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Can you lose weight too quickly?

September 3, 2020

We all know that being overweight can lead to a number of health issues from diabetes, digestion & bone issues, etc and this is the main reason people decide to lose weight. However, did you know that weight loss in itself can be dangerous for your health? 

You’ve probably heard before that it is better to lose weight slowly rather than fast. That’s because people who lose weight slowly are more likely to stick to their healthy habits rather than people who lose weight fast. Losing 1–2 pounds (0.45–0.9 kg) per week is considered a healthy and safe rate and everything above that exposes you to the risks of fast weight loss.

Is fast weight loss unhealthy?

If a doctor, nutritionist, or professional oversees your fast weight loss journey, chances are that you will be healthy and be able to maintain the weight. However, if you go rogue with a diet that you find on the internet and limit your calorie intake too much, you just might be.

The Risks of losing weight too fast

 When you lose weight in a slow manner, you train your body to eat healthily and be active. Those habits stick with you even when you achieve your goal weight. This is why slower weight loss is more sustainable than fast weight loss. 

Although for some people fast weight loss is not dangerous and can be sustained, there is a huge risk that you can damage your health. Health issues that derive from fast weight loss are as follows.

You can lose muscle

Just because the number on the scale is lower it does not mean that you’re burning fat and you’re healthy. People who follow very-low-calorie diets (500 calories/day) tend to lose muscle weight 6x more than people who follow a 1200 calories/day diet study shows.

A more moderate approach to calories seems to be the best way to lose weight although it takes more time. 

You can weaken your bones

External factors such as nutrition are critically important to bone health. Nutritional deficiencies that come from malnutrition can result in the formation of weaker and more fragile bones.

You can slow down your metabolism

Your metabolism is what determines how many calories your body burns in a day. A diet that is too low in calories can even cause your metabolism to slow down study finds. When you’re trying to lose weight, this is the last thing you need. 

Our bodies run by turning the food we eat into energy. When we restrict it from a large number of calories our body shifts to “emergency mode” and starts burning the calories at a slower pace. Our muscles are weaker and our thyroid hormones, the ones that regulate our metabolism, fall.

You can lose your hair

Hairloss is a serious problem a lot of people but especially women have experienced on their weight loss journey. Collagen can help with this problem but sometimes the problem can become so severe that collagen just won’t cut it. 

When you consume fewer calories, your body does not have a lot of nutrients to send to hair, skin, and nails. That’s why your hair, skin, and nails can suffer from fast weight loss. 

You can feel very weak and with no energy

As we mentioned earlier, our bodies turn the food we eat into the energy we need for our day to day life. When we eat fewer calories we have less energy and feel weaker. 

You can lower your immune system

Just like everything else on the list above, our immune system as well depends on the food we eat. Malnutrition is the main cause of a weak immune system in people study says.

It can cause Gallstones

Despite the benefits of weight loss, losing weight too fast can cause cholesterol crystal and gallstone formation. Gallstones, in particular, are directly tied to the number of calories we consume on our day to day life. Faster rates of weight loss, for a long period of time, are associated with increased risk of gallstones.

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