Four negative effects of weight loss women should be aware of

Weight loss is the byproduct of hard work — unfortunately, it may include some adverse side effects

Haven’t we all experienced adverse reactions to weight loss at one time or another? Stress, lowering our nutritional intake, and extreme exercise has a big part in the game we call weight loss. It seems that females have a lot more at stake than men due to our complex hormonal system. As a result, our bodies (as much as we like to deny it) are equipped for rearing babies. When that’s compromised, our natural responses start to become the boss. Here are a few things you might experience due to weight loss and changes in your diet. It’s imperative to be on the red alert if any of these occur for you.

Hit one — Losing your period

 Losing my period was a big one a few years ago. I began dieting after taking a break for about four years; I went hard at it for about 5–6 months straight. After that, I never stop to take a break for one day. The weight loss started showing its appearance after 3–4 months, and it was quite a drop. But, unfortunately, I lost my period for about 1–2 months as a result. Losing my period was a side effect of the weight loss. However, my periods returned once I began increasing my caloric consumption. Increasing your caloric intake slowly and deliberately, keeping tabs on how your body responds, will make it a lot harder for your body to start piling on the weight suddenly. This method does take a bit of time, but it’s the best strategy I’ve used. Slow and steady does win the race in this case. Missing your period for months or even years will mess with your fertility. This is a downside for any woman seeking to get pregnant or have a family down the track. Although it’s hard to pinpoint when you may be getting closer to this stage in your weight loss journey, it’s something to consider as you move further and further along. Not all women experience this side effect. If you are worried at all, always seek medical help.

Hit two — Lack of energy

 Eating a nutritious whole-food diet should help support your gym efforts, as well as provide you with all the nutrition you need on a day to day basis. The problem starts to occur when we overexercise regularly to create a calorie deficit whilst diminishing our daily intake of food; energy levels can seem to plummet. This can counter the effect by bringing on those hunger signals — making them solid and ferocious! The ferociousness occurred for me when I stopped dieting for bodybuilding shows. It seemed that my appetite would never cease, and the constant overeating lead me to put on more weight. I would encourage you not to sacrifice calories too soon, for that matter. As I mentioned above, instead of increasing your calories, we are slowly swapping some foods for others that are lower in calories.

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 For instance, instead of having steak for dinner every night, we might swap that with white fish or egg white omelette. It’s not about decreasing your food intake, it’s about making the smarter swaps a few times a week. Another critical factor is to become mindful of how much cardio you have scheduled per week. Too much cardio can cause this exhaustion, and we need to be a lot more mindful of our nutritional choices than adding even more activity to make up for any binges or overeating. You can’t out-train a bad diet. I’ve never been able to do this — and neither will you!

Hit three — Losing iron stores

 Iron can be a massive problem for most women. It can decrease at any stage of our lives — not necessarily through dieting. I, for one, genetically, cannot absorb iron and therefore require iron infusions. Food or oral supplements don’t seem to help the problem. Perhaps you might have a similar challenge. Iron supplements are just one step towards getting your iron on track. There are also plenty of iron-rich foods you can eat daily, such as; meats, broccoli, mushrooms, kale and spinach. Have your protein sources, but do include plant sources higher in iron. Plant protein is less likely to make your breath smell as bad as animal protein (which is another tick of approval in my book)

Hit Four — Getting colds and flu

 I became plagued with colds and flu after long stretches of unnecessary cardio that was very taxing on my immune system. Not only will you become a lot more receptive to catching bugs, but you put your body at risk of injury. In addition, when we are overtired from the side effects, performing exercises with proper form may become compromised. Injury risk will set you back with training and nutrition. Injury, colds or flu setbacks forces you to take three or more steps back from all the hard work and effort you put in. Combat cold and flu by giving yourself enough rest days, taking the necessary supplementation to increase the strength of your immune system, and please, do not indulge in long-duration cardio sessions.

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 It’s unnecessary and not the best exercise for your body every day. Instead, add some variety with weight training, cycling or strongman sessions. 

Take away

 If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, I recommend taking an entire week off from strenuous exercise. Sleep in, walk as your exercise, and allow yourself to keep eating very well. Your nervous system will take a break, and so will your mind. As hard as it may be on the first couple of days, stick with it. It will be a shock to your system. But in due time, you will experience an invigorated sense of strength and eagerness to start smashing the metal plates again. And you most certainly will when that weekend and you’re back at it again. If you would like to read more articles like this or start writing your own, please sign up via my link. I’d love to see you on the other side. Sign up here for your medium subscription I get a portion from your monthly fee at no extra cost to you and it will go a long way in supporting me as a writer.

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