Rapid weight loss is a worthy endeavor that has rightfully garnered attention from millions of people. However, going about it in the wrong way can subject you to unnecessary and even dangerous risks. Before embarking on any rapid weight loss plan, it pays to be aware of the potential hazards so you can avoid them.
When you think about losing weight, you're probably thinking about losing fat specifically. That's quite understandable, because losing fat is what will make you both healthier and more attractive. But keep in mind that body fat serves a useful function, so you have to be careful about losing it too rapidly.
The fat you carry around with you is a storage medium for extra calories that couldn't be burned right away. But your body also uses this fat to get energy for many bodily functions, such as cell maintenance. Therefore, if you lose fat too quickly, your body may panic, thinking that your food supply is low and you're going to run out of fat.
Losing fat quickly doesn't necessarily send your body into panic mode, if you know what you're doing. However, if this happens, your body will do everything it can to hold on to the fat you're desperately trying to lose. This will greatly impede your efforts, as what you used to do to lose weight may now cause you to gain weight.
While you're trying to lose fat, be aware of any body weight you're losing that comes from something other than fat. It is normal to lose water weight early in a diet plan. This gives an early sense of accomplishment, because it's easy to lose a few pounds of water in the beginning. However, you don't want to attempt to sustain water weight loss, because your body needs a certain amount to function well.
You may also find yourself losing muscle mass, which is particularly bad. Even if you don't want to have a large amount of muscle, you don't want to lose too much as you're losing fat. This is because maintaining a decent amount of muscle tissue keeps your metabolism up. Simply having muscle mass on your body causes more calories to be burned, even when you're not exercising. If you lose muscle, it will become harder to lose fat.
One of the most serious dangers of improper rapid weight loss is potential harmful effects on the mind. If you're starving yourself of the nutrients you need to function well, your brain will start to feel it. Your reaction time and thinking clarity will drop, as your brain struggles to nourish itself. Even after you eat, your brain may try to convince your stomach that it's empty, in an attempt to store up extra nutrients in case of another shortage.
It goes without saying that eating disorders are extremely harmful and should be taken very seriously. Whatever weight loss may result from an eating disorder, it is never worth the price you pay in terms of poor health. Anyone suffering from an eating disorder needs to receive treatment immediately.
Anorexia is one of the more well known eating disorders. Someone affected with this disease has a warped perception of their body, thinking that thin is fat and a dangerously low body weight is ideal. They will try to achieve this extremely low weight by any means necessary, often starvation, excessive exercise, and unsafe medications.
Bulimia is other well known eating disorder. Someone with this condition feels constant cravings for food that must be satisfied, causing them to binge on large quantities. But they also feel the need to be thin, so they follow their binging with purging. They'll force themselves to vomit in some way, usually either with drugs or by sticking their finger down their throat.
Any eating disorder is a major health hazard, and may result in severe malnutrition or even something far more serious. And the other potential side effects of fast weight loss are also significant and not to be dismissed. Before attempting any rapid weight loss plan, it's important to educate yourself about the risks and be sure that you know how to lose weight safely.