Extreme weight loss is a double-edged sword. If you have intentionally lost large amounts of weight in a short period of time, you are benefiting from less pressure on your heart and the joys of fitting into smaller size clothing. The challenge of extreme and rapid weight loss, however, rests in its consequences. If your weight loss is through extreme calorie reduction, your body may feel undernourished, which impacts your various organs including the brain. Muscle loss and excessive skin may also be byproducts of extreme weight loss.
Impaired Organ Function
When you eat very little or fast across weeks of time, your body produces less blood glucose. This results in a wide range of problems. When your body does not have enough glycogen, it cannot properly fuel your brain and your other organs and tissues. This keeps your body in a state of less than optimal functioning. It leads to fatigue, dizziness, a general feeling of low energy and an inability to carry out normal daily functions.
With fewer calories usually comes a serious reduction in vitamins and other nutrients. You need good nutrition to stay energetic and ward off disease. Going for long periods without food gives your body the signal that it is starving. It disrupts metabolic function. For example, when you go for long periods without eating, your stomach may not produce enough of the necessary digestive enzymes.
Susceptibility to Disease
When your nutrient reserves are low, your immune system is more apt to fail. You are more likely to catch the flu, colds or other illnesses. At the tail end of weeks of fasting or an extremely low calorie diet, you are particularly prone to these problems because your body is defenseless and in near starvation mode.
Another consequence of extremely reduced calories is a reduction in muscle. When your body does not get enough calories, it literally begins to waste away. Without adequate protein intake, you run the risk of losing muscle. Muscles are what give your body a look of youthfulness and vibrancy. An extreme weight loss plan is counterproductive in this regard because while your goal may be to look and feel healthy, excessive muscle loss gives the impression of illness or frailty.
Excessive skin is yet another one of the body’s reactions to rapid weight loss. When you lose weight gradually, your skin adjusts to this change a little bit at a time. Extreme weight loss, in many cases, leads to sagging skin. This can occur anywhere throughout the body where the weight was previously stored. The stomach and arms are common areas for sagging skin after rapid weight loss.
If you want to lose large numbers of pounds, the best approach is a gradual weight loss plan. The consequences of rapid weight loss are many, ranging from improper functioning of organs to muscle loss to unwanted sagging skin. When you implement a gradual diet and exercise plan, you not only benefit from a healthier body, you set patterns in place that are more sustainable in the long term.