Rapid Weight Loss During U.S. Heat Wave Poses Increased Health Risks, Dietitian Says. How to Stay Safe?
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Despite many people searching for suggestions regarding summertime weight loss, record-high temperatures in the U.S. suppose an increased health risk for intense fasting and exercise routines. A bariatric dietitian explains that a balanced diet and hydration are key during a heat wave.
August 16, 2022. Currently, 36.3 million people within the United States, or 11% of the population, reside in regions where severe heat levels are anticipated. Excessive heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the country, as high humidity in many areas makes it harder for the body to cool down, leading to dehydration, nausea, dizziness, and more.
Although there is plenty of advice on how to quickly slim down for the summer and attain a “beach body,” Dr. Karolina Bauraitė, a bariatric dietician at Nordbariatric Clinic — a leading international bariatric center for medical tourists in Kaunas, Lithuania — warns that a quick weight reduction might be dangerous in the current climate. She notes that staying hydrated and sticking to a balanced eating regimen is key for safely surviving the high temperatures.
Rapid summertime weight loss poses health risks
The concern with fast weight loss is that it usually takes extraordinary efforts in diet and exercise — efforts that could be unhealthy and are difficult to maintain as permanent lifestyle changes. A multitude of negative effects — including headaches, nausea, and dizziness — can arise from losing weight too rapidly, especially when starvation techniques are used.
“One of the main risks is dehydration. Ensuring adequate fluid intake is crucial. Sweating becomes more intense in the summer, which is one of the ways in which the body loses fluids,” explained Dr. Bauraitė. “Failure to meet nutrient requirements can also expose the patient to malnutrition or the risk of it. At any time of the year, it is important to choose a balanced diet that supports health. It is also advisable to enrich the diet with specific vitamins and minerals when needed, such as after gastric reduction surgery.”
In general, rapid weight loss has also been linked to higher rates of gallstone formation. As the liver produces more cholesterol for the bile during fasts or longer starvation periods, it interferes with the gallbladder’s ability to empty properly.
Maintaining a health-friendly routine is key
Since rapid weight loss poses possible health risks, Dr. Bauraitė suggests having a nutritious diet instead.
“Maintaining a food regimen is crucial. It is advised to have well-balanced main meals and 1-2 pre-planned snacks. Snacking haphazardly ought to be avoided, as snacks frequently mask the feeling of thirst. Therefore, getting enough liquids will not only stop dehydration but also stop weight growth.”
While diets should remain tailored to the individual patient’s needs and overseen by a professional, it is generally recommended to enrich the diet with vegetables and to maintain as much food variety as possible.
“It is advised to replace sugar-laden desserts or soft drinks with fresh berries and fruit. Sweet and fatty desserts can cause unpleasant symptoms in certain cases, so it is recommended to make them at home and include fresh berries or fruit as an alternative. It is also important to consume sufficient fluids, making sure to avoid alcoholic beverages,” concluded the expert.
Nordbariatric is a private bariatric surgery clinic in Kaunas, Lithuania, part of Nordclinic, offering high-quality services and focusing on foreign patients. It is equipped with modern diagnostic and surgical facilities. Medical professionals at the clinic speak fluent English and show personal attention to every patient. www.nordbariatric.com/en/