As much as you would like to lose weight quickly, some weight loss strategies do more harm than good. How much unexplained weight loss is dangerous? Extreme measures aren’t necessarily the most effective, and some loss goals, losing weight should improve your health, not make it woesw.
Weight Loss DrugsMany drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, claim to help people to lose weight. While some are more effective than others, many so-called weight loss drugs contain dangerous chemicals that can threaten your health.
“Metabolism boosters” and “Fat burners” are questionable at best and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Stimulants, water pills are appetite suppressants have little effect on body fat and can have many harmful effects, especially on overnight people.
Even the prescription weight loss pill Fen-phen was pulled from the market after it caused fatal hypertension and heart valve problems.
Before resorting to drugs – which you should only do with a doctor’s supervision – give natural methods a serious effort and spare yourself the health complications.
Over-ExercisingOver-exercising can have serious side effects, particularly in people who are in poor physical condition.
While burning calories is important, over-exercising can do more harm than good.
When muscles including the heart-work hard, they develop microscopic tears that require rest periods to heal.
Without adequate rest periods, the heart can develop scarring called cardiac fibrosis and can also enlarge, creating a greater risk for a heart attack during exercise.
Too much intense or prolonged exercise can also make your body produce too much cortisol as a response to stress.
Excess cortisol can weaken your immune system, interfere with sleep, and cause chronic inflammation throughout your body.
Additionally, working beyond your capacity increases your risk of injury.
Pain and even extremely sore muscles can prevent you from working out at all for days or weeks, so it can be counterproductive.
The intense exercise you see on television weight loss shows is staged for dramatic effect and isn’t healthy. It’s more important to exercise correctly and consistently than to overdo it every day.
Skipping MealsWhile you can gain weight by overeating, regularly skipping meals is not always a good way to lose weight.
Skipping too many meals can sometimes make you even hungrier and more likely to overeat when you finally do.
Going too long between meals can also affect your blood sugar, particularly if you are diabetic, and can cause problems if you have low blood pressure.
It can also make you feel sluggish and less motivated to exercise or do anything that requires physical effort.
Skipping meals until you’re ravenous and then overeating just encourages an unhealthy relationship with food that ultimately, won’t help you lose weight any faster.
It’s easier, safer, and more effective to develop good eating habits, such as limiting portion sizes, eating on a regular schedule, avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks, and ensuring that your diet is balanced and complete.
SmokingSome people smoke to suppress hunger or as a substitute for snacking.
Others are afraid to quit, believing that they will gain weight if they do.
When people gain weight after they quit smoking, it’s because they changed their eating habits.
Smoking has no direct effects on weight loss and is also dangerous to your health. It raises your blood pressure, increases your heart rate, constricts your blood vessels, raises your cholesterol, and increases your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
It has many of the same dangerous effects as excess weight, so it’s not worth it to smoke for the sake of weight loss.
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I’m a family practice physician with a strong interest in preventive medicine. I trained at the Medical College of Virginia where I earned a medical degree (M.D.) and a master’s degree after graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology.
My philosophy? Strive to be fit and fabulous at any age! I show people how to do that through my writing.
Read more about me here.