Fast weight loss
If you want to lose weight, it may be tempting to look for the fastest way to do it. However, losing weight too fast, such as by crash dieting and extreme exercising, won't help you to maintain a healthy weight over the long term, and in the short term it could actually cause serious harm to your body.
What are the health risks of fast weight loss?
Fast weight loss has a number of health risks and most of the weight loss you will notice will be as a result of losing excess water and not fat. This loss of water can cause you to become dehydrated and will make you regain the weight you lost.
Fast weight loss and crash dieting can sometimes cause diarrhoea, which also can cause dehydration, leading to constipation. Not taking in the vital nutrients and calories your body needs can place you at risk of malnutrition, which causes fatigue. Losing weight too quickly can also result in a drop in your energy levels and stamina.
Sodium and potassium levels are also affected when you lose weight too fast. When the concentration of these two components is too low, you may experience painful cramps as well as general feelings of illness.
Fast weight loss can have an effect on the condition of your skin, giving your skin a flaky and dry appearance. Hair may also become lacklustre and dry and your nails may become brittle as a result of fast weight loss. Your mood is often affected by an unhealthy diet and may make you feel more irritable or leave you feeling depressed and anxious.
Losing weight healthily
The only way you can ensure that you lose weight healthily and sensibly is by following a healthy, balanced, calorie-controlled weight loss routine that is supplemented with regular exercise.
It may not provide you with the quick result you'd get from fast weight loss, but will ensure that you keep the weight off that you've lost. Ideally you should try and reduce your daily calorie intake (adult Guideline Daily Amount) by 300-500 calories though a combination of exercise and diet.
Tips for losing weight the healthy way
- Cut out foods with high levels of fat
- Increase vegetables and fruits
- Eat smaller meals more regularly
- Avoid large amounts of alcohol
- Don't consume too few calories
Doing this daily should help you lose between one to two pounds a week, which is the recommended amount for healthy weight loss.