Losing weight fast can be tempting, but it’s not recommendable. Diets that help lose weight too fast are usually very low in calories and nutrients. Rapid weight loss diets can have negative effects on health, especially if you follow the diet for many weeks. Following are few of the dangers of losing weight too fast.
Losing weight doesn’t always mean losing fat. A very low-calorie diet may be helpful in losing weight. But a lot of the weight you’re losing may come from muscle and water. A study involved two groups of people to reveal effects of very low-calorie diet on muscle. One of the groups had 25 people and was on a very low-calorie diet of 500 calories per day for 5 weeks. The other group had 22 people and was on a low-calorie diet of 1250 calories per day for 12 weeks. The study revealed that both groups lost similar amount of weight. However, the group that was on a very low-calorie diet, lost six time as much muscle as the group that was on a low-calorie diet. Losing weight too fast by means of very low-calorie diet can cause you to lose muscle significantly.
Slowing Down Your Metabolism
Your metabolism can slow down due to losing weight too fast. Metabolism is one of the factors that determine how many calories you burn every day. Numerous studies suggest that losing weight too fast by being on a very low-calorie diet may cause your metabolism to slow down. You may burn up to 23% fewer calories per day. The reasons why the metabolism slows down while you’re on a very low-calorie diet, include muscle loss and a fall in hormones that control your metabolism, such as thyroid hormone. The problem with metabolism slowing down may last long after you finish dieting.
Causing Nutritional Deficiencies
If you be on a very low-calorie diet to lose weight fast, you’re at risk of having nutritional deficiency. While you’re on a very low-calorie diet, it’s hard to consume nutrients like iron, folate and vitamin B12 adequately. Due to nutritional deficiencies, you may face the following consequences.
Hair loss: When you’re on a very low-calorie diet, your body gets insufficient nutrients, which can’t support hair growth. This may cause hair loss.
Extreme fatigue: You can be at great risk of extreme fatigue and anemia because of not getting enough iron, folate and vitamin B12 while you’re on a very low-calorie diet.
Poor immune function: Lack of sufficient calories and nutrients can make your immune system weaker and your risk of infections can increase.
Weak and brittle bones: Lack of enough calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D in your diet can cause your bones to be weak and brittle.
Luckily, nutritional deficiency can be avoided by means of diet that’s rich in whole and unprocessed foods. These foods are low in calorie and quite filling, which can facilitate weight loss.
Causing Gallstones to Develop
Gallstones are hardened forms of substances of digestive juice in the gallbladder. They are side effect of eating too little to lose weight too fast. In order to digest food, your gallbladder secretes digestive juices. Your gallbladder doesn’t need to secrete the digestive juice when you don’t eat much food. Consequently, substances in the digestive juice can sit for a while and have time to harden, forming gallstones. The gallstones can get stuck inside the opening of the gallbladder, causing a gallstone attack. This can cause indigestion and severe pain.
Other Side Effects
The other side effects that can be caused by losing weight too fast by means of very low-calorie diet include constipation, dizziness, dehydration, muscle cramps, feeling cold, irritability, fatigue and hunger.
As losing weight too fast has many dangers, it’s not a good idea to try to lose weight fast. Losing weight should be done gradually rather than quickly. It’s good to try and get used to a weight loss friendly lifestyle that helps lose or maintain weight gradually, sustainably and safely.