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Whether for cosmetic or health reasons, the desire to lose weight quickly is a common one. Most people who have a weight problem want to get rid of it quickly. The high level of stigma that is now associated with weight gain(aka body shaming) means that there is so much pressure now for people to get slim. Weight gain is no longer just a health problem…it is now also a social problem.

Most fat people are seen as lazy and lacking in hygiene. Many of them have difficulty getting jobs or even spouses. These days there is often a lot of pressure to look good especially at social events like weddings, parties, coronations, swearing ins, etc and so much of the spotlight is now placed on the looks and appearances of the celebrants, and even the participants at these events so that no one wants to come across as looking fat, out of shape, bloated , or not looking good enough. In fact it is now a taboo not to look slim, trim and beautiful at a party.

The internet and social media would often not let the “sinners” hear the last of it especially if they are celebrities whose bodies and lives are now often heavily dissected to intimate bare bones details by the media to satisfy some of the voyeuristic tastes of the public and some of their so called followers.

These days the public and the press tend to know more about the bodies of other people especially if they are celebrities than those people actually know about themselves.

The disadvantages that are now associated with being fat are huge. The stakes are very high in deed.

So it is perfectly understandable why people want so badly to get rid of a weight problem quickly.

But many people in a bid to get slim also do great damage to their health…and most of the time they are not even aware of it.

And the weight loss industry is not helping matters too. Many companies out of pure greed develop all kinds of suspicious products, gimmicks and crash diets that claim to help people lose weight quickly without taking into account the health of the people involved.

The result is that the users of these products get slim but then later on develop all kinds of health problems.

As much as getting slim is desirable, being healthy is even more desirable. Losing weight too quickly can have very serious negative effects on  your health.

So if you are looking to shed weight fast take some time to read the paragraphs below. Doing so might save your life…literally.

Health experts recommend that you not lose more than 2-3 pounds a week and that should be your goal although there are situations where it’s perfectly legitimate to want to lose weight quickly, as well as methods that are relatively safe for losing weight quickly. But those not the norm. I will talk to you about them a little bit more later but right now let’s focus on…

The bad things that can happen to your body when you lose weight quickly.

1 Increased risk of obesity

Losing weight too quickly causes you to lose a lot of vital nutrients from your body which in turn causes your body to go into survival mode in order to try and reduce those losses.  Your body does this mainly by slowing down your metabolism and by extension how quickly you burn calories. Slowing down your metabolism then makes it hard for you to lose more weight in the future and significantly increases your chances of becoming obese because you now store fat more easily and burn calories more slowly.

Losing weight quickly puts the brakes on your metabolism and resets it to a much lower level, a bit like a thermostat resets the temperature of an electric iron, thereby making it much easier and much more likely that you will store more fat and gain even more weight in the future. The loss of muscle tissue that is associated with quick weight loss makes this even worse because muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body.

Losing muscle slows down your metabolism and makes it harder for you to burn fat.

This is why many people end up putting on even more weight after a period of aggressive weight loss.

A lot of people who are overweight today are overweight because they tried losing weight the wrong way.

2 An increased risk of heart disease and cancer

A lot of people don’t realize how much they risk their health when they try to lose weight. Some weight loss methods are simply dangerous. For example weight loss methods where there is a strong emphasis on increased intake of animal protein can be very dangerous. It is true that eating protein accelerates weight loss because protein helps build muscle and blunts hunger, but getting your protein from purely animal sources as many weight loss experts advise is a recipe for a health disaster. The reason this is the case is simple. Research after research(especially the china project) has shown a strong relationship between increased ingestion of animal protein and certain cancers…especially cancers of the gut. Animal protein especially meat also tends to be rich in cholesterol which is the chief culprit in coronary heart disease. In fact meat…even lean meat contains some of the highest amounts of cholesterol of any foods. One pound of meat for example contains as much as 55mg of cholesterol…which is more than 55 times the cholesterol content of the average vegetable(because vegetables contain no cholesterol at all). This is why diets like the Atkins diet are so dangerous. They might make you slim quickly in the short term but they damage your health seriously over the long term.

Increased intake of animal protein also places a lot of stress on your kidneys and liver and causes significant damage of those organs. In fact it is common knowledge even among medical students that increased protein intake causes the kidneys to age faster which is why protein diets are highly restricted in people with kidney or liver disease. So this is very serious indeed. But these days it’s like everywhere you turn some weight loss expert is trying to tell you to eat more animal protein. Well, know today that that is dangerous weight loss advice indeed. It will make you slim quickly because increased protein intake accelerates weight loss but it can kill you eventually. If you are going to eat more protein eat it from plant sources because plant protein is actually safe. Vegetables for example contain more protein than meat by as much as 2:1. In fact some vegetables are up to 40% protein. Eating beans and legumes for example is particularly good for getting healthy protein into your body. So if you are thinking of eating more protein to try and accelerate weight loss simply eat more plant food. You will get all the protein you need and get it more safely.

2 Dehydration

When you lose weight too quickly, especially initially, the bulk of the weight you lose is water. When this happens too quickly and your body loses too much water your body gets too dehydrated. Sometimes this happens so quickly that your blood pressure drops and you go into what is called hypotension or even hypovolemic shock. Even when these severe outcomes don’t happen, dehydration is often associated with significant weakness, lassitude, lethargy, unhealthy cravings and sometimes disorientation. Losing weight too quickly gives a “shock treatment” to your cardiovascular system that can cause very severe damage to your internal organs as a result of the reduced blood flow that is often associated with dehydration, reduced blood volume and shock.

3 Nutritional deficiencies

An aggressive loss of fat from your body’s stores is also often associated with an aggressive loss of nutrients especially the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K that are stored in your body’s fat stores. Your body can become severely nutrient deficient and make you more prone to disease when you choose to lose weight too quickly.

4 Osteoporosis

Because of the severe calcium loss that is associated with aggressive weight loss, osteoporosis often results. Osteoporosis is a medical condition where your body mostly because of a low availability of calcium in your blood resorts to “melting your bone” in order to try and release the calcium it needs to function properly. Your body essentially resorts to mining calcium from your bones leading to weaker bones and an increased risk of deformities and fractures. Now, this may not happen to you but it is still not a risk you’d want to expose yourself to.

4 Increased likelihood of mechanical injuries

As I discussed in 1 above, when you lose weight too quickly you often also lose a lot of muscle tissue too. Losing muscle depresses your metabolism even further and makes it harder for you to lose weight in the future. What losing a lot of muscle tissue also does is that it also makes it more likely that you will suffer physical injuries when you exercise because your muscles are important for stabilizing your bones and joints. A smaller muscle mass means a weaker body, weaker bones and weaker joints and an increased likelihood of sustaining injuries. You weaken you body mechanically when you lose weight too quickly because your muscle mass reduces. This makes your body much less safer and much less healthier.

6 Eating disorders

The severe loss of nutrients that is associated with severe weight loss often triggers intense and abnormal food cravings because of a reduced availability of nutrients in the blood. This does not only sabotage your weight loss efforts but can also lead to eating disorders such as emotional eating and bullemia. People have been known to become anorexic and to develop an obsession with being thin after going on an aggressive weight loss diet. The psychological effects of aggressive weight loss are well documented.

7 Depression, irritability and mood swings

Your body interprets aggressive weight loss as stress and therefore releases hormones and chemicals to try and combat it. Some of these hormones like cortisol and the epinephrines also have a strong effect on your mood. People become cranky and irritable and sometimes even depressed when they expose their bodies to the stress of losing weight too quickly because of a sudden and severe disruption in the balance of chemicals in their bodies.

8 Reduced masculinity, frigidity and menstrual problems

Aggressive weight loss causes sexual problems in men and women because your fat stores also serve as a reservoir for your sex hormones. A drastic reduction in your fat stores is also often associated with reduced sexual health because often your level of testosterone or estrogen is also affected. It is for this same reason that many marathon runners suffer from problems of the reproductive system. Only that in the case of aggressive weight loss the effect is more immediate.

9 Reduced immunity

Over enthusiastic weight loss also leads to a depressed immune system largely due to a loss of the protein and nutrients that are required to keep your body healthy. Remember that the antibodies that give your immune system most of it’s power are actually protein in nature, so that a severe and sudden protein loss as exemplified my muscle loss (because muscle is also protein), makes it harder for your body to get the protein it needs to manufacture the antibodies it needs to fight off disease thereby leading to a compromised immune system.

The takeaway

What should you learn from reading this post? The lesson you should learn from reading this post is simple.

It is that losing weight quickly can be seriously harmful to your health and you should approach it with the utmost care.

There is no need getting a beach body in 2 weeks and a “morgue” body in 2 years.

You should only lose weight quickly if it is absolutely necessary-for example in the instance of a severe health problem such as severe, life threatening obesity or a severe metabolic disorder where losing weight quickly can actually be life saving, and even then you should choose the safest methods possible.

Personally I recommend that if you must lose weight quickly that you use Dr Furhman 7 day crash diet. It is a 7 day 100% vegetarian diet that sheds weight quickly and is actually very safe. It is actually the safest crash diet in there is and helps you shed as much as 10-20 pounds in 7 days. It is one of only a few ways that I know of that you can lose weight quickly and safely.

I highly recommend it.

To learn more about this diet and how it helps you lose weight quickly without damaging your health go ahead and read my post…

Anyway thanks for reading and all the best in your weight loss journey.