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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Dangers of Using Rapid Weight Loss Techniques

    I am often confronted by people interested in using rapid weight loss(RWL) techniques to lose large amounts of weight quickly for esthetic reasons.Such as an upcoming wedding,holiday or reunion. Unfortunately,many of these practices are not only unsafe,but could be potentially life threatening in some circumstances.
     There are dozens of weight loss strategies,many of which that are promoted by the Internet,the media in the form of endorsements of specific supplements and exercise programs by celebrities and athlete's and diet books and magazines. The most common ones are,restricting food intake and/or fasting,fad dieting(i.e. juice diets,detoxing,counting points)and excessive exercise training sessions.There are many physiological and psychological effects associated RWL. The most common and potentially serious side effect is dehydration. A 2% drop in water weight can lead to increased mental fatigue,sleepiness,nausea vomiting and apathy.Extreme dehydration can lead to heat-related illness,hospitalisation,or even death. Dehydration and caloric restriction will impair your exercise performance
     Extreme caloric restriction may lead to malnourishment, and over time,vitamin and mineral deficiencies.These deficiencies can lead to dry or brittle hair and fingernails,muscle atrophy,fatigue,cramps,weakness,depressed immune system,slow metabolism or dizziness. And,if your goal is to lose fat and gain muscle remember,the slower the weight the loss the better.Your weight loss goal per week should 0.5% of your total body weight. Any more than that you are losing a lot water  and muscle.Which is counter productive to long-term weight management. Incorporating 2-3 days of resistance training per week is also beneficial for preserving lean muscle tissue.
     Long-term calorie restriction may also lead to other health and diseases such as ,osteoporosis,muscle atrophy,lowered bone density,abnormal growth and development,anaemia,heart damage,anorexia and in extreme cases death. In certain situations RWL may be warranted.Such as if you have hypertension,high cholesterol diabetes or metabolic syndrome X and a result of being obese. However,if you choose to use a RWL strategy always do so under the guidance of a professional.   
     Education regarding the dangers of using these RWL practices is essential for maintaining optimal health,thereby preventing serious injury/death and for long-term weight management success. Eat right,stay hydrated and aim for steady and consistent weight loss of approximately 1-2 lbs/wk for long-term weight management.   

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