Should you be congratulating yourself for losing weight quickly, or checking with your doctor?
Rapid weight loss can be harmful to your health, and must be monitored closely by a doctor. When losing weight, it's safer to lose at a rate of no more than 1-2 pounds a week. By doing so, you will be more likely to lose the weight you want to lose, without side effects, and keep it off.
Quick weight loss can increase your risk of gallstones, mineral and electrolyte imbalances, arrhythmias, changes in blood pressure, and low blood sugar -- all of which can be life threatening.
As I discussed in the newsletter Hitting a Plateau, rapid weight loss usually leads to rapid weight gain. This is mostly because it increases the breakdown of lean tissue, resulting in a lower metabolic rate.
And starving yourself leads to stuffing yourself. It causes the release of neurotransmitters that override your feelings of satiety and lead you to eat beyond the satisfaction of hunger.
When dieting, make sure that after the initial 2-3 weeks you aren't losing more than 1-2 pounds a week. If you are, increase your caloric intake slightly until your weight loss slows. Be sure you are eating healthy, nutritious foods, and should any health abnormalities occur, be sure to report them to your doctor.
Megan Porter, RD