The Risks of Rapid Weight Loss: Too Much Too Soon

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • When Rachael Frederickson took the stage on The Biggest Loser and
    revealed the new her, the reaction was surprise. Not surprise as in,
    “For me? Why you shouldn’t have,” but surprise as in, “Uh oh. This is
    bad.”


    Frederickson had lost 155 pounds (almost 60% of her body weight) and
    tipped the scale at 105 pounds. During her 14 weeks on The Biggest Loser
    she shed 110 pounds followed by an additional loss of 45 pounds while at
    home. The full 155 pounds was lost in just over seven months.

    If you believe that her weight loss was fast, you’re right. If you
    believe her weight loss was much too fast, you are not alone.

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    Rapid Weight Loss
    If drama is your particular cup of tea, then you might be considering
    burning off some pounds ASAP with little regard to how you go about it.
    It hardly is unusual to want immediate gratification. As human beings,
    most of us have probably been guilty of such a pursuit at one time or
    another and a great many of us may also have a few regrets regarding
    that pursuit.


    One problem with burning off weight too quickly is that you are setting
    yourself up to get fat
    .

    Rapid weight loss is accompanied by rapid muscle loss. Lost muscle is often replaced by fat once you stop dieting. The end result is a flabby look that I seriously doubt is the result you want.


    The Health Risks of Rapid Weight Loss
    Gallstones, solid pebbles that are made of cholesterol and form in the
    gallbladder, is one of the more common problems caused by rapid weight
    loss.  Losing weight too swiftly could prevent the gallbladder from
    emptying correctly or produce an imbalance in bile salts and
    cholesterol. The chance of developing gallstones increases if you lose
    weight at a rate of more than three pounds per week.

    Rapid weight loss causes the body to make changes to reserve energy.
    Researchers have found that participants in a study of obese subjects
    who lost a great deal of weight quickly showed a pronounced decline in
    resting metabolic rate. The decrease was not in proportion to the amount
    of weight lost and continued even after goal weights were reached. It
    has been determined that significant decreases in metabolism is a risk
    factor for regaining weight.


    Much of the weight lost when weight is dropped too quickly consists of 
    water. Mineral balance can be disrupted from rapid loss of fluids since
    the body excretes sodium when it rids itself of water. Improper
    electrolyte balance can be harmful, whereas electrolytes carry electrical
    charges and assist in muscle contractions and the proper beating of your
    heart.


    Finally, the Harvard Medical School states that rapid weight loss of
    four or more pounds per week can result in liver damage. It is believed
    that rapid changes in the level  of fat in the blood might play a
    role.   

     

    Living life well-fed,
    My Bariatric Life

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    References:
    LiveStrong.com
    Twin Cities.com
    Yahoo! Health

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Published On: March 19, 2014