Extreme Weight Loss Risks

Extreme weight loss refers to the practice of losing weight too quickly or losing more weight than is considered safe. Unfortunately, the psychology of losing weigh fast is pretty ingrained in our culture with even TV shows and documentaries now celebrating extreme weight loss practices. However, health professionals point out that losing more than three pounds per week is considered unsafe and comes with a number of possible negative side effects.

Here are some of the more common health risks associated with losing weight too quickly:

Hair loss

People who lose weight too quickly commonly will experience hair loss. Both genders can experience hair loss when the body is not being properly nourished. Hair needs protein and iron to grow. A diet dangerously low in calories can fail to provide one with the needed nutrients for hair to grow. This problem is, fortunately, correctable. One needs simply to start consuming an adequate amount of nutrients to reverse hair loss.


When you really start pushing the envelope with weight loss, what you’re really doing is dehydrating yourself. Your body can only lose so much fat and excess calories at once. What happens if you demand too much weight loss too soon is that the weight you are losing is just water weight. Dehydration is dangerous to your health and in extreme cases can lead to death.


Failing to consume enough calories actually slows down your metabolism. Extreme dieters often feel lethargic and fatigued. The body needs calories to have energy to perform its daily functions. By depriving the body of a significant number of daily calories, you’ll be left feeling too tired and sleepy to complete routine daily activities. This also makes exercise more difficult to achieve which is one of the best aids to a healthy weight loss approach.

Excess skin

When you lose weight too quickly, skin doesn’t have enough time to play catch-up and reshape to your body. This presents excess, sagging skin that can leave the dieter feeling just as self-conscious about their body as they were before they lost weight. While plastic surgery can correct some of these excess skin issues, a better bet is to lose weight slowly in order for the body to have a chance to react to its new shape.

Poor Cognitive Function

Extreme diets deprive your brain of the glucose it needs to function normally. This can leave dieters feeling in a fog and unable to focus. Research has demonstrated that people have a harder time completing complicated cognitive processes while they are dieting. This is why you’re told to make sure you eat a good breakfast before taking a test or performing another activity that requires substantial brain power.

Decreased Sex Drive

Crash dieting can have an impact on your libido. Dieters trying to lose too much weight too fast commonly report feeling less of an overall sex drive. Feelings of depression are also known to increase when on an extreme diet.

Despite the best intentions of losing weight fast, extreme dieting can cause even more damage to your body than has already occurred from over-eating. Remember that weight loss, as with most things in life, is best done with a mindset of moderation.

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