For most people, losing weight is a priority. After all, maintaining your ideal body weight is a crucial factor in staying healthy and living a long, active lifestyle. However, that doesn’t mean that all weight loss is good or even ideal. While experts all agree that small weight fluctuations are normal (hello holiday weight!), there are definitely cases that are not ideal and could potentially be symptoms of other more serious ailments.
For example, if you are losing 5 percent or more of your body weight in under 6 months, and you haven’t made any significant changes to your lifestyle or diet, then it’s time to pay the doctor a visit. If you’re losing a rapid amount of weight and aren’t sure it’s a good or a bad thing, check out some of the most common reasons for weight loss below – both good and bad.
You’re Finally Eating Healthier (Good)
It’s no secret that most westerners maintain a largely poor diet. With the advent of fast food, convenience stores and the rise of decadently portioned meals, there’s no surprise that diabetes is at an all-time. Even scarier? Diabetes isn’t just something plaguing adults anymore. Even child obesity rates are on the rise and reaching critical levels. It goes without saying then that one very good cause of weight loss is making healthier choices or dramatically changing your eating habits.
For example, simply abstaining from carbohydrates and added sugar can trigger massive weight loss, especially in morbidly obese individuals. Cut out all kinds of sugar altogether and you could be seeing even greater weight loss taking place. People, dieters in particular, often overlook how much good and how much fat loss can be triggered by simply eating whole and green ingredients. It just goes to show that food can be both a blessing and a curse.
You Could Have a Gut Disease (Bad)
There are all kinds of gut diseases out there that could trigger rapid weight loss. One of these is celiac disease, an autoimmune illness or disorder that is linked to the ingestion of gluten. Celiac disease can trigger massive weight loss rapidly and is often tied to symptoms like diarrhea. Gastroenterologists also attribute other rapid drops of weight to problems with the pancreas as it is largely responsible for aiding in digestion through the production of enzymes.
If you’re losing quite a bit of weight for no apparent reason and feel like it could be gut disease, then some symptoms to look out for include chronic stomach pain, nausea after eating high-fat foods and discoloration in your feces. Don’t worry, gut diseases can be managed or healed, so if you suspect you have one, see a specialist immediately.
You’re Maintaining a Caloric Deficit (Both)
This reason could swing either way depending on what kind of diet you’re maintaining, really. The rationale behind this being that whether you’re eating healthy food or fatty foods, as long as you’re eating less calories than you burn in a day, you’re very much likely to lose weight. The weight loss can also be quite rapid if you’re failing to get enough nutrients to support the needs of your bodies. The verdict will come in when you examine what you’ve been feeding your body.
If your caloric deficit is caused by healthy ingredients that are packed with nutrients, then of course, the weight loss is a good thing. However, if you’re having a cup of coffee and a sugar glazed donut in the morning then forgetting to eat anything throughout the rest of the day, then your weight loss is bad – very bad. Interestingly enough, there’s also something called the “obesity paradox”, which is more common in the older generations, wherein weight loss (not weight gain) is a greater indication of risk of death.
This is because our stomachs actually empty at a slower rate as we age. This could lead to adults eating much less than their bodies actually need. At the end of the day, if you’re going for a caloric deficit, it’s important to include the appropriate levels of all food groups (yes, fat included). If you have a hard time trying to remember what portions should look like, just imagine the food pyramid and flip it.
You’re Getting a Decent Amount of Exercise or Movement Daily (Good)
Second to a healthy diet, one of the reasons why we lose weight, in a healthy way, is frequent physical activity. Whether you’re getting in your daily physical activity through time at the gym or through other recreational activities, it is a good cause for weight loss and certainly a desired one as well. Physical activity doesn’t just contribute to weight loss, it’s also a significant factor in getting our bodies to a healthier state.
For example, it builds lean muscle mass, it improves the capacity of our lungs and generally improves our cardiovascular health as a whole. Additionally, it’s fantastic for your mental state thanks to the release of endorphins which, to say the least, just makes people happier over all. Who doesn’t want to live a happier and healthier life, right?
You Could Have A Thyroid Problem
We like to refer to the thyroid as tiny but terrible. Why? Because despite being a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of our becks, it’s responsible for a lot of the regular functions in our body. For example, the thyroid is the largest endocrine gland in the body and is responsible for the production of T3 and T4 hormones. Not coincidentally, these hormones are also responsible for responding to stress hormones as well as controlling the rate that our bodies burn energy at.
If your thyroid is normal and functioning healthily, you’ll barely even notice its presence (in fact you won’t notice it at all!), but if there’s something going wrong with it then the symptoms are glaring. Weight loss is a common effect of an over-active thyroid. If you’re experience sleeping problems, are feeling hot regularly, feel hungry all the time, and experience heart palpitations, then chances are high that you have hyperthyroidism. Fret not, however, as thyroid problems are treatable.