When you're working to shift a few pounds, seeing the meal prepping, consistent workouts, and hard work pay off can certainly feel gratifying—especially if you're experiencing all the byproducts of a healthier lifestyle, like a boost in energy and mood. But here's the big disclaimer: If you're losing weight too fast, you might encounter a few side effects that could put a damper on your health—and ultimately, your progress. As dietician Allison Aaron tells Mind Body Green, these include throwing off your body's equilibrium, vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, and ironically enough, slowing down your metabolism.
The latter obviously counteracts weight-loss efforts and makes a strong argument for steering clear of crash dieting and taking the slow-and-steady approach. When you deprive your body of calories, Aaron says, it goes into starvation mode to conserve energy, thus slowing down your metabolism and triggering muscle loss. Without adequate protein and calorie consumption, muscles are compromised of their metabolism-boosting abilities. Beyond your metabolism, the difference between losing 10 pounds in two weeks versus two months can lead to dehydration, which if prolonged, can result in serious issues beyond a headache and fatigue.
These are all important reminders if you're ever feeling impatient—not only should your health and well-being be the ultimate priority, but you're also simply counteracting your goals. Say it with us: Balance!
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