10 Risks to Be Aware of When Dieting for Weight Loss
The pursuit of weight loss has seen an influx of dieting strategies promising quick and effective results. While the appeal of shedding pounds in a short time frame is alluring, this article highlights the possible drawbacks and dangers associated with these dieting approaches.
Infertility is a common risk associated with dieting for weight loss. Rapid or extreme calorie restriction can disrupt menstrual cycles, affecting fertility. Also, crash diets can lead to an imbalance in hormones important to fertility, like estrogen and progesterone, affecting men and women.
In an effort to reduce calorie intake, many dieters drastically reduce their protein consumption. The body requires enough protein to build and maintain muscle mass while trying to lose weight, so eating too little protein can result in loss of muscle mass and strength, making exercise difficult.
Risk of Heart Disease
Crash diets can cause an imbalanced intake of saturated fats and other unhealthy food components, increasing the risk of heart disease. For a diet to be effective in weight loss without adversely affecting health, it should include products that are low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber.
A crash diet does not provide all the essential nutrients in a person’s daily diet. Due to the limited food selection, crash diets can lead to serious health problems, like anemia, fatigue, and weakened bones due to calcium deficiency. Also, it is a common risk for people with diabetes if their diets are too low in carbohydrates.
The body protects itself from food scarcity, so when you significantly cut calories, it decreases the metabolic rate to conserve energy. This mechanism, initially a survival strategy, counteracts your weight loss efforts as the body starts to burn calories more slowly.
Yo-yo dieting, also known as weight cycling, involves losing weight, often quickly, then regaining it and sometimes even gaining a few extra pounds. While these diets may produce rapid results initially, they are unsustainable in the long run. People often return to their previous eating habits and regain their lost weight.
Dehydration occurs when the body does not get enough water. Diets that involve cutting out whole food groups, like carbohydrates, can lead to dehydration as these foods contain significant amounts of water. These diets also reduce water intake due to the limited food selection, leading to dehydration.
Poor Blood Sugar Control
Low-carbohydrate and low-calorie diets lead to rapid weight loss, but it is often due to decreased muscle mass instead of fat mass, leading to poor glucose control and increased risk for diabetes. When you reduce your calories, the body may not produce enough insulin to keep up with glucose production and absorption.
Lack of Energy
Significantly Cutting calorie intake leads to a lack of energy because you deprive your body of the necessary nutrients for regular activities. A diet containing essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates is necessary to maintain energy levels while losing weight.
Dieters experience mood swings due to extreme calorie restriction. These diets reduce serotonin, a hormone associated with happiness and relaxation in the brain. Excessive dieting can lead to poor concentration and irritability due to exhaustion and hunger.