Is Extreme Weight Loss Healthy?
You didn’t gain all your weight in one day; you won’t lose it in one day. Be patient with yourself.
Jenna Wolfe ‧ an American journalist and personal trainer
With shows on TV like 'The Biggest Loser' and 'Extreme Weight Loss,' we have looked at our weight as a society, and we have started to ask ourselves if we are doing enough to stay healthy. Some people are at a point where they could lose a few pounds, while others are morbidly obese and could easily be killed by their overeating.
Whether it's a few pounds or a lot, we feel as though we need to lose the weight and lose it fast. We feed this belief with reality TV coupled with images of celebrities and models who are in amazing shape. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, maybe even quickly, we have to ask ourselves if extreme weight loss is healthy. The truth is, in most cases, it's not.
Losing Weight Should Be Gradual
Weight loss should be a gradual thing, and extreme weight loss can put a lot of pressure on our bodies. When people on shows like 'The Biggest Loser' are interviewed, they often discuss the sometimes serious injuries they sustained from overworking their muscles and bones.
Also, people have a tendency to go too far in the opposite direction with their food intake, which can lead to starvation. Here, the body becomes malnourished and many important body functions can slow and even shut down because of this.
It's Only Water Weight
TIP: If you are told that extreme weight loss methods aren't for you, respect your doctor's wishes.
Other quick and extreme weight loss diets involve practices that leave people dehydrated, which can cause serious damage to your body. Sure, you'll lose weight quickly, but this is only water weight and it will come back on as soon as you drink water again.
With all of this being said, you can lose a sizeable amount of weight quickly... if you have the weight to lose. Most people that you hear about losing well above the recommended two pounds per week are people who have a sizeable amount of fat to drop, and those people are usually dropping the weight under the correct supervision.
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Extreme Weight Loss Effects Health
If you feel this is you and that you are at a point where your weight is affecting your health, consult your doctor and a nutritionist. They will point you in the right direction and create a meal and workout plan that won't shock your system or lead to major health concerns.
If you are told that extreme weight loss methods aren't for you, respect your doctor's wishes. At the end of the day, it's your life and you will do whatever you want with it, but I highly recommend considering what they have to say and trust the professionals.
Be aware, too fast or extreme weight loss may cause muscle loss, it may slow down your metabolism, cause nutritional deficiencies, gallstones, and other side effects such as fatigue, irritability, feeling cold, muscle cramps, dizziness, and so on.
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The Bottom Line
In short, is extreme weight loss healthy? The answer is it can be, for the right person, under the right circumstances. For the rest of us, we need to stick it out for the long run, put in the work and do it the right way for our bodies and our overall health.
Practice shows that slow, steady weight loss is easier to maintain long-term because it’s better for developing healthy eating behaviours, and is much safer than too quick weight loss. If you want to lose weight and keep it off for many months and years to come, start with a slow but steady rate of 1–2 pounds per week.
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FAQ About Extreme Weight Loss
Extreme weight loss is defined as a loss of more than 1 kg (2.2 lb) a week for a sustained period. Under such circumstances, your body is unlikely to keep up and noticeable symptoms are bound to appear. Some may seem harmless on the surface, like minor hair-loss or feeling cold more frequently.
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.
The military diet, also called the 3-day diet, is a weight loss diet that can help you lose up to 10 pounds in a week. The military diet plan involves a 3-day meal plan followed by 4 days off, and the weekly cycle is repeated again and again until you reach your goal weight.
Mostly, losing weight is an internal process. You will first lose hard fat that surrounds your organs like liver, kidneys and then you will start to lose soft fat like waistline and thigh fat. The fat loss from around the organs makes you leaner and stronger.
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