Weight Loss Worries: The Dark Side of Extreme Dieting

Quick weight loss solutions, from fad diets to medication to bariatric surgery, are becoming increasingly popular. Many people who lose significant amounts of weight reap countless benefits. But what about the negative side effects of such extreme changes? 

Does Size Matter?

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Body size has long been thought to be a sign of health. Now, scientists generally agree that one can be healthy at any size. 

Health at Any Size

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While people who carry more weight tend to have higher risks of certain health problems, thin people are not inherently healthy because of their size.

The Keto Craze

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In 2019, people online showed their highest interest in the ketogenic diet, popularly known as “keto.” This diet promised rapid results by eliminating the intake of carbohydrates. 

Keto’s Rapid Results

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Many keto believers found that they were able to lose a lot of weight very quickly by sticking to this carb-free diet.

Facing the Consequences

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But the rapid changes their bodies experienced had consequences. Carbohydrates are a necessary nutrient for the body, and without them, it becomes difficult for organs to work as they’re intended. Energy has to come from elsewhere since no carbs are being consumed.

The Keto Flu and Beyond

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Experiencing issues like kidney problems, constipation, the so-called “keto flu,” and dehydration, some keto dieters were forced to stop the intense diet to relieve those symptoms. Once they resumed eating carbs, the weight came right back.

Restrictive Dieting Comes at a Price

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It’s not just keto — people who attempt to lose weight quickly using any restrictive method have experienced serious consequences. Recently, one celebrity who battled with eating disorders for most of her life spoke out about the health issues she is now facing.

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Actress Speaks Out

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Jameela Jamil, best known for her role as Tahani in the hit series “The Good Place,” took to social media to caution followers about the potential impacts of extreme dieting. She says that after decades of restrictive eating, she now deals with bone density loss as a result.

“I Have Been In a Lot of Pain”

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“Yesterday I got the results from my bone density scan,” Jamil said online. “I have been in a lot of pain lately and it turns out 20 years of dieting has hurt my bone density.”

A “Desperate Plea”

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Jamil continued in what she called a “desperate plea” for people to avoid her same fate. “No compliment I have ever received is worth the pain and regret of what happens to your body when you do extreme things for fast results,” she wrote.

Diet Culture’s Biggest Critic

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The 38-year-old actress has been an outspoken critic of diet culture, often using her platform to call out other celebrities like the Kardashian family for promoting crash diets and weight loss supplements designed to curb the appetite.

Bone Density and Age

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Orthopedic specialists say that protecting bone density is important because after around age 50, it starts to naturally decline due to age and hormonal changes. Reduced bone density puts people at higher risk of breaks and can cause chronic pain.

Faster Weight Loss Carries Higher Risks

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The evidence is clear that while any method of weight loss can impact bone density, it is far more likely (and severe) when weight loss is achieved in an unhealthy and fast way. Fad diets like keto or other restrictive measures pose a significant risk.

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Finding the “Right Way” to Lose Weight

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If you are looking to lose weight, talk with your doctor first to make sure there are no special considerations that need review in your specific case. Diet is the largest component in weight loss, but it’s critical to avoid restricting nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.

Focusing on the Nutrients

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Vitamins and minerals are important for keeping bones strong. Calcium, vitamin D, and protein are among the best nutrients for bones, so don’t skimp on foods that are rich in them.

The Impact of Movement

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Experts also recommend getting plenty of exercise to protect your muscles and bone density when losing weight. Resistance training, such as calisthenics, is an easy way to get beneficial exercise without leaving home.

New Trends in Weight Loss

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More Americans every day are turning to GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic, Zepbound, and Wegovy to aid in their weight loss journeys. These drugs have shown positive success rates so far, but physicians caution against their potential for causing bone density loss. 

Avoiding the Worst

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There are ways to combat negative side effects, though. Getting plenty of nutrients that promote bone health and staying hydrated are absolutely critical when taking GLP-1 medications.

Weight Loss May Not Be the Answer

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Although American health advice has emphasized weight loss for improved health outcomes for decades, some experts now say that may not be the best advice. Instead, they suggest focusing on a healthy diet and exercise routine and reducing major stressors where possible.

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The post Weight Loss Worries: The Dark Side of Extreme Dieting first appeared on Hello Positive Mindset.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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