Let’s be honest, most of the time you think about weight loss, you’re thinking about how to lose weight fast. If you’re truthful, that means you’re going for the strategy that involves eating the least amount of calories as you possibly can, for as long as possible.
This Kamikaze method of fast weight loss can work, but often backfires with weight re-gain or just not lasting more than a few days on the diet – ergo little weight loss. By going for fast weight loss, you may be ignoring the advice of pretty much every nutritionist who prefers the slower approach.
Ideally you should try to keep your calorie intake at or above 1200 calories per day for women and 1800 calories per day for men – it’s healthier, safer and it’s more likely that you’ll actually make some permanent positive lifestyle changes. Determine your calorie requirements using the calorie calculator. In other words, you’re more likely to keep off the weight you’ve lost.
The fast weight loss approach often fails simply because you end up being ravenously hungry, irritable, faint, just plain sick or all of the above. Not eating at all, only eating sporadically or restricting yourself to specific foods with little nutritional value is unhealthy and likely to eat to a cycle of dieting and binge eating.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF FAST WEIGHT LOSS?
Fast weight loss can place extreme physical demands on the body. The dangers of fast weight loss increase with the length of time you’re on the diet. Possible risks include:
- Malnutrition. Generally due to insufficient protein consumption over a period of weeks.
- Dehydration. Easily avoided by drinking sufficient fluids.
- Electrolyte imbalances.
- Gallstones (in up to 25% of people losing large amounts of weight over several months).
- Menstrual irregularities
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss