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Side Effects of Rapid Weight Loss by Priyanka ,  May 10, 2013

Rapid Weight Loss: What Is It?

So many marketers promise "fast weight loss" it's difficult to sort through them all.

Most rapid weight loss pitches fall into these categories:

Starvation Diets

Beyonce popularized the so-called "master cleanse" diet: water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Variations of these diets have been around since at least the 1950s. They often also promise "detoxification" through colonics or enemas.

Diet Pills and Supplements

Dozens of diet supplements promise to speed weight loss. Generally, they claim either to block absorption of nutrients, increase metabolism, or burn fat.

Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCDs)

One proven method of rapid weight loss is the medically supervised very low-calorie diet (VLCD). Most of what is known about rapid weight loss comes from studies of people on these diets.

Creams, Devices, and Magic Voodoo Spells

There seems to be no end to the dubious ideas promoted in the name of rapid weight loss. Most promise to replace diet or exercise.

What Are the Risks of Rapid Weight Loss?

Rapid weight loss creates physical demands on the body. Possible serious risks include:

  • Gallstones, which occur in 12% to 25% of people losing large amounts of weight over several months.
  • Dehydration, which can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Malnutrition, usually from not eating enough protein for weeks at a time.
  • Electrolyte imbalances, which rarely can be life threatening.

Other side effects of rapid weight loss include:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss

The dangers of rapid weight loss increase with the time spent on the diet. Eating a no-protein diet is particularly risky.

Loose Skin: Rapid weight loss will always cause hanging skin. This is because even though skin is elastic, the stretching and shrinking process is slow. With rapid weight loss, the skin does not have enough time to adapt to the changing body and ends up loose and saggy. This is especially noticeable in the abdomen and arms. Obese people who lose large amounts of weight may eventually need cosmetic surgery to correct the problem.

Muscle Loss: Your body has a limited capacity to burn fat. According to, people who lose more than 2 lbs. per week are likely losing water or lean tissue rather than fat. Losing muscle is a bad idea for several reasons. Muscle keeps your body looking lean and fit. If you lose muscle quickly but retain the fat, you'll probably look "soft" and have no definition. Also, muscle keeps your metabolism working at optimal speed. When you cut down your calorie intake drastically, you lose muscle and your metabolism slows down.

Formation of gallstones

Gallbladder is present in your abdomen. It is a small sac present below the liver. This gallbladder helps in storage of fat until it is needed. Priya says – rapid weight loss can produce gallstones. Gallstones are hardening of cholesterols which looks like stones. These tiny stones can cause severe damage as it can cause infection due to obstruction in the normal flow of bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine. 

Lack of Energy: It is obvious that if you are losing so much weight so fast you are probably going for a crash diet and thus your calorie intake falls drastically. Therefore, this will lead you to feel tired, weak and sluggish physically and also mentally. Stop the crash diet, as it is no good for you other than having a an adverse effect on your health; not eating food is not the right way to go about it, instead eat the right things, avoid fatty foods, and go for lean protein.

Hair Loss: Hair loss is common in diet programs that cause rapid weight loss for long periods of time, such as the case of obesity surgery, liquid diets or very-low calorie diets (under 800 calories per day). Hair needs protein to grow and maintain its health. In diets that cause rapid weight loss, protein is usually reduced to a small percentage of the daily diet, as dieters usually need to concentrate in either liquids or produce to lose weight. The lack of protein in the diet will lead to brittle hair and eventually hair loss, as the body will use whatever little protein is consumed for other, more vital organ functions.

Fast weight loss means dehydration: The most famous technique to lose some quick pounds is the dehydration technique. Since most of the body weight is water; people dehydrate themselves to lose weight. This technique is totally unreal and harmful. Depriving yourself of water is not healthy at all. It can lead to various serious health problems like fainting, dizziness, and heart palpitations. Sometimes, it can further lead to muscle damage and also death. Plus, you will get back to your old weight very quickly as your body is known to restore fluids naturally. 

Poor sleep: Quick weight loss can make you tired very quickly and very often. When you get into a weight loss schedule, many individuals engage in lessening the amount of calories intake instead of burning fat. Due to low calorie intake, the metabolic rate goes down, which further means less energy and a more tired you.

You are increasing your stress level: Staying away from certain food or starving yourself to lose weight fast, can lower the metabolism rate in your body, which will further increase the stress hormone – cortisol. Due to the high presence of this hormone, you will feel mentally, physically and emotionally stressed and lost.
FatigueToo much exercise and weight training workout will cause you to feel tired. Almost all the time except gym session you will feel fatigue and restless. This is because your muscle is actually in repair or resting mode. Instead of sitting out and let your body recover over time. One quick way is to perform periodic stretching.

As you see, our body which works its muscle to allow you to move, will feel pain after lots of energy workout which is actually burning your fats, oxygen and other food stuff, converting it to heat + kinetic energy. This heat will stress your muscle and result in pain after exercising.

By doing simple stretching, your muscle is allowed to relax and recover faster, squeeze the blood vessel and release your pain from soreness. It may be painful at first but after few session of stretching you should be able to ease out the pain from within.

Giddiness. In most case of weight loss program, you will feel giddy at some point of time. This is due to cut down of sugar and salt. But in actual fact, you do need them for your body to function normally. Should your giddy persist, please consult a doctor immediately and stop your dieting and exercise. This is because a complete diet and work out will not cause you to feel giddy.

Feeling unusual about your normal self. If you experience vomiting, loss of appetite and extensive hair loss, most probably is the change of diet and the increase of exercising, which your body is not able to handle. You may want to reduce or revise your diet program with a dietician and your weight training regime with a fitness instructor. Always seek professional help.