Here's the problem, in our paranoia about losing weight because fat is unhealthy and socially not acceptable, we often overlook that the danger of rapid weight loss is not just physical, it's also psychological.
So what exactly as the dangers of rapid weight loss. So you're are on that latest and greatest diet product and life's looking rosy. According to the scale, a miracle is underway, your clothes are in agreement and you feel fabulous.
The Physical Danger
But wait... did you know that whenever you go on a fad diet, your body goes into a state of deprivation and being the amazing biological masterpiece that it is, it starts conserving energy and holding onto it's fat supplies for when it might need them.
And here's the order of rapid weight loss. First you lose water. Well pick up a bucket of water - it's heavy, isn't it? So water loss on a scale looks fantastic. What's the problem with this rapid weight loss - so far if the scale is going down it must be good - right?
Well, your body needs water to function properly. When that rapid loss is water, you've just slowed down your bodies ability to burn calories, and your body is still holding onto it's fat supplies.
The next thing you lose with rapid weight loss - still isn't fat, but muscle. Well, muscle on a scale weighs 3 times what fat does, so guess what? That loss on the scale may look like a blessing - but in reality it's another curse.
This is where another danger of rapid weight loss hits us. Muscle, which keeps our body strong, is the tissue that utilizes the most energy to stay alive. So in losing it, you've once again retarded your metabolism and still, your body holds onto its fat.
So in reality, you've lost water and muscle which you need to burn calories and all you've succeeded in doing is ensuring that you now have a higher percentage body fat now than you did before you started.
And as if that isn't enough - when the fad diet fails you, another danger of rapid weight loss is that your body composition has changed. The higher our percentage body fat - the better our body becomes at storing food as fat. So, that rapid weight loss you're so delighted with is contributing to the vicious cycle of fat regain.
The psychological danger
It's easy to become addicted to rapid weight loss. Suddenly, your scale, instead of being voice of criticism, smiles at you! Just jumping on it gives you a rush.
But even that is nothing like the thrilling rush you feel when everyone starts complimenting you one how much weight you've lost and how fast you've lost it.
Aha - and herein lies the little recognized, danger of rapid weight loss.
Why did we go on diet? Because we wanted to feel better about ourselves. Now we're losing the weight and fast which deserves an apparent - yay! Compare to how we were feeling those compliments feel like sweet rain and we blossom. Those compliments are addictive.
But, after a while the compliments start to die down. After all - everyone has become used to the new thinner you. Because your self-esteem was based on an exterior change without an accompanying interior remodel, without those compliments - you find yourself back out in the cold.
So how do we get those compliments again? Well we make sure we lose more weight right? And before we know it thousands of us, hungry to know they we attractive, are dieting themselves towards an eating disorder. This is a danger of rapid weight loss that we seldom stop to consider.
But rapid weight loss is precisely how I got anorexia when I was 15! I ate only gelatine and diet cold-drink for months on end - I thought losing weight fast and furious was good. It was anything but good.