Are you on a diet that promises rapid weight loss but deprives you of your favourite food? Is it healthy if you’re on your way to lose weight quickly? Here is all you need to know about what havoc quick weight loss wreaks inside your body.
Quick weight loss might act as a boon for one and bane for the other depending upon individual situations. Generally, the calorie requirement to lose weight varies from person to person depending upon their BMI (Body Mass Index). But, to lose weight quickly, people resort to VLCDs which stands for Very Low Calorie Diets which are made up of only 800 calories. Initially, these diets were specially designed to treat people with 2nd-grade and 3rd-grade obesity.
So, any person who is just “overweight” should abstain from taking a VLCD of 800 calories or less. In fact, it is advisable to consult the doctor or a registered dietitian before opting for any such fad diets that promise quick weight loss.
According to NIN (National Institute of Nutrition), the ideal weight an average fit Indian adult should shed in a month is around 4-5 kgs. Losing more than the recommended weight at a pace faster than what is considered normal might result in multiple mild health hazards.
Health hazards of losing weight too fast:-
1. Nutrient Deficiencies: When you’re on a low-calorie diet, it is difficult to meet the daily recommended intake of essential nutrients like iron, copper, folate, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B12. As a result, many deficiencies start popping up. Deficiencies of the above-mentioned nutrients might lead to:
– Hair fall
– Fatigue and restlessness
– Poor immunity
– Dry skin
– Paleness and anemia
– Muscle cramps
2. Muscle Loss: If you’re losing weight too quickly, it could also suggest that you’re losing more of your muscle mass and water. Several studies show that diets which are low on calorie and all the vital nutrients may hinder the body’s ability to burn calories as much as 23%.
3. GallStones: The function of gallbladder is to secrete enzymes that help in breaking down the fat in order for it to be digested seamlessly. When you’re on a low calorie diet and do not consume enough calories, the juices secreted by your gall bladder start to pile up within the gallbladder and result in gallstones. To prevent this, consuming a well balanced diet is recommended.
4. Sluggish Metabolism: Cutting short of calorie intake for a prolonged period of time can result in drop of your metabolism. When your body senses that there is not enough food, it drastically decreases your usual ability to burn calories. Hence, calorie counting and considering individual bodily parameters while making a diet chart is considered essential.
Side effects of very low calorie diets (VLCDs):
Reduced calorie intake can impact the amount of energy you have at your hand. As a result, people following VLCDs may experience:
– Irregular menstrual cycle
So, how can you lose weight in a healthy way?
Follow these 7 hacks of losing weight in the ideal way that will not have any ill-effects on your overall well-being.
1. Include more Protein-Rich Foods: Including more protein-rich foods helps in the preservation of your muscle mass, boosts up your metabolism and provides a feeling of long-lasting fullness.
2. Manage Your Sweet Intake: Limit refined carbohydrates/carbohydrate-rich foods like white bread, white rice, pasta and so forth. Though these might not taste sweet, they are forms of sugar. Choose carbohydrates that are healthy, don’t affect your blood sugar levels and are rich in fiber like whole grains, barley, oats, pulses, whole fruits and vegetables.
3. Start Food Journaling:– Journaling your daily food intake might help you in consuming fewer calories as it makes you a conscious eater.
4. Practice Yoga and Meditation: Practicing yoga regularly helps in speeding up your metabolism and hence results in easy weight loss, while meditation on the other hand helps in keeping your stress levels in check by giving you enough motivation to trust the process of weight loss journey.
5. Chew Slowly: Eating or chewing slowly has a great significance in weight loss. It is because when you chew slowly your brain utilizes this time to decipher whether you’re still hungry or not. As a result, your brain doesn’t let you overeat and you consume only the required amount of calories. Hence, helping you lose excess weight or maintain the lost weight.
6. Exercise: Combining exercise and low calorie intake creates a state of calorie deficit in your body, resulting in weight loss. Exercising regularly improves your metabolism, helps lose excess weight and maintain the lost weight. One of the most effective and efficient forms of exercise to lose weight is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as it aids in reducing body fat and weight by preserving the muscle mass. Considered as the most effective, healthy and efficient training to lose weight, unlike other forms of cardio exercises, through HIIT your body keeps burning calories long after your workout ends.
Trying to lose weight quickly will bring more perils than perks. Don’t stress. Work hard calmly. Eat your favorite food once a week by keeping the portion size on check. Remember, your ideal body weight is someone’s goal weight. Hence, stay calm and take it slow.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. Dietary Guidelines For Indians – A Manual. National Institute of Nutrition. Indian Council of Medical Research. https://www.nin.res.in/downloads/DietaryGuidelinesforNINwebsite.pdf
2. David Benton and Hayley A. Young. Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2017 Sep; 12(5): 703–714. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5639963/