Why Trying to Lose Weight Fast Is Dangerous

by Danny Durik

When most people embark on a diet, it is with gusto and sometimes desperation. This can be the case when you want to lose weight for a special event or you need to lose weight following a scary prognosis like heart problems, diabetes or high blood pressure.

Yet there are as many dangers of losing weight too fast as there is in being overweight. Losing weight too fast may even cost your life.

woman suffering from stroke

Dying to Be Thin

The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 published the account of three wrestlers who tried to lose weight too fast to qualify for fights in a particular weight category.

They severely cut down their food and drink intake and tried to enhance perspiration by working out in hot areas and wearing vapor-impermeable suits. Their bodies could not take the strain and they all died of cardiovascular arrest.

One way people will try to lose weight is by severely limiting their calorie intake. This will often result in symptoms like nausea, dizziness, constipation and general body weakness. In some people, gallstones may begin to form especially if they are obese and they lose weight too fast. This is attributed to the cholesterol settling in the gall bladder and the limited ability of this part to contract in order to expel bile.

The body is also left vulnerable to infections because the immune system is also affected by insufficient nutrition and general body weakness. One can therefore fall quite ill because of such diet. Even if you get off a crash diet, it takes the body time to get back to normal and to regain optimum health.

Limited Brain Power

Apart from the body weakness and lethargy, the brain also suffers fast weight loss attempts. Short term memory and the ability to concentrate or perform academic tasks have also been reported by those who have tried such feats.

Effect on Muscles

Another danger of losing weight too fast is the effect on the muscles and organs. The body needs the intake of a certain number of calories to carry out basic functions such as breathing, digesting food and cell regeneration and repair.

When you lose weight too fast, the muscles are affected. When you first start losing weight, you lose fluid, fat and some lean tissue. If high rate weight loss continues, the danger is that the body slows down its rate of metabolism in an effort to preserve calories so that it can survive.

Muscles need more calories than fat for sustenance and the body may begin to metabolize the muscles in order to survive. One can start to waste away when this happens as is seen in anorexia patients.

Not Sustainable

Fast weight loss diets are also not sustainable and neither is any results gained from them. When the various effects and symptoms set in, the diet has to be given up.

The result is very fast weight gain that often goes over the weight one was at before starting on the crash diet. People often yo -yo back and forth between losing and gaining weight for several years without gaining sustainable results.

Long Term Weight Loss

The only way to achieve weight loss is by adapting permanent lifestyle choices. A good place is with a consultation with a doctor, or even better with a nutritionist. The first thing they will do it take down your details and determine the ideal weight you should be at for your weight.

A doctor or nutritionist will also carry out various tests to see if you are in good health. In doing so, they may unearth undetected problems like gastric problems or thyroid problems that may be causing slow metabolism and weight gain. They can even check specifically for such problems.

Sometimes, just addressing such problems resolves the weight gain problem. If not, with the advice and guidance of a doctor, you can explore the option of diet pills, appetite suppressants, fat burners, fat blockers and other weight loss aids.

There are all kinds of aids in the market. Some of them are dangerous. They contain banned substances and a doctor would know which ones are safe and effective.

A medical expert will also put one on a suitable diet that ensures gradual and long term weight loss. This is the approach that gives lasting results and this is the approach that should be taken whether the goal is to lose just a few pounds or a lot of excess weight.

(Danny Duric is a health and fitness researcher, blogger. Danny writes for an online service that enables patients to book doctors appointments online.)

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