Thinking about following extreme weight loss programs? You should think twice about it.
Trying to lose weight at an accelerated pace is a dangerous game. This is common among those looking to get into summer-ready bodies, those suffering from self-esteem issues, and even athletes like boxers. However, health professionals are vehemently against this practice.
Rapidly losing weight can induce some bad weight loss side effects that may become dangerous to our bodies. Unfortunately, a lot of diet programs out there promote this, and it’s up to us to be wary of such.
If you’re trying out a diet program, look out for the following warning signs that indicate you’re on the wrong track.
1. Hunger and Anger
As you deprive yourself of food, you’ll find yourself thinking about food a lot. This happens when you lose weight too quickly; our brains will remind us to eat because our bodies are hungry.
Even if you don’t feel hungry, which will happen after days of feeling extra hungry, your mind will tell you to eat.
Feeling so hungry can also lead to irritability, hence the made-up term “hangry.” One might think this is normal with dieting. On the contrary, a healthy weight loss diet program plus a proper exercise should result in a lot of happy hormones.
If you’re feeling angry all the time, it’s likely that you’re cutting out the wrong foods or your diet is too extreme. Scientists also found that the restrictions we put on ourselves when dieting can provoke aggressive behavior.
To avoid irritability, cut back slowly. Give your body time to adjust as you trim down your calorie intake.
2. Lethargy and Fatigue
Feeling weak and tired all the time? Your body might not be getting the nutrients it needs to function normally.
This is one of the dangers of rapid weight loss. By cutting down certain foods from your diet, you risk not getting the right nutrients.
Reducing the calorie intake is one thing, but make sure you select the right foods to incorporate into your diet program.
A Big Mac from McDonald’s, for example, has about 257 calories. Eating 4 of it in one day without eating other foods will result in about 1,028 calories, which is still below the recommended daily calorie intake.
You’ll lose weight fast, that’s a given, but a Big Mac is not exactly nutritious. Replace it with vegetables, fruits, and healthy sources of fats and protein to feel refreshed even while losing weight.
3. Hormonal Changes
Hormones regulate our bodily functions. When weight loss causes an imbalance, it affects your normal body functions, such as our sleep and eating cycles. A hormonal imbalance can cause mood swings and depression as well.
If you’re experiencing sleep disturbances and other conditions, you might be thinking of other causes other than weight loss. Before you search for “ENT near me” or “doctors near me,” though, look into your dieting program first.
Drastic weight loss can cause unwanted changes in your body. You might get acne a lot, or you might even be gaining weight instead of losing it.
Women are somewhat accustomed to this occurrence as hormonal changes happen before and during menstruation. However, an imbalance due to unhealthy dieting can have long-lasting effects.
Some who had undergone extreme dieting can have messed up hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which controls appetite. This can cause you to feel hungry all the time. Even if you’ve stopped dieting for a year, you might also still find that you’re constantly hungry.
4. Irregular Menstruation Cycle
Like sleeping and eating, your hormones also regulate your menstruation. As such, any imbalance can cause irregularities in your menstrual cycle.
You might experience missed periods or irregular cycles. People also reported getting heavy menstruations from certain diets, such as the hCG diet. This can lead to other complications and may be dangerous for those with anemia.
Starving your body and stress are also factors. Your menstrual cycle may shut itself down if your body isn’t ready to get pregnant.
Your body is adept at regulating itself that way. If it thinks that it’s not healthy for you to get pregnant, it will delay your period to eliminate that risk, thus conserving and putting your energy and the little nutrients you have into making sure you’ll stay alive.
5. Erratic Heartbeats
Changes in weight lead to changes in your blood pressure, which can cause irregular heart rhythms. Arrhythmia then causes a lot of other complications, such as a heart failure, cardiac arrest, stroke, and others.
What’s more, rapid weight loss can damage your heart further than erratic heartbeats. With a crash diet, your heart may not be able to keep up and may incur damages if your body isn’t getting enough nutrients.
You’re also at an increased risk of heart attacks. Studies have also found a correlation between crash diets and heart diseases, which can eventually lead to death in some cases.
6. Hair Loss
During an unhealthy dieting, you put a lot of stress on your body on top of depriving it of nutrients. This can result in unhealthy hair and hair loss. Aside from your hair, your skin and nails will also likely suffer due to a crash diet.
The nutrients that make your hair shiny and full of life come from the food you eat. If you limit your food intake every day to reduce your calorie count, you also risk reducing the number of nutrients that go into your body.
As we’ve said above, though, it’s okay to count calories as long as you incorporate healthy foods into your diet. You’ll still likely experience some changes in your hair, but it will go back to its normal state or even healthier as long as you’re getting your nutritional needs.
7. Frequent Headaches
There are different kinds of headaches, but you’re probably experiencing hunger headaches if they pop up when you’re dieting. According to the National Headache Foundation, this kind of a headache strikes just before mealtime.
But what causes it? A hunger headache is due to skipping meals, oversleeping, and muscle tension, which all come with extreme dieting.
Low blood sugar levels can also trigger headaches. When the brain doesn’t receive enough glucose, it can cause a migraine, confusion, sweating, and even hypothermia on top of a headache.
How to prevent it? Well, make sure you’re consuming regular, nourishing meals to keep it away.
As headaches can also be due to fluid and mineral shifts, it might also help to add extra table salt to your food to keep your body’s sodium level normal. It also contains potassium, which can also help with headaches.
8. Excess or Loose Skin
One of the side effects of weight loss is a sagging skin. When you lose weight, you lose the mass that occupies that space.
In a healthy diet, your skin will adapt and contour to your new body. Exercise will also help tone your body as you’re also building muscles. However, with rapid weight loss, your skin will not be able to keep up with the changes.
Furthermore, an unhealthy dieting might mean you’re losing muscles. Some people might be happy with all the mass they’ve lost with extreme dieting, but losing muscles isn’t a good thing. You’d want to lose fat, not muscle.
You won’t get a flat stomach this way, as you’ll always be cradling a flabby one due to saggy skin.
Muscles are hard to build, which is why you’ll need to spend hours in the gym to accumulate mass. However, it’s fairly easy to lose. Once you lose muscles, it’ll be harder for you to get them back.
9. Digestive Issues
Stomach pain, constipation, cramps, and queasiness are some of the side effects of rapid weight loss. Cutting out the junk food in your diet should result in a happier and healthier stomach, but the opposite is true when you lose weight quickly.
Note that some crash diets can also cause dehydration, which can then cause constipation. Don’t increase your fiber intake thoughtlessly, though. Increasing it without increasing water intake will still lead to constipation.
The probiotics living in your intestines also take a hit. These are good bacteria that help with your digestion process, so any changes to the intestinal microflora will result in a lot of tummy troubles.
10. Abnormal Weight Gain
What? You’ll gain weight instead of losing weight?
That’s right, unhealthy dieting might take you on the opposite direction of where you want to go. A crash diet isn’t a permanent solution to your weight problem. It’s hardly a band-aid solution.
You might be happy with the amount of weight you’ve lost in a short amount of time, but you’ll eventually gain it back once you start eating again. You can’t avoid that; it’s inevitable that you’ll begin eating again.
Your brain doesn’t register that your period of extreme dieting and exercise is a lifestyle. It will assume that it’s only a traumatic period, hence it will return to maintaining the lifestyle you had before a crash diet.
You’ll end up consuming the same amount of food from before you lose weight, which means you’ll also rapidly gain your weight back. Your body will also try to compensate for the calories you lost during that “traumatic period,” so it will try to attack high-calorie foods.
What’s worse is that your body might not distribute the weight properly at this point, leaving you with a worse problem than what you started with. It’s also highly possible that you’ll be heavier in the end.
Experiencing Nasty Weight Loss Side Effects?
You might not be doing it right!
Follow the tips above to avoid the most problematic weight loss side effects. Visit our blog today to read more tips on how to lose weight effectively, like this one revealing our pick of the best weight loss supplements in the market.