Rapid Weight Loss: Is It Safe?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

The majority of people who struggle with weight gain all their lives find the idea of losing weight fast nothing short of miraculous. After all, who wouldn’t want to achieve a thinner, shapelier physique in just weeks? That explains why rapid weight loss programs have ballooned into a million dollar industry. But is it really safe to lose so much weight at such short amount of time? More importantly, how can rapid weight loss affect your health? Today we are shedding light on the issue with ruminations straight from the experts.

Is Rapid Weight Loss Safe?

The quick answer is yes and no. Yes, rapid weight loss can be safe if it’s done the right way. The right way entails getting a doctor to prescribe a low-calorie diet for rapid weight loss. These diet programs are meant for morbidly obese individuals afflicted with serious, weight-related illnesses.

A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is ideal. It may seem like a slow pace for weight loss but to put it into perspective, to lose a pound of fat, you have to burn off 3,500 calories. Therefore, to lose one point in a week, you have to burn off 500 calories more than you can eat each day. The calculation goes like this: 500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories.

Most health experts agree; gradual weight loss through balanced meals and exercising is the only healthy way to achieve a normal weight. Rapid weight loss becomes unhealthy when you are losing too much weight than the body can handle. Losing 20 pounds in a week is considered unhealthy and doctors and fitness experts alike do not recommend this at all.

The Side Effects of Rapid Weight Loss

Tissue Breakdown

Rapid weight loss triggers the breakdown of muscle tissues. When the body is not getting enough fuel it needs to complete all biological processes, the body starts eating itself. Self-cannibalism begins by the breakdown of muscle tissues. During the process, you will lose weight because of shrinking muscle mass. This leaves the body weaker, more vulnerable to infections and diseases. Worse, the body is left with more stored fat because lean muscles are gone.

Weak Bones

A restrictive diet means shunning various food groups that strengthen the bones. And health experts found a link between osteoporosis and rapid weight loss diets. When the bones are not getting the nutrients they need, they become porous and brittle. This makes the body prone to bone disease, bone fractures, and other bone-related issues. You might be losing weight through a rapid weight loss diet but at the cost of a weaker body that requires lots of medications to survive.

Weak Heart

The heart pumps up blood to every cell living in your body. Imagine if the heart starts breaking down due to rapid weight loss. It can happen because the heart is a muscle. Going back to our first point, the body will use muscle tissues for fuel when it’s not getting the nutrients it needs from the food you eat.

You can imagine the stress that the heart goes through as it works hard pumping blood, at the same time, being broken down by your own body for energy. Studies show that rapid weight loss and restrictive diets can lead to irregular heartbeat, weak pulse, unstable blood pressure and eventually, heart failure.

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