In general, when we decide to start a diet to lose weight, we want the process to generate clear results in a short time. However, did you know that losing weight too fast can be risky for your health?
Learn all about it below.
Is losing weight too fast risky?
Starting a restrictive diet to lose weight is often tricky, especially if you are one of those people who love to eat. Stepping on the scale and seeing that the pointer is in the same place as the day before can be frustrating. However, you must be patient and follow medical recommendations.
Miracle diets that allow you to ‘lose’ several kilos per week can be risky for the body and, therefore, are not recommended by health professionals.
Are you wondering what is considered to be losing weight too fast? Overall, a loss of half to a pound a week is considered healthy; more than a kilogram a week would be considered ‘too fast’.
Also, it’s worth noting that if you suffer from fluid retention, you’re likely to lose more than a pound a week during the first few days of dieting.
Effects on the body
The body needs a certain amount of calories daily to perform its different functions. In summary, overweight occurs when calorie intake exceeds needs. To lose weight healthily, the ideal would be to progressively reduce intake as the level of physical activity increases.
Calorie needs vary from person to person based on their gender, age and level of physical activity, among other variables. Therefore, we recommend that, instead of adopting a miracle diet, you consult a nutritionist so that he can assess your health and design a diet according to your physical condition.
What happens when we decide to restrict food intake through an extremely restrictive diet? Losing weight too fast brings risks such as:
1. Loss of muscle mass
One of the main mistakes in resorting to miracle diets is wanting to lose weight without realizing that the real goal is to reduce body fat. In other words, losing weight and losing fat are not the same thing.
Muscle catabolism occurs when the body, needing energy and not receiving food, begins to feed on its own tissues, including its own muscles.
In 2016, a study evaluated a group of people on a very low-calorie diet for 5 weeks, and a control group on a moderately calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks (500 versus 1500 calories daily). In the end, the amount of pounds lost was similar, but the first group lost six times as much muscle mass.
2. Slower metabolism
Some research has found that losing weight too quickly can slow down your metabolism and therefore impair calorie burning. It has been proven that daily calorie burn can be as much as 23% lower.
3. Nutritional deficiencies
A diet that is too low in calories can lead to nutritional deficiencies, as it will not allow you to get all the minerals and vitamins your body needs to work properly. Nutritional deficiencies can translate into:
- Loss of hair
- extreme fatigue
- bone fragility
- weakened immune system
Each time we eat, the gallbladder releases gastric juices that help break down food so it can be digested. In addition, some studies indicate that, when eating a smaller amount of food, part of the unreleased bile juices can form gallstones.
5. Other problems
We’ve already mentioned the biggest risks we take when losing weight too fast. However, in addition to these serious health complications, other problems may appear such as:
- feeling cold
- muscle cramps
If you want to lose weight, avoid doing it too fast. Do not start a diet to lose weight without medical supervision. Remember that, before changing your eating habits, it is always recommended to consult a nutritionist.