May 142012
 

Risks of Very Low Calorie Diets

Losing weight can often help stabilize blood pressure and decrease the risk of disease. It must, however, be done safely to avoid complications. Typically, women who restrict their caloric intake to less than 1,200 calories per day may be risking their health. Men should not restrict their caloric intake to less than 1,500 per day. People who are on very low calorie diets may have an increased risk for gallstones and is more commonly seen in women. In addition, very low calorie diets can also have a negative effect on your mental health, contributing to irritability, anxiety and depression. 
Other risks of very low calorie diets include dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue. In addition, consuming too few calories can increase the risk of nausea, diarrhea and constipation. Rapid weight loss brought on by a severely restricted caloric intake can also increase your cholesterol levels. This puts a strain on your heart, causing it to work harder.

When your body does not get the necessary nutrients it needs to function optimally, symptoms such as low blood pressure may occur. Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, nausea, sweating and shaking. Low calorie diets can also cause your blood sugar to drop, which is also known as hypoglycemia. This condition is particularly dangerous to those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and can result in fainting, heart rhythm disturbances, nausea, vomiting and confusion. Another risk of consuming too few calories while dieting is the risk of rapidly re-gaining your weight back. Although a low calorie diet quickly facilitates losing weight, many people find that they re-gain their lost pounds very quickly.

Individuals considering a weight loss program should consult with their health care providers, who can recommend a safe and healthy diet and exercise plan. Losing weight by following a sensible weight loss regimen will more likely result in long-term success in keeping the weight off.

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