Do you ever wonder who THEY are? You know who I mean, THEM. The ones that say you should only lose 1-2 pounds per week. Who are THEY and how did THEY get in charge? I did a quick search to see exactly what the dangers of rapid weight loss are and it seems that there really are good reasons to take it slow. One of the main dangers is dehydration – because you lose water weight before you burn fat, this is a serious risk. Dehydration causes a number of problems: dizziness, lack of energy, kidney stones, diarrhea and vomiting. Rapid weight loss also means rapid muscle loss.
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When you don’t get enough nutrients from the food you eat, your body starts “eating” your muscles for energy, which in turn slows down your metabolism. It’s a catch 22: the less you eat, the more your body panics and tries to hold on to every calorie it gets because it doesn’t know when it will get more. When you lose a lot of weight rapidly, you also end up with loose, baggy skin. Your skin is elastic but it takes time for it to shrink to fit your new size. It is most noticeable in your abdomen and arms. If you lose a large amount of weight, you may even need surgery to get rid of the extra skin. A large weight loss, especially if it is the result of fasting, throws off the balance of cholesterol and bile salts in the gallbladder, causing gallstones. The effects of gallstones are not pretty: severe pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and vomiting. Sometimes they will pass (painfully!) on their own and sometimes they have to be surgically removed.
Hair loss is also common if you stay on a liquid or a very-low calorie diet (under 800 calories per day) too long. Hair needs protein to grow and protein is greatly reduced in these types of diets. First your hair will get brittle then eventually fall out as your body re-directs any protein it gets to more vital organs. I still don’t know who THEY are or how THEY got in charge, but it does seem that THEY know what they’re talking about. None of these side effects sound like fun, and some are downright dangerous. So I’ll pass on the gimmicks, even though the promise of losing 10 lbs in 1 week is tempting. I have finally made peace with this wild head of hair I was blessed with and I would hate to lose it all and have to start over again.