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Hazardous weight loss

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:33 pm
While losing weight is generally beneficial for your health if you're overweight, there are instances when weight loss can be hazardous. Most dangers arise when you try to lose weight too quickly. In order to shed more than two pounds a week, most people would have to severely restrict calories, flush out large quantities of water, or engage in very strenuous exercise. Such practices can be harmful when carried to extremes, especially if used in combination. Very low calorie diets are undesirable because they typically don't meet the body's needs for energy and nutrition. The average person requires 1200 (twelve hundred) to 1600 (sixteen hundred) calories a day just to sustain basic functions. Also avoid the excess loss of fluids, which can occur when laxatives and diuretics (die-you-RET-icks), or water pills, are over-used. In extreme cases, this can lead to dehydration, heartbeat irregularities, or even cardiac arrest. In addition, you shouldn't try to speed weight loss by suddenly and dramatically increasing your exercise. When in doubt, consult a doctor for safe activities and eating plans. Other weight loss techniques that should be approached with caution include jaw wiring, intestinal bypass, and the use of certain diet pills.

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