Medical dangers of losing weight too fast?


Posted by CarolineUK on 3 years ago I am beginning to get a bit worried. I have dieted well and exercised as hard and much as my body can take each day. I have now lost 45 pounds in 9 weeks. I am delighted with that and would like to double that loss in the months to come. But I am beginning to worry whether I am doing my body harm by losing so much weight so quickly. I have read articles that say that when the body is subject to such fast weight loss, it can only eat away 2 pounds a week of fat so starts eating away muscle. I have also read that a low fat diet can mean the gallbladder is underused and can therefore develop stones. I feel the fittest I have ever been - I can run, do 100 press ups and do a great martial arts session after a 3 mile power walk and run. My pulse is in the 60s and my bloodpressure in the 120s. So all the obvious measurable signs make me look really healthy. I have muscles and developing muscle definition. But am I OK on the inside? My heart seems stronger than ever on the basis of it's performance when training. Week on week, I can see an improvement in how long I can run for before having to drop back to a power walk and a marked decrease in the recovery time before I can run again. Is cardiovascular performance a good indicator of a healthy heart? Or will it have been weakened by the body wanting to eat muscle because I am asking it to lose weight faster than it can eat fat? Does anyone know about this stuff? I haven't had any medical monitoring of my weight loss and fitness regime - partly because I didn't think it was necessary because I was generally healthy and the only thing that was wrong with me was too much weight....and probably mainly because I am scared of doctors! Any info much appreciated :) Caroline

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Danmcn61 3 years ago.

Replies To Medical dangers of losing weight too fast?

  • Danmcn61

    3 years ago
    Have you been monitoring your actual bodyfat loss? I don't mean weight loss, but actual body fat. If not, you definitely need to have your body composition measured so that you know whether you are losing muscle tissue at a rapid rate. Some loss of lean tissue is inevitable, but you want to keep it to a minimum because the muscle will keep your metabolism humming along. I bought a hand-held bodyfat measuring device at Best Buy for 40 bucks, and although it isn't 100% accurate, at least you have a starting point and can measure how your body composition changes over time. It sounds like you are on the right track, though. If you are seeing weight loss coupled with improvements in your blood pressure and pulse rate, then that is good news. I heard the "2 pounds a week" urban legend for the first time about 30 years ago, and I still have no idea where it came from. I think it probably originated from the promoters of the crappy "diets" in the 1970s that had people eschewing eggs, lean meat, healthy fats, etc...in favor of pasta and bagels in a misguided effort to lose weight. If the diet hucksters from the disco era could convince people that anything more than 2 pounds a week was "dangerous" then they were off the hook for failing to deliver real weight loss in a reasonable amount of time. In answer to your question, cardiovascular performance is indeed an indicator of a healthy heart, and I think you are on the right track. If you feel unsure still, then by all means have a physical exam from a doctor and tell him/her your concerns. I had some heart issues when I started my reboot (blood pressure, fast pulse, enlarged heart) that went away after I lost the weight and exercised every day for two months, and I've been fine since. I think you will be also. Good luck.

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