Weight Loss and 6 Nutritional Deficiencies : What you Need to Beware of

  • Usman 
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Weight loss is the hot topic everywhere these days but you might be surprised to know that weight loss and nutritional deficiencies are also linked if you dont follow proper advice.

Everywhere you go, every person you meet, is most likely to have a problem with how they look .Majority of the people are very worried about their weight gain which is commonly caused due to their ignorant lifestyles, in which there is no physical activity involved.

People are in a race against time to lose weight they do everything from going to gyms to dieting to even getting surgeries to loose fat; they just want to lose weight no matter what.

Unfortunately, in all of this menace they forget about their health and what side effects would these fad diets have on their bodies in the long run.

About 89% of American women are unhappy with their current weight and want to lose weight, same goes for the rest of the world. Life style plays a very important role in an individual’s weight loss journey.

The common lifestyle of people these days is going to work/school, coming back home, sitting in front of the TV, have their dinner, go to sleep and repeat.

People these days have such busy and hectic lives that they do not get time to look after themselves. They hardly get time to do any physical activity or burn off those extra calories. Prepackaged meals, processed foods and fast foods like KFC, McDonalds and Burger King Etc. add to their lazy life styles and are the biggest source of weigh gain.

People with such kind of lifestyle end up gaining weight. They then turn towards different Fad diets (unhealthy way of losing weight quickly) that promise them results in the shortest time periods.

What they are unaware of is that how dangerous these fad diets are for their bodies in the long-run. Such diets can give them short term results instantly but these diets are actually causing an immense harm to their bodies for the future.

Fad diets can cause many problems for their bodies like dehydration, weakness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and many nutritional deficiency.

Nutrients are the important food groups needed by our bodies to function properly for repair and growth and to regulate chemical reactions within our bodies. There are six major nutrient groups i.e.

  • ?????? Carbohydrates
  • ????? Fats
  • ?????? Proteins
  • ?????? Minerals
  • ?????? Vitamins
  • ?????? Water

All of these nutrients are required by our bodies in a moderate amount, to function properly and be healthy. A lot of the diets done by the people for a quick weight loss always tend to eliminate some of these vital nutrients essential for the body.

For example keto diet requires you to eliminate the carbohydrates group completely out of your diet. Whereas, the Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates should constitute of 45-60% of your daily calorie intake, for a being healthy.

So, missing out on any of these food groups is definitely not the way to go. The main types of micronutrient deficiency caused by such diets for weight loss are:

1.     Iron deficiency:

Iron is a very important micro-nutrient needed by our bodies to function. It helps in the making of hemoglobin that is a protein in our red blood cells which carries oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body.

It also helps in the very production of some important hormones in human body. Foods that have high iron content include; Red meat, Dark leafy vegetables, Dried fruits and nuts, beans, tofu, eggs and some seafood like shrimps, oysters, sardines etc.

Lack of Iron means lack of blood within our bodies which leads to anemia. This can cause a lot of problems such as; fatigue, weakness, breath shortage, dizziness, pale skin, cold hands and feet etc.

Individuals that possess a high risk of iron deficiency are; vegetarians, people who do diets which do not include any fruits, vegetables and meats and people who consume large amounts of caffeine.

Diets that restrict you from having iron rich foods, for a quick weight loss can actually make you anemic. You will be at a high risk of this nutrient deficiency if you are avoiding meat.

2.     Calcium Deficiency:

Calcium, as we all know, is very crucial for our teeth and bones, it supports their structure and hardness.

Its secondary functions include aiding the nerves to carry messages from the brain to allover the body, it also helps our muscles to move, it plays a very important role in blood clotting and in regulating a normal heartbeat.

Calcium rich foods include dairy products, beans, broccoli, soy milk, spinach, nuts and seeds etc.

Calcium nutritional deficiency is a lot more common among women, around the world. It is the main cause of osteoporosis (a bone disease that occurs when body loses a high content of its bone), which may make the bones very week and break.

Low calcium levels have been linked with causing postmenstrual syndrome (PMS). Vegan and vegetarians suffer most with calcium deficiencies and fad diets that restrict dairy intake.

3.     Vitamin Deficiency:

Vitamins are an extremely important and crucial food group in our diets. Vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin K have enormous health effects and deficiency of any one of these vitamins can cause very severe health problems.

Vitamin A is very vital for the proper functioning of your immune system, vision, cell growth and fetal development. It is found in foods like .Vitamin A deficiency can cause serious health problems such as chronic blindness, increases the chance of dying from diseases like measles and diarrhea. It also causes many skin problems and also acne.

Vitamin B12 aids in the development of DNA in human bodies. Foods containing Vitamin B12 are beef, liver, chicken, fish, yogurt, cheese, eggs etc.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, damage your nerves and lead to memory loss and weaken thinking abilities. People who do not consume animal products are at a very high risk of Vitamin B12 deficit.

Vitamin C is very important for the growth, development and healing of all body tissues, wound curing, absorption of iron etc. It is also one of the main sources of collagen production in our bodies.

Citric foods are a great source of vitamin C, other than that broccoli, red and green peppers, strawberries are also some of the best sources of Vitamin C.

People who lack vitamin C in their diets, their bodies do not produce much collagen which is why their skins become loose, they get wrinkles and it becomes saggy, which gives them an older looking skin and a dull appearance overall.

Vitamins D, E, K are also very important for the regulation of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, to support our immune system and for blood clotting respectively.

Out of these Vitamin D deficiency is mostly caused by absent exposure to sunlight because our bodies make vitamin d by action of sun on cholesterol in our skins. Though milk and some other foods like fish have vitamin d but its not enough for our bodies.

If you avoid dairy and fish and you stay indoor during your weight loss efforts, you are highly likely to develop vitamin d deficiency.

4.     Carbohydrate deficiency:

Carbohydrates are the main depot of energy for our bodies. Our bodies convert carbohydrates into smaller components and produces energy for various activities.

Carbohydrates are usually broken down into glucose and then enter your blood stream. They are the instant source of energy for the body. Foods such as flour, rice, sugar things, breads, potatoes, peas, carrots etc. have very high carbohydrates content.

Carbohydrate deficiency can cause so many further deficiencies in our body’s .For example carbohydrates contain fiber, if the body does not get enough fiber, it will have problems digesting food.

Similarly, if our bodies are not getting enough glucose, it can mess up our nervous system and dizziness, weakness and severe headaches are the most common symptoms among people who consume a low carbohydrate diet.

5.     Iodine deficiency:

It is a very crucial mineral for the proper function and regulation of our thyroid gland. Thyroid gland produces hormones in the presence of iodine, and those hormones control the body’s metabolism and other important functions.

Foods such as Fish, seaweed, eggs, milk etc. contain high content of iodine. Use of iodized salt in everyday meals is another good way to fulfill your body’s iodine requirement.

If your diet lacks iodine, it will affect your thyroid gland and it will cause you to gain weight instead of losing it.

6.     Magnesium Deficiency:

Magnesium is amongst one of the key minerals in our bodies. It helps us keep a healthy immune system; it helps in the proper functioning of nervous and muscle system, keeps the heart rate steady and helps in keeping the bones strong.

Pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashew nuts, dark chocolate etc. are the best sources of magnesium. Diets which include low intake of magnesium can be life threatening as they cause insulin resistance, if magnesium is not consumed for a longer period of time.

It is also the leading cause for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, heart diseases, high blood pressure etc.

Losing weight fast can be very tempting and effective over a short period of time, but trust me it comes with a price. Losing weight by fad diets will lead you to nutritional deficiency of some very vital vitamins and minerals, which can be very dangerous for your overall wellbeing.

Invest in yourself by being patient and consistent with exercise and by having proper balanced meal that has all food groups present in it with all the nutritional values, only then you would be able to reduce your weight and not regain it for a longer period of time.

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Muhammad Usman

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