Many people are eager to lose weight and try fad diets that promise to help them shed pounds fast. Although one of those diets may help you lower the number on the scale, you may experience a host of problems. Losing one to two pounds per week is generally considered to be healthy and sustainable.
Fast Weight Loss Can Be Harmful
If you restrict the amount of food you consume and limit or cut out entire food groups to lose weight quickly, your health may suffer. You may experience vitamin deficiencies that can leave you feeling tired, weaken your immune system, and cause your hair to become brittle or to fall out. You may become dehydrated and may be more susceptible to heart problems and other health issues.
Rapid Weight Loss May Not Result in Fat Loss
Detoxes and cleanses may help you lose weight quickly, but most of the loss will come from water weight. If your body doesn’t get enough calories from food, it will seek other sources of energy, such as muscle. If you lose weight gradually, on the other hand, you will lose fat, not water or muscle.
A Restrictive Diet Can Affect Your Mental Health
Cutting calories and not allowing yourself to have foods you enjoy can make you feel deprived, anxious and irritable. Those feelings may affect your ability to focus on your job and your relationships with loved ones.
Fast Weight Loss May Not Be Sustainable
If you lose weight gradually, your body’s metabolism will adjust and remain efficient. If you shed a lot of pounds in a short period of time, your metabolism will eventually slow down and you may regain some or all of the weight you lost.
Slow Weight Loss Can Instill Healthy Habits
Small changes can lead to significant weight loss. Many people find that making minor changes is easier to handle – physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you begin to eat healthy foods and incorporate more physical activity in your daily life, you will see the benefits in terms of lost weight, increased energy and decreased stress. Those positive results can encourage you to stay the course and help you keep the weight off.
When Rapid Weight Loss May Be Appropriate
If you are obese, have diabetes or another serious medical condition, or undergo gastric bypass surgery, a doctor may advise you to dramatically reduce the number of calories you consume. In that case, a physician will monitor your food intake and may instruct you to take supplements so you get all the nutrients your body needs.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’re concerned about your weight, speak with your physician about your current health status, how much weight you should lose and how to do it. Your doctor may recommend dietary changes and increased physical activity and may advise you to seek help from another professional, such as a nutritionist or a personal trainer.