Although losing weight isn’t simple, it’s ultimately a worthwhile journey. Losing 5 – 10% of your initial weight, whether or not you are overweight, will have a major positive impact on your health. You’ll experience some of the additional advantages that come with being healthier, such as a leaner body. Having too much weight lost too quickly, however, can also pose a real health danger.
Rapid weight loss, often referred to as severe weight loss, is a sort of short-term weight loss in which you drop a significant amount of body weight quickly by adhering to extreme diets. Most of the typical web advertisements, such as “Lose 7 pounds in 7 days” and “10-Day Weight Loss Challenge,” encourage rapid and drastic weight loss.
Rapid weight reduction is difficult to define precisely because it depends on your age, weight, and amount of physical activity. While it is feasible to drop a particular number of pounds in a week or month, doing so may have detrimental short-term health effects and possibly put you at risk for long-term weight gain.
Dangers of Rapid Weight Loss
- Loss of Essential Nutrients
Extreme weight loss carries a number of dangerous risks that you cannot afford to overlook. These diets deprive their bodies of vital nutrients, to start. Lack of certain vitamins and minerals might lead to various health issues as well as injury predispositions. Anaemia is one such condition that results in sensations of weakness, exhaustion, and even fainting spells.
- Loss of Muscle Mass
Not only do you lose muscle when you lose weight, but also fat. The ratio of fat to muscle is further thrown off by a loss in muscle mass, which frequently coincides with a slower metabolism. Weaker muscles make daily chores like lifting heavy goods or climbing stairs more difficult. Even if the final weight on the scale looks better, your quality of life might not be as good.
- Severe Dehydration
You can lose more water as a result of an intensive diet than actual fat, which is the cause of your rapid weight loss. When you reduce the amount of carbs or calories in your diet, this is a common adverse effect. The body enters starvation mode when it believes you are not getting enough calories and starts burning your carbohydrate reserves for energy.
Because carbohydrates are actually carbons with water molecules attached, when your body burns glycogen, a form of carbohydrate that is stored in your muscles and liver, water is also released from your body. Watch out for dehydration symptoms including headaches, weariness, poor energy, and irritability if you observe a rapid loss in weight in just three days. Most likely, you are merely losing water weight.
- Low Metabolism
Your body enters a starvation state as a result of rapid weight reduction, which slows down your metabolism or the body’s capacity to burn calories. Your body tries to preserve energy when you consume fewer calories than you should by slowing the pace at which calories are used while you walk, eat, sleep, and exercise.
Although you can lose a lot of weight in the first few days of an extreme diet, even when you rigorously adhere to it, your body will soon struggle to burn calories, and you will hit a weight loss plateau. This will put you at risk for weight cycling, in which you lose weight and soon regain it after returning to your previous eating and lifestyle habits.
- Serious Hunger Pangs
Leptin, a hormone that controls fullness and hunger, becomes extremely unstable when you follow a 1,000-calorie-per-day diet. When your body has an adequate amount of fat, it tells your brain that you are full at typical levels.
However, a lower-calorie diet tends to cause the body’s leptin levels to be out of balance, which makes you feel more hungry than usual and makes you more inclined to overeat at your next meal. In addition, you should be prepared for side symptoms like nausea, irritability, sleeplessness, and moodiness, which medical professionals collectively refer to as “hanger,” referring to the unfavorable emotional state that develops when you consume less food than is optimal.
Causes Of Extreme Weight Loss
- Gastrointestinal Issues
A decrease in appetite can result from digestive problems that interfere with the satiety hormone, leptin, and the hunger hormone, ghrelin.
• Ulcerative colitis
• Peptic ulcer disease
• Crohn’s disease
- Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid diseases result in irregular thyroid hormone production, which might have an impact on your nutrition. Examples include:
• Hypothyroidism: A thyroid that is not functioning properly may result in weight gain.
• Hyperthyroidism: Even if you have a healthy appetite, an overactive thyroid can make you burn calories quickly.
Many cancer therapies and drugs can produce nausea or a loss in appetite. Cancer increases inflammation, which disrupts hormones that control appetite. The following are some cancers that might result in unexplained weight loss:
• Pancreatic cancer
• Lung cancer
• Stomach cancer
• Esophageal cancer
Due to their systems’ inability to absorb glucose as effectively, diabetics lose a lot of water, which is why they commonly experience thirst and urinate more frequently. Another typical side effect of diabetes is muscular atrophy, which is another route for rapid weight loss.
- Mental Conditions
People who experience depression or anxiety may notice changes in their appetite because these conditions can affect the brain regions that regulate hunger. Dementia patients may additionally be unable to express their hunger demands.
- Eating disorders
You’ll probably lose weight if you have an eating problem because of your erratic eating patterns and other behaviors. Extreme weight loss is extremely dangerous for people who have anorexia, a lack of appetite, or bulimia, episodes of binge eating followed by self-inflicted vomiting.
It’s crucial to understand your current circumstance and what’s causing it if you’re trying to reduce weight. Keeping a food journal is an excellent approach to achieve this. This will also enable you to keep track of your eating habits. Making healthy lifestyle modifications is possible once you are aware of the reasons behind your weight reduction.
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