With so many people suffering from various weight-related health issues, weight loss is now more critical than ever. What many people don’t realize is that there are really only two ways to weight loss: healthy vs. unhealthy weight loss.
Today, with countless products, programs, diets, and regimens being flaunted as a magic bullet to weight loss, it is tempting to jump on one of them just to lose the bulge. But the sad reality is, many of these approaches only deliver dramatic unhealthy weight loss results that are hard to maintain.
According to experts, losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy and safe rate for weight loss. While this is a slow pace, you’re more likely to achieve and maintain your weight goals in the long haul but keep in mind healthy vs. unhealthy weight loss.
However, if a program, diet or regimen promises you quick weight loss results that are almost too good to be true, you should exercise caution because such weight-loss schemes are almost always unhealthy and not maintainable. Most of these can also potentially lead to serious health problems in the long term.
It is, therefore, crucial that you understand the difference between healthy vs. unhealthy weight loss to help you avoid potentially dangerous things that can backfire when you’re trying to slim down.
What Is An Unhealthy Weight Loss?
A weight loss of 1-2 pounds (0.45–0.9 kg) per week is the recommended, safe weight loss rate for healthy vs. unhealthy weight loss. Losing more than that in a week is considered to be unhealthy and can lead to numerous health problems such as gallstones, muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, and a dysfunctional metabolism.
An unhealthy weight loss plan pushes you to lose a lot of weight quickly. But in reality, your body will only be losing its muscles since fats require more time to shed. Besides losing lean tissue, you will also end up losing water weight. A low carb diet prompts your body to burn more glycogen – a form of stored glucose – to supplement the energy deficiency. In the processes, large amounts of water are produced, leading to the sudden bouts of weight loss. With this prolonged unhealthy weight loss, you may start to experience loose skin that hangs or droops and which has lost its elasticity weeks after shedding a lot of pounds.
Unhealthy weight loss approaches and plans primarily focus on starving the muscles. You’ll, therefore, be drinking, eating, or swallowing drugs and diet pills that starve your muscles and healthy fat. Other plans may also involve prolonged starvation and consumption of food with zero nutritional value to your body. All these starves your healthy fats reserves and your muscles.
Most of these plans fall into either of these categories:
- Creams, Devices, And Magic Voodoo Spells
- Diet Pills And Supplements
- Laxative Teas
- Starvation And Fasting Diets
- Very Low-Calorie Diets (VLCDS)
- Single Food Group Diets, e.g., All-Protein Diets Or An All Junk Diet
- Hyper-Normal Physical Activity Routines That Involves Working Out For Hours And Hours
Losing weight too quickly, especially through starvation techniques places your health at risk in the following ways:
Depriving Your Body Of Essential Nutrients
Most of these quick weight loss (healthy vs. unhealthy weight) plans may advocate for the cutting out of entire food groups from your diet. This can deprive your body of some critical vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that you need to stay healthy.
As a result, you might start experiencing:
– Compromised Immune System
– Brittle Hair And Nails
– Decreased Energy
– Extreme Fatigue
– Joint pains due to weakened bones and osteoporosis
Slowed Down Metabolism
An unhealthy weight loss occurs from extreme calorie deprivations, with some people going to less than 1200 calories uptake per day. This is dangerous because your body responds by slowing down your metabolism as it enters starvation mode. As a result, the body ends up hanging onto more fats; hence you may end up gaining more weight than when you started.
You Could Become Really Dehydrated
Water is a huge component of our bodies. An unhealthy weight loss will first shed off enormous amounts of water weight in the first few weeks during glycogen burn out. As a result, you might experience massive weight loss. But this rapid dehydration also poses other unpleasant risks such as headaches, constipation muscle cramps, low energy, irritability, and persistent feelings of thirst.
You Might Be Losing Muscle, Instead Of Fat
Instead of helping you lose the adipose tissue (fats), rapid weight loss programs promote muscle mass loss. High muscle mass loss may also induce slowed metabolism.
You Could Start Feeling Ravenous
Unhealthy weight loss schemes may affect your leptin levels. This is the hormone that controls hunger and satiety. As a result, low-calorie diets and other quick-fix plans can lead to heightened food obsession, making you more hangry and ravenous.
Can You Lose Weight Eating Unhealthy?
Over the years, numerous junk food fad diets have cropped up, which suggests that you can still lose weight without the need to watch what you take. Some promote an all-junk or an all-protein diet to aid in weight loss. And true to the word, people have reported having lost weight.
Well, the truth is, you can lose weight even when your diet is whacky. However, there is more that goes within your body besides weight loss with such unhealthy dieting. A poor diet may leave you with fewer pounds on your body but wreak havoc with other body systems such as your mood, your skin, and your gastrointestinal functions. You’ll also be more predisposed to cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders, and heaps of other chronic diseases. At the end of the day, that weight loss is not really worth the risks.
What Is The Most Dangerous Way To Lose Weight?
Healthy weight loss is usually slower and works in the long term by decreasing body fat and increasing your body’s muscle mass. This minimizes the chances of a rebound where weight tends to come back.
However, many people lack the patience and grit to go through a healthy weight loss program and instead opt for other dangerous tactics to shed pounds. These can lead to serious health problems and should be avoided at all costs because their risks vastly outweigh any benefits. Some of these dangerous practices include:
- Smoking for appetite reduction
- Use of plastic tongue patch
- Use of stimulants such as amphetamines for weight loss
- Tube feeding
- Starving and skipping meals
- Tapeworm diets or pills with tapeworm eggs
- Use of laxatives
- Purging such as self-induced vomiting and diuretic/laxative abuse.
- Over relying on low-calorie diets
- Vinegar diet before food
- Cabbage soup diet
- Use of arsenic diet pills
- Weight Loss Methods that involve strenuous over-exercising
What Is A Healthy Amount Of Weight To Lose In A Month?
While the above tactics may lead to weight loss, their long term effects on your body can be catastrophic. Adopting a healthy weight loss plan can help you achieve the same results in a safe, healthier way. In fact, you can lose up to 10 pounds in a month without exerting too much pressure on your body systems. To be able to lose weight at such a healthy rate, you should ensure that you:
- Enjoy a High-Protein Breakfast
- Consume Fiber Daily
- Exercise regularly and sleep well
- Cut back on sugar and starches
- Try a high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
A healthy weight loss plan with solid eating and exercising plan will help you shed the extra pound and maintain that weight in the long term. While this process might be slower, it is a surefire way to help you reach your weight loss goals and improve your overall health in the process. Remember to be patient with yourself as you make gradual modifications to your diet and lifestyle.
Obesity can cause a number of health issues but when attempting to lose weight, it should always be done safely and preferably under the guidance of your physician. Schedule an appointment at Beaumont Dermatology & Family Practice and feel free to ask your doctor about diet needs and anything else you would like to know about healthy weight loss.