Monday, 16 April 2007

Fast Track Dieting

Since re-starting Weight Watchers on January 8th, I've lost in excess of 3 1/2lbs per week. According to the company's website, losing more than 1-2 lbs per week on average after the third week may be dangerous for long-term weight loss.

Rapid weight loss is usually followed by rapid regaining of the weight - something I hope to avoid. While Weight Watchers is by no means a faddy quick fix diet wonder, very low-calorie diets can be dangerous to your health. People who have medical problems caused by obesity might choose to try to lose weight rapidly under a doctor's supervision, but for most people it's not advised.

Many believe that in losing weight they are losing fat. While fat is lost, so is muscle. While fat contains roughly 50% water and muscle tissue is made up of approximately 70% water. With rapid weight loss can come rapid water loss. The consequences of this can be devastating. Electrolyte disturbances may occur - the consequences of which may be fatal. Severe dehydration can cause renal failure. On a more minor and superficial note, dehydration can cause dryness of skin and hair.

Starvation to achieve weight loss can alter hormone status - stopping the menstrual cycle, cause pancreatitis and reduce muscle mass. Over a long term, irrepairable damage can be caused.

Another issued raised by Weight Watchers is that the loser will be more likely to have issue with loose skin. With my many gains and losses as well as pregnancy in the past 20 years, I'm not sure whether this is avoidable...but I think that might be another blog entry entirely...infact, it will.

My points count has reduced again to 22 points per day. I have decided that, in an effort to avoid nasty health problems, I will do my best to eat all of my points each day as well as my water to see if it slows me down to a steady 2lb loss per week. The website advises eating all bonus points as well - however, I prefer not to simply as I'm usually full by the end of my points allowance. I have by no means been an angel since January when it comes to the diet - particularly over the last 2 weeks, so I am clueless as to why the loss has been high on average...but I'll do my best to keep it steady and keep it healthy.

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