We have all seen shows like the Biggest Loser where the contestants rapidly lose massive amounts of excess body fat. By the end of the show they look super healthy and super fit, but a few months after the show and the rapid weight loss, more often than not, the contestants have out the weight back on, and what we don’t see are the bad side-effects of extreme, rapid weight loss that make you unhealthy rather than healthier.
So it is possible to lose a lot of weight fast. We see on shows like the biggest loser contestants losing more than 3kgs a week, jockeys, and in magazines celebrities losing their baby fat within 2 months. You’ve seen the heavy contestants strip the weight down but you don’t see what happens to them in 6 months, 12 months or years later. Jockeys also strip the weight fast to make weight for races but most of their weight loss is fluid; they don’t have much fat to strip. Of course rapid weight loss is appealing. And we see it everywhere, but what most of us are not aware of, are the risks of fast weight loss are.
Risks of rapid weight loss and severe diets:
1. Loss of energy.
Extreme dieting and weight loss can lead a decline in energy. A loss of energy can affect our motivation and ability to get out and continue stay active. The majority of rapid weight loss diets are based on extreme calorie restriction. Our muscles perform best when enough energy is available. If you diet is lacking a certain food group or groups, which most do, then you are definitely at risk of losing energy.
2. Inadequate nutrient intake.
Most extreme rapid loss plans will be based on calorie restriction. With calorie restriction, vitamin, and mineral deficiency is likely. When we lack enough vitamins and minerals can make us feel unwell, run-down and fatigued. The symptoms of deficiency are quite general, and can take months to even show, so you may not realise even realise you are deficient them down to a lack of nutrients. Common signs of nutrient deficiency include:
Increased tendency to colds and other infections
Loss of bone density &
3. Loss of muscle mass
When we think of weight loss, most of us just focus on the number we see on the scale. Weight loss should not be confused with fat loss. Weight loss can result in a loss of fat of course, but usually also results in a loss of muscle mass too. When we go on extreme diets, even if we continue exercise, we are at risk of loss of muscle mass. This is usually a result of inadequate protein intake due to a restricted diet.
So what do we suggest? We think that rapid weight loss is not sustainable. Initially you might feel really good, and like the results, but your body will not be able to keep up. The weight lost is usually regained, plus some. We suggest you create long term, habits that will last. Small changes that can have a big difference. Simply changing from white bread to wholemeal, or changing that soft drink to water flavoured by fruit. By following a your weight loss plan, like our TYMC make over plan, that is flexible enough to include your favourite foods and drinks but will still give you results.
Disclaimer: Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss. Consult with your health care processional before beginning any diet or exercise regime.