What are the risks of rapid weight loss in Women?
Rapid weight loss may sound fine for those who are overweight and eager to lose excessive pounds rapidly. Nowadays, women are so concerned regarding their body weight that they wish to achieve the perfect slim figure as quickly as possible. While rapid weight loss may sound good, but women should consider the risks associated with losing too much too quickly.
Risks of Rapid Weight Loss in Women:
- Formation of Gallstones: Gallstones are one of the most common complications related to rapid weight loss. According to weight control information network, if you tend to lose three or more pounds per week then you are at high risks of developing gallstones.
Gallstones are solid pebbles which are composed of cholesterol that forms in your gallbladder- an organ that stores bile which is essential for fat digestion. Rapid weight loss prevents proper emptying of the gallbladder or cause an imbalance in the cholesterol and bile salts thus lead to formation of gallstones.
- Menstrual Irregularities: Losing considerable amount of weight within a short time span causes women to suffer from an imbalance in hormones which leads to menstrual irregularities. You may even experience scantier, heavier, shorter or longer periods than normal.
- Disrupt the fluid balance in your body: Maintaining the electrolyte balance is crucial for your health. Initially, when you lose a significant amount of weight, much of it consists of water. Rapid fluid loss can disrupt the balance of minerals as the body excretes the sodium to get rid of water. The muscles, including the heart muscles depend on the proper electrolyte balance. Electrolytes carry an electrical charge that helps contraction of muscles and also play a significant role for heart beat.
- Muscle Loss: Losing too much weight rapidly will limit your body’s ability to burn fat. If you tend to lose more than 2 lbs per week then you are likely losing water or the lean tissue instead of fat. Muscle loss is a crucial health concern as these help your body to look lean and fit. However, losing muscle quickly, but retaining the fat will make you look soft and have no definition. Muscles are also known to maintain working of your metabolism at an optimal speed. So cutting down your calorie intake significantly will lead to muscle loss and this will in turn slow down your metabolism.
- Metabolism takes a nosedive: Rapid weight loss kicks your body into the survival mode in which it makes certain adaptations to slow down the use of energy. The researchers at the National Institutes of Health conducted an experiment with obese women who rapidly lost a large amount of weight. The study found that these women experienced a higher decline in resting metabolism rate, which is the amount of calories you burn at rest. This decline was out of proportion to the amount of weight lost and persisted after the women have reached their weight loss goal. The researchers have concluded that the significant decrease in metabolism puts you at higher risk for regaining weight.
- Liver Damage: Losing excessive weight too rapidly puts you at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver. It causes rapid changes in level of fat in your blood which in turn end up damaging your liver. According to the Harvard Medical School, rapid weight loss of four or more pounds per week ends up damaging your liver.
- Lack of energy: When you tend to rapidly lose weight, there are chances you’ll be opting for the crash diet by cutting down your calorie intake significantly. This may lead you to feel tired, weak and sluggish both physically as well as mentally. As per the medical experts, crash diets not only have ill effects on your mental health, but also lead you to depression and even the development of an eating disorder.
- Hair Loss: Rapid weight loss in women may cause telogen effluvium where you tend to shed large amounts of hair everyday while brushing, shampooing and styling. During telogen effluvium your hair shifts faster than normal from the growing phase into the resting phase before moving rapidly into the shedding or telogen phase.
Other risks of rapid weight loss include irritability, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, constipation, malnutrition and menstrual irregularities.
Now that you have gone through the risks of rapid weight loss, it is clear that rapid weight loss may not be only dangerous but also ineffective. It is therefore better to consider shedding off your excessive pounds at a slower pace to avoid any side-effects of rapid weight loss. The slow and steady way to lose weight will reduce unwanted risks. When losing weight, make sure you aren’t losing more than one to two pounds per week. Also ensure to eat healthy, nutritious food to avoid any health abnormalities. Follow a combination of healthy diet and exercises to achieve safe and successful weight loss and maintain a healthy weight.
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