Something about the sun coming out and the bikinis, shorts, and tank tops hitting store shelves seems to kick people into overdrive on their diet and fitness regimes. This can include everything from adoption a healthy lifestyle to desperately attempting extreme weight loss.
Why Avoid Extreme Weight Loss
While wanting to lose weight or otherwise reach a goal quickly is understandable, being overly enthusiastic in your diet and/or fitness routine may come back to bite you later.
The complexities of lasting emotional behavioral change aside, quick weight loss is not healthy or beneficial from a physiological perspective.
Weight loss that is too fast (this varies by individual) increases risk for a number of issues, including gallstones, reductions in basal metabolism, bone loss, and nutritional deficiencies.
Quick extreme weight loss rarely lasts, even when that weight is lost with the best of intentions.
How Fast is Too Fast?
To be clear, if you are overweight or obese, weight loss is likely beneficial: being overweight or obese (even by a relatively small amount) increases risk for a large number of serious, life threatening and impacting conditions.
For every one point increase in BMI over 24.9, projected lifespan is reduced by seven months.
However, losing weight too quickly is not beneficial and should be avoided in favor of weight loss that occurs at a more gradual and consistent rate.
To determine the rate of weight loss and process of weight loss that is right for you, always speak with your physician or a credentialed nutritionist.
If your diet of choice advocates for any of the following, be sure to run for the hills:
- Fasting or skipping meals,
- Juicing or cleansing,
- Use of supplements or meal replacements, or
- Strenuous and high-volume exercise in untrained individuals.
In determining the safety and long-term efficacy of any weight loss regime, always consider the source as well as the tools of long term maintenance, as weight regain is incredibly common for many quick-fix fad diets.
Morgan Medeiros is a certified nutritionist, holding a both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Morgan completed her undergraduate education at Central Washington University, and her graduate education at Northeastern University. During her time as a graduate student, Morgan focused her area of expertise in health education, weight management, and behavioral change. Morgan has experience working in areas of nutritional neuroscience and disease prevention, obesity prevention, and weight loss. Morgan also works in areas of nutritional analysis and menu labeling for restaurants, where she is able to creatively bridge her interest in food culture and health education. In her free time, Morgan enjoys traveling, reading, writing, running, and spending time with her family and friends (including- most importantly- her dog, Clyde).