If you are trying to lose weight quickly, you're probably resorting to more "dramatic" ways to help you lose weight. And unfortunately, most may actually sabotage your weight loss goals long-term–and also come with negative health consequences.
"Rapid weight loss can lead to dehydration, it can slow your metabolism, and you may actually lose muscle instead of fat!" says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, registered dietitian nutritionist in Charleston, S.C. and member of the Eat This, Not That! medical expert board.
She notes that as a rule of thumb, people should shoot for 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week, "although this can vary based on many factors." And the Mayo Clinic confirms that a "safe" amount of weight to drop each week is in fact 1-2 pounds.
While it is possible to lose more weight than that in one week, the methods you take to get there can help or hurt you. Here are five eating habits that will hurt your weight loss goals if you're trying to drop weight quickly. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.
You eat too few calories.
Cutting back on how much you're eating likely means you're drastically decreasing your calories, which may put your body into starvation mode.
"Your body may adjust its metabolism when food isn't being supplied in adequate amounts, which can wreak havoc on your weight long term," says Manaker.
You aren't staying hydrated.
Trying to lose weight quickly may also hurt your hydration efforts.
"Some people mistake thirst for hunger, and eat when they are actually thirsty. This can cause consuming too many calories that can lead to weight gain," says Manaker.
You lean on weight loss supplements without changing your diet.
Weight loss supplements are inefficient—and dangerous—when it comes to losing weight quickly. Especially if you're solely relying on them to drop pounds.
"Supplements are not a magic bullet for weight loss," says Manaker. "Taking supplements without modifying your diet will likely not result in the outcomes you want to see."
You drink too much alcohol.
Some people may assume that cutting back on food still means they can imbibe–but it's likely hurting your weight loss efforts.
"Alcohol can be loaded with empty calories, which can lead to weight gain," says Manaker. "Plus, drinking too much alcohol can lower inhibitions, possibly causing people to make unhealthy choices when choosing what they eat."
You skip eating fat.
Most people assume that "fat-free" foods may hold the key to losing weight quickly. But if you cut out fat completely, you actually are missing out on its weight loss benefits.