Searches for rapid weight loss are among the most popular online. Millions of people the world over are looking for the quickest and easiest way to lose the most weight

Have you ever stopped to consider what actually happens if you lose weight too quickly?

Related: Do diets that promise quick weight loss really work?

What is rapid weight loss?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, healthy weight loss can be up to half a kilogram, which adds up to around 2kg a week.

This type of weight loss is typical of a balance of diet and exercise. Losing 2kg a week may gradually add up to losing your goal weight. However, many people are looking for more noteworthy success stories and turn to ‘fad diets’, pills, potions and extreme weight loss routines that promise drastic results.

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Rapid weight loss may mean reaching your goal sooner rather than later, but it also has other effects on your body.

It’s unsustainable

Sustaining weight loss is sometimes harder than losing the weight in the first place. While losing weight, you have a set attainable goal, maintaining a weight loss is a life long struggle.

Celebrities and everyday people alike have struggled and lost their battle with keeping the bulge at bay. This is simply because their weight loss strategy is unsustainable, mostly because it is overly restrictive.

Related:Can skipping meals help you lose weight?

Crash diets are bad for your heart

Never mind the heartbreak at having your weight loss transformation reversed with just a few months of normal life and normal eating habits, crash, fad or extreme diets can be bad for your heart health.

Dr Jennifer Rayner, clinical research fellow, Oxford Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Oxford, studied the effects of low-calorie diets, specifically meal replacement programmes. She found that such diets could cause serious damage to your heart and impede it’s functioning at least at the beginning of your low-calorie diet.

“The sudden drop in calories causes fat to be released from different parts of the body into the blood and be taken up by the heart muscle,” she explained.

“The heart muscle prefers to choose between fat or sugar as fuel and being swamped by fat worsens its function. After the acute period in which the body is adjusting to dramatic calorie restriction, the fat content and function of the heart improved,” she says.

This is of specific concern for people who suffer from heart conditions, making it vital to consult with your doctor before starting a low-calorie diet of any kind.

Related Crash diets can cause transient deterioration in heart function

You could be missing out on nutrients

If your goal is simply to lose weight as fast as you can, you could overlook your nutritional needs and forsake entire food groups because of their fat, carbohydrate or caloric content. 

A balanced diet is not only more sustainable but also more beneficial to your health in the long run. Ensuring you are meeting all your nutritional needs could sometimes mean eating more. However, if you plan your meals and track your meals you could find that you are eating even less.

Source: Science Daily and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics