Fitness and health have gained immense recognition in recent years. Achieving a healthy body is one important factor in maintaining weight in a normal range. The weight of an individual depends on multiple factors like environment, genetics, age, sex, metabolism, lifestyle, and habits.
Healthy weight is linked with reduced risks of diseases and issues related to weight. Weight gain can be caused by different reasons. The main reasons for weight gain can be conferred to the lifestyle of an individual, pregnancy, calorie intake in large amounts, lack of physical exercise, or unhealthy sleep routines.
Weight management is linked with some health conditions. These include diabetes, heart(cardiovascular) diseases, arthritis, infertility, snoring, sleep apnea, cancer, etc. One study showed that weight gain (approximately 11 to 20 pounds) after their twenties had increased the risks (by two to three times) of developing medical conditions like high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and heart complications. Another study claimed the increased risks of breast cancer post menopause in women were linked with weight gain.
What is BMI?
BMI, an acronym for Body Mass Index, uses the weight and height of an individual to indicate if your weight is healthy or not. The ideal range for BMI for adults is 18.5 to 24.9; meanwhile, it can vary depending on age, sex, and other factors. Below this range, a person is considered to be underweight, and a BMI value of more than 24.9 indicates that you are overweight. The BMI range of 30 to 39.9 falls under obesity and indicates you might be obese.
BMI is a reliable way to check if your weight is healthy or not, but professionals do take into account the other factors during the assessment. BMI should not be used as a measure for the assessment of healthy weight. Ethnicity and environment are other factors that may cause variation. Let us consider the example of bodybuilders here. Bodybuilders or other people involved in extreme sports usually have BMI values that fall under obesity. But it is considered healthy. The reason for this is denser muscles.
What causes weight gain?
Unintentional weight gain can be a problem. Weight gain can be periodic (variation in weight gain is regular, e.g., weight gain during periods), continuous, or rapid. Weight gain can be caused by a number of factors. Some of the usual causes of weight gain are listed below.
Pregnancy leads to unintentional weight gain. The reasons can be conferred to the consumption of more food during pregnancy and the weight of the baby in the womb. Along with this, some women also experience weight gain during their menstruation. This is because the fluctuating levels of hormones are linked with menstruation. Talking of hormones, during menopause as well, there is an alteration in the levels of hormones in females which too can be a cause of weight gain.
Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome are two gender-independent conditions that may result in weight gain due to hormonal changes. Elevated production of aldosterone is associated with weight gain. Another medical reason why you might experience weight gain is because of fluid retention. It is more common in people consuming medications, liver diseases, kidney disease, or heart complications.
An unhealthy lifestyle like consuming too many processed food items, sugar, or fast food. It can also be caused by stress. Genetics also has a role in the weight gain of individuals. And lastly, some medical conditions can be blamed for weight gain. For weight gain, people prefer to lose weight. Sometimes it gets a bit exhausting, and people reach the extremes to lose weight. Let us see what rapid weight loss is in the upcoming part.
What is rapid weight loss?
Ideally, the term rapid weight loss is used when a person loses approximately 2 pounds (which equals 7000 calories) in a time span of one week. In extreme cases, people also lose 1 pound of calories per day. This is achieved by exercising a lot and limiting the calorie intake. Because calorie intake is restricted, it is possible that rapid weight loss can lead to a deficiency of nutrition. Heavy exercises or exercises for long periods for attaining rapid weight loss can result in overtiring, which again has ill effects.
How are markets popularizing rapid weight loss?
Marketing plays an important role in controlling the purchases of the population. Marketers promising to attain rapid weight loss are at the front to promote products that enhance rapid weight loss. The market is flooded with diet supplements. These diet supplements convince the audience to gain promising results. They do so by altering the absorption, and metabolism, or by burning the fat. The deficit of nutrients caused by limited dietary intake has also opened doors for optimum benefits for companies that produce supplements.
The promising results that the marketers portray hardly provide a safe way for rapid weight loss. The safest ways to achieve rapid weight loss are either by undergoing surgery or a low-calorie diet with physical exercise. Rapid weight loss can have detrimental effects on our bodies. In some cases, rapid weight loss can cause drastic results. Let us see 9 possible side effects of rapid weight loss.
1. Metabolic changes
Metabolism plays an important role in weight management. A strict diet and starvation slow down the metabolism. It may look appealing but once a person starts taking a normal diet, the body burns fewer calories. Changes in metabolic rate also result in disturbing the balance of hormones, which too can affect the system.
2. Deficiency of nutrients
Rapid weight loss can result in a deficiency of nutrients. Rapid weight loss techniques follow a strict workout routine and limited diet, both of which can lead to a decrease in the number of nutrients in our bodies. This can lead to various deficiencies. In adverse cases, the deficiency could lead to serious health conditions like anemia.
3. Electrolyte imbalance
While dehydration is associated with rapid weight loss, it can also result in an imbalance of electrolytes. Electrolytes control some vital physiological and chemical functions of our body. They also play a crucial role in controlling cellular functions. A minor imbalance in electrolyte concentrations could lead to some serious troubles like seizures or arrhythmia.
4. Fatigue & Dizziness
Rapid weight loss can also cause fatigue and dizziness. This can happen because of multiple reasons. The restricted diet for rapid weight loss often results in an unbalanced diet and a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. The supplements consumed to balance out the deficiencies can cause overdose and result in fatigue and dizziness.
Constipation, simply said, is decreased bowel movement. One of the probable reasons for constipation is rapid weight loss. Low carb diet dedicated to rapid weight loss lacks soluble fibers and is rich in insoluble fibers. The soluble fiber in the diet helps in the retention of water, which benefits bowel movement. Another reason is reduced intake of fat, which is correlated with bowel movement.
6. Menstrual irregularities
Rapid weight loss can also cause irregularities in your period cycle. This can be explained by understanding the physiology revolving around it. Diets meant for rapid weight loss influence the activity of three major glands: the Adrenal, Pituitary, and Hypothalamus glands. Women who have undergone rapid weight loss are more likely to face irregularities in their menstrual cycle.
7. Hair loss
Rapid weight loss also results in hair loss. This condition is called Telogen Effluvium, which is temporary. It can be caused by a strict diet or surgeries meant for rapid weight loss. Scientists believe hair loss is potentially caused by nutritional deficiency or stress on their systems. It can be cured by taking required supplements meant for replenishment post rapid weight loss.
8. Muscle loss
Weight loss is often confused with muscle loss. Losing weight and losing muscle mass are not the same. VLCD, an acronym for Very Low-Calorie Diet, has fruitful results for rapid weight loss. But it is also linked with a loss of both water and muscle. People are intrigued by how rapidly VLCD makes people lose weight. But one study suggests that VLCD used for rapid weight loss causes some medical complications like cardiac muscle atrophy.
Gallstone is a condition caused by the deposition of hardened bile in the gallbladder. The most common causes of gallstones are an abundance of cholesterol, bile salts, or bile pigments. Rapid weight loss results in the metabolism of fat. Metabolism of fat causes an increase in bile secretion. Rapid weight loss increases the risks of gallstones.
Wrapping It Up
Maintaining weight becomes an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Being obese or overweight surely affects our body, but choosing rapid weight loss is not the healthiest option available to you. Apart from causing health issues, it can also result in a disturbance of mental well-being. Rather than opting for rapid weight loss, it is advisable to opt for weight loss at a slower pace.