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Health and Fitness News

Too Much Too Fast

Want to trim down? Losing too much weight too fast can be bad for your health. Here’s how.

Anyone who’s tried to lose weight knows it’s not easy. When fad diets come along that promise quick results, it’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon. After all, who doesn’t want to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time? The weight-loss process is always painful, so the faster you get there, the better off you’ll be. Right? Wrong.

For decades, health experts have warned against fast-and-furious weight loss. Instead, they advise you aim at losing one to two pounds a week through diet and exercise. Losing more than this is considered risky to your health for a variety of reasons.

So the next time you’re thinking about trying a fad diet, taking a diet supplement, or drastically cutting your calories in an effort to lose weight, think again. Besides winding up with less energy, you’ll be irritabile and experience more headaches, dizziness, and constipation. Your hair may even fall out.

Not convinced yet? Rapid weight loss may also lead to these unwanted results.

Malnutrition

Your body requires a balance of nutrients for health and wellness. These nutrients come from food. If you’re not eating enough calories, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on valuable nutrients. Since many fad diets restrict the type of food you’re allowed to eat, entire food groups may be missing. This may help you lose weight, but it’ll do damage. Believe it or not, your body needs fat and carbs for good health. Any nutritional deficiencies can cause health problems both in the short- and long-term.

Gallstones

Approximately one-quarter of those who go on very low calorie diets get gallstones. These cause severe pain and indigestion. How’s it happen? When you don’t eat enough food, digestive juices produced by the gallbladder can’t do their job of breaking down fat. The juices then harden into crystals and block the duct from the gallbladder, causing pain. Some crystals may be the size of a grain of sand. Others grow to be the size of a golf ball. Rapid weight loss and yo-yo dieting up your risk for gallstones.

Loss of Muscle Mass

Rapid weight loss often means a loss of muscle mass. Unless you practice strength-training exercises while losing one to two pounds a week, you’ll likely lose fat, muscle, and bone mass. Losing muscle is a recipe for a slowed metabolism. If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off, you can’t afford for that to happen. Weaker muscles also make everyday life activities more difficult and risky. As if that’s not problem enough, bone loss today sets the stage for frail bones tomorrow.

Electrolyte Imbalance

Starvation diets or cutting out food groups can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. Compounds in the body such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium require a delicate balance to do their important functions. Too many or too few can lead to irregular heartbeats, seizures, fatigue, muscle cramping, muscle weakness, or irritability.

The Rebound Effect

How many times have you lost weight, only to have it return again? You may have even regained more than you lost. This is known as the rebound effect, and it happens quite often. The main culprit: going on a very low calorie diet. When you do this, your body thinks it’s starving to death. As a protective measure, your body slows your metabolism and holds onto every calorie. That way, it has calories when energy is needed in the future. This causes your weight loss to slow down. Then when you begin eating more calories, the weight piles on quickly. Because your body is still storing up to fend against future calorie deficits.