Rapid weight Loss: is it safe?


A  weight loss rate of between 1 and 2 pounds per week is generally considered optimal for long-term and permanent weight loss. Although it may be tempting to  lose weight more quickly than this, there are inherent dangers and negative side-effects associated with overly fast weight loss. Consult your doctor before starting a weight loss plan, and for help determining a safe and healthy rate of weight loss for you.

Some of the Side Effects of Rapid Weight Loss are:-


Even if you have no prior history of diabetes, losing weight too quickly can potentially cause diabetes mellitus. A small 1996 study reported in the “Journal of Diabetes and its Complications” indicates that all seven patients studied developed diabetes mellitus after losing weight too fast. Five of these patients developed the condition without insulin dependency; the remaining two developed insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this study, the cause of the diabetes mellitus developing was believed to be an increase in stress hormones, as a result of crash dieting.

Impermanent Weight Loss:

Overly fast weight loss is likely to be only temporary in nature. Crash dieting can generally only be tolerated — physically and psychologically — for a limited period of time. Therefore a crash diet is not sustainable in the long term, and when you stop dieting this way you are likely to return to your old eating habits and regain the weight lost. Permanent weight loss typically requires a permanent change in eating habits and lifestyle.

Extra Body Hair:

Losing weight too quickly can shock your body into producing extra body hair known as lanugo. This soft, downy hair commonly appears on the back, face and arms, and is a survival mechanism intended to retain body heat when your body fat is too low to provide sufficient heat insulation. Lanugo is one of the tell-tale signs of the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Loss of Scalp Hair:

Other changes in your body hair patterns can indicate your weight loss has been too rapid. A pattern of hair loss from the scalp, Telogen effluvium, commonly occurs in response to overly rapid weight loss or starvation. According to MedLine Plus, Telogen effluvium causes anywhere from half to three-quarters of your scalp hair to shed over the course of several weeks. Crash dieting is know to cause Telogen effluvium .

Loose Skin:

Rapid weight loss will always cause hanging skin. This is because even though skin is elastic, the stretching and shrinking process is slow. With rapid weight loss, the skin does not have enough time to adapt to the changing body and ends up loose and saggy. This is especially noticeable in the abdomen and arms. Obese people who lose large amounts of weight may eventually need cosmetic surgery to correct the problem.


Gall Stones:

Sudden weight loss, as well as long periods of fasting, can disrupt the balance of cholesterol and bile salts in the gallbladder, leading to the formation of gallstones. Aside from bloating, nausea and vomiting, gallstones can also cause severe pain in the upper abdomen, between the shoulder blades and in the lower back. Surgery may be necessary to remove large stones.

Lack of Energy:

To lose weight rapidly, chances are you’ll need to “crash diet” by cutting down your calorie intake drastically. This may lead to feeling tired, weak and sluggish — both physically and mentally. According to medical site Epigee, crash diets may also take a toll on your mental health and may lead to depression or even the development of an eating disorder.


Muscle is composed greatly of water, so with lost muscle comes a loss in the body’s reserve of water. People who are losing large amounts of weight usually restrain their water intake as well to prevent bloating. Dehydration can lead to a number of problems, including dizziness, lack of energy, kidney stones, diarrhea and vomiting.