Just about every article out there having to do with weight loss talks about all the benefits. But it isn’t as often that you hear about the bad things that losing weight can do to you. That’s right — the ways that it can wreck your body. In some cases, restricted eating and rapid weight loss can do more harm than good. And sagging skin is only the beginning.
Here are the crazy ways that weight loss actually destroys your body.
Impaired immune system
It’s sad but true — restricting your caloric intake for weight loss purposes can weaken your immune system. As 24alife summarizes, the lack of sugar intake causes your body to produce more stress hormone. This, in turn, weakens the immune system, which is already depleted due to not getting the nutrition it needs since you have stopped eating as much. Add double the stress hormones to a lack of nutrition, and you have an immune system that can’t fight off the flu — or worse ailments.
To prevent getting sick while trying to lose weight, put these foods on your daily menu.
You have probably noticed that people on diets are a little more on edge than they normally are. This isn’t just because they are dreaming about eating pizza and ice cream — it’s because the diet is destroying their mood. Gary L. Wenk, PhD, tells Fitness Magazine that abruptly restricting calories from your diet messes with the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is responsible for regulating both mood and appetite. So when a weight loss plan changes your serotonin levels, it also messes with your ability to control anger.
Cutting back on your calorie intake slowly will let the brain, and the body, adjust to the change.
Messed-up mental state
Losing weight and looking fantastic should be a happy occasion. So why is it that shedding pounds seems to make people so glum? A study out of University College London found that intense weight loss can actually increase the risk of depression. It is noted that weight loss doesn’t ultimately lead to depression, but that not being in a supportive environment during the weight loss process has a negative effect on mental health.
It is important to consider mental health when going through an intense weight loss regimen. Dr. Sarah Jackson of UCL says that individuals “who are trying to lose weight should be aware of the challenges and not be afraid to seek support, whether from friends, family or healthcare professionals.”
Cutting calories can equal weight loss, but it can also equal bone loss. WebMD explains that those who diet but don’t exercise are prone to losing bone density. Additionally, a study out of Washington University in St. Louis revealed that density loss occurs in bones where the elderly are more likely to sprain or fracture.
Long story short: Exercise promotes bone health. It is important to add a decent exercise regimen to your weight loss plan.
Ever wonder why it’s so easy to gain weight back after being on a diet? That’s because dieting for intense weight loss slows down your metabolism. If your method of losing weight is to eat less, your body will feel deprived and then latch onto whatever calories it can get when you eat again. Ditching a diet to go back to eating an unhealthy menu feeds into that deprived metabolism, hence major weight gain.
To prevent ruining your metabolism while shedding pounds, choose a weight loss plan in which you will still be giving your body the nutrients it needs. Eating healthier foods is better than cutting food out altogether.
Tainted taste buds
Probably the weirdest thing that weight loss does to your body is mess with your sense of taste. A Stanford University study revealed that patients who underwent bariatric surgery reported an increase in taste sensitivity. While it is believed that having heightened taste buds can help obese patients change their relationship with food, it is still unclear as to why there is a link between major weight loss surgery and sense of taste.
Those before-and-after photos showing people going from obese to perfectly svelte after severe weight loss are often works of fiction. Often times, rapid weight loss doesn’t give the skin time to adjust. The result? Saggy flaps of skin that hang away from the body.
Luckily, there is a solution to this crazy body reaction. Livestrong.com tells us that incorporating a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help keep your skin tight — as will avoiding a weight-loss regimen in which you drop weight too quickly.