What are the risks of losing weight too quickly?

Losing weight too quickly can affect the body in many ways. You could experience side effects such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, lethargy and mood swings. You also risk malnutrition if you are too aggressive in your weight loss because you are not giving the body enough vitamins and minerals it requires to remain healthy. Your sodium and potassium levels could become dangerously low as well. Both lead to dehydration and cramping. Rapid weight loss will also cause your skin to dry out; your complexion to look pasty and your hair could possibly fall out. Metabolically speaking, trying to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week could cause the body to burn muscle for in energy instead of fat. This in turn will cause you to become weaker and weaker.

(This answer provided for NATA by Antonia R. Long, MHSc, ATC, LAT, CEAS.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.