten days. The second category consists of your diet pills and supplements, which promise to speed up your weight loss, either by blocking the absorption of nutrients, increasing your metabolism, or burning fat. The third category is a proven method of rapid weight loss. “Very low-calorie diets do work, and most of what is known about rapid weight loss effects on the body comes from studies of people who have used this method” says Danyelle Kelson, a fitness blogger at Write My X and Australia2write.
Losing weight slow vs fast
So, you have decided to lose some weight for the summer? You opted to cut your calories and watch what you eat. We tend to prefer dieting, as it’s easier often easier to lose weight through diet than exercise. When we lower our caloric intake, our bodies start dipping into its stores of energy, called glycogen, which is bound to water. When your body burns glycogen, it also releases water, causing you to lose higher amounts of weight in the first week. It’s also why it’s referred to as losing water weight. Losing more than two pounds in the first week is perfectly normal and not considered rapid weight loss. After this initial higher loss, your weight loss should slow down to between 1-2 pounds a week, which is considered by experts to be the safe and healthy rate at which to shed pounds.
When we follow extreme diet and exercise plans and start losing weight consistently higher than above the recommended 1-2 pounds a week, that is considered rapid weight loss, and there are some health risks associated with following this type of weight loss plan.
Risks of rapid weight loss
There are several risks associated with rapid weight loss. Here are 7 of them:
1. Keeping the weight off for good backfires with rapid weight loss
“It’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about keeping it off and diets like very low-calorie diets are not sustainable long term or you run the risk of malnutrition and other health issues” explains Betty Cubbage, a writer at Assignment Help and Britstudent. Research shows that two thirds of people who use these dieting methods regain the weight they have lost and put more back on.
2. Missing out important nutrients
Oftentimes, many of the quick fix diets require cutting out whole food groups, like carbohydrates or dairy, which can lead to vitamin deficiencies. It can also cause brittle hair and nails, fatigue, hair loss, and a compromised immune system. In rare cases, it can also cause an electrolyte imbalance, which is life-threatening. If you are going to diet you need to make sure that you still get the range of nutrients your body needs.
Rapid water weight loss which can happen especially when you go on a no-carb diet, no surprise, can lead to dehydration. Make sure you stay hydrated when embarking on a weight loss journey.
4. Slow down your metabolism
When you go from eating 3000 calories a day to just 1200, your body recognises this as a sign of limited food supply and goes into starvation mode. When this happens, your metabolism slows down to help you conserve energy and therefore your body will hang onto fat instead of shedding it. To prevent this, stick to only cutting no more than 500 calories off your total caloric intake.
5. Lose muscle tone instead of fat
When we are losing weight, we want to get rid of true adipose tissue, not muscle mass. Cutting calories too quickly can cause our bodies to break down the muscle for energy and fuel. This can also slow down our metabolism and put our weight loss on hold. This is because muscle burns more calories than fat, and why your exercise program when losing weight benefits from including some weightlifting, or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
6. It can cause gallstones
Gallstones are hardened pieces of material that form inside the gallbladder. These can cause pain and can be a side effect of losing weight too quickly.
Normally, your gallbladder releases digestive juices to break down fatty food so it can be digested. If you are not eating much food, then your gallbladder doesn’t release digestive juices. The gallstones can form when substances inside these digestive juices sit for a while and have time to join and fuse together.
Then these gallstones can get stuck inside the opening of the gallbladder and cause what’s known as a gallstone attack, causing severe pain and indigestion.
7. It can cause psychological distress
Losing weight quickly can lead to psychological consequences. If you don’t give yourself time to settle into your new body shape and weight it can lead to such things as body dysmorphia, anorexia, or bulimia.
Most of the time, people go into a diet with the mentality of “if I lose weight, then I will be happy. Or I will find a boyfriend.” When these things don’t materialise after their weight loss, it can exacerbate pre-existing mental health conditions and worsen body image issues.
Have you checked out Prolon the fasting mimicking diet yet?
Rapid weight loss can be dangerous.
George J. Newton is a business development manager at Coursework Writing Services and NextCoursework. Married for ten years, George also writes for Thesis Writing Service.