Unhealthy weight loss: how much is too much?

The term “weight loss’ is perhaps one of the most searched phrases on Google. There are a growing and already existing audience looking for weight loss guides, products, tips, methods, strategies, etc. All to achieve the perfect body they have in mind.

Deciding to cut down some body fat is not a problem in itself, but it becomes an issue when the result is a dramatic unhealthy weight loss. This is not sustainable, and it poses a risk to one’s health.

Many experts, and even the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommend losing around 1 – 2 pounds (0.45- 0.9kg) per week, or 4 – 8 pounds per month. Losing weight at this pace is recommended because it helps you maintain further weight loss as you go on. 

Worst ways to lose weight

If you must lose weight, then at least attempt to do it the right way. To help make sure you’re not following a wrong and potentially harmful weight loss strategy, we uncovered the worst ways to lose weight. Avoid them!

1. Not eating

Not eating any food or eating small portions once a day will slash your calorie intake drastically. Good news, right? But, what about your health?

Starving yourself could cause headaches, low blood sugar, weakness, and in extreme cases, a weakened immune system and kidney problems. 

In a nutshell, you need healthy food to give the body the level of nutrition it needs.

2. Avoiding all forms of fat

Of course, you want to avoid as many fatty foods as possible to lose weight, but hey, slow your role. There’s a danger when you overdo it.

Take healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, unless you don’t mind getting sick – because that’s what would happen, eventually.

3. Keeping malice with some food groups

Carbs tend to get the most hit. Everyone seems to be screaming low-carb diet from every turn nowadays. Well, it helps, but do it responsibly.

Food groups contribute something to your overall nutrition requirements. So, exercise caution and maintain a healthy relationship with each food group.

4. Taking diet soda or zero-sugar drinks

It seems like the best thing to do – making the switch from high-calorie drinks to zero-calorie alternatives. Well, it seems, like I said. 

It would interest you to know that these diet beverages come with their own health concerns. The Journal of American Geriatrics Society has something to say about the effects of consuming said drinks.

The study showed that people who drank diet soda gained more weight and belly fat. Whew! So, does that mean you should take regular soda and feel good about it? Absolutely not. It’s best to cut down on such drinks and gradually avoid them over time.

5. You’re working out too frequently

Exercise for weight loss is good, but your body screams for help when you overdo it. The more you exercise, the more calories you burn. And you get hungrier and crave more food in the process.

When you indulge and eat as much, all that hard work may go to waste. So, it’s best to keep things balanced. Stick to a healthy routine that isn’t too demanding.

There are more worst ways to lose weight not covered in this article, but we promise to create a full piece around the topic soon. But, hopefully, this has given you some perspective to help you avoid unhealthy weight loss.

Signs of excess weight loss


1. Feelings of irritability, dizziness and fatigue

Heavy workout bouts for beginners may leave you feeling this way, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long period of time. This is normal as it shows that the body is getting used to your activities. 

However, it is also a sign of extreme weight loss. The best way to lose weight is to follow a systemic routine so that your body can adjust. Overworking your body past its limit may likely result in you feeling lethargic and groggy.

2. You’re hungry all the time, and you think about food a lot

Experts say that if you overwork your body a lot and follow a rigorous diet, the odds of you feeling hungry all the time and thinking about food regularly is rather high. General guidelines state that women shouldn’t go below 1,200 calories daily, and for men, 1,500 calories daily.  

If you’re falling short of this mark, it means that you should make your diet plan less strict and reduce heavy workouts. Of course, this daily calorie mark should be packed with nutritious meals. If you feel unable to meet up with your daily functions and feel tired and need more hours of sleep, you may be malnourished, and your weight loss could become unhealthy.

3. You might experience digestive problems and nausea

Reshaping your food menu to fit into your healthy lifestyle isn’t bad, but when this new diet doesn’t have the recommended nutrients, your intestines might not be happy. Most calorie-burning foods are low in fibre, and a lack of this nutrient increases your chances of being constipated and nauseous. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, rapid weight loss can prevent the gall bladder from emptying properly or cause more cholesterol to be released by the liver. This can increase the risk of developing gall stones, which can cause upper abdominal pain. 

4. Hormonal imbalance and frequent headaches

For women, unhealthy weight loss often triggers hormonal changes that could lead to depression, hair loss, acne, and an irregularity or cessation of the menstrual cycle, also known as amenorrhea.

What can you do if your weight loss is unhealthy?

1. Talk to a doctor

If you’re feeling concerned about your rapid weight loss or you want to know more about losing weight, it’s best to see a doctor discuss steps to take to prevent health risks.  

We also recommend seeing a dietician; they will help you balance your meals to ensure that you’re receiving the appropriate nutrients.

2. Reshape your workout routine

If you feel that your weight loss is unnatural, you can always consider cutting back on your gym time or even changing your workout plan entirely. An excessive amount of aerobic exercise may be harmful to you in the long run, so you should always know how to balance it.


The weight loss journey is never easy. It takes discipline and effort to be consistent in your workout plan, but it is always best to never go overboard with your efforts.  

Unhealthy weight loss leads to some serious issues, including anorexia nervosa. You should always see a doctor if you notice something off about your body; your health should be the foremost thing to consider when working out. 

Jude Uchella

Jude Uchella is a passionate research writer whose work has been published on many reputable platforms, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and more! He prioritizes research, writes comprehensively, and only shares factual and helpful content. He is a reader’s delight!

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