No matter what I might suggest, there will always be people who will only be interested in the newest ways to achieve fast weight loss. It doesn’t matter what the health ramifications are, or that they stand a good chance of regaining the lost weight, they just want the weight gone now!
Well, if quick weight loss is your goal, here’s some information that just might make you think twice about it. Actually, here’s a question: do you know what crash diets, quick weight loss, and weight loss surgery all have in common? They can cause hair loss, hair shedding, and/or thinning hair. Now I don’t know about you, but if I even had the thought to try some fad diet, this information would get me running the other way!
That’s right, you can end up losing your hair in the pursuit of quick weight loss. Unbalanced crash dieting or any diet that excludes any of the 4 major food groups (and no, sugar is not a major food group 😉 ) while focusing on only one or two (think Atkins, or the fabled cabbage soup diet) can lead to sleepless nights from worries over thinning hair. Fast weight loss in general, no matter what method you use, can create changes in your metabolism that upsets your natural hair growth cycle, and I bet that isn’t the result that you were expecting when you started that unbalanced diet.
So why would fast weight loss cause your hair to fall out? There are several reasons besides heredity that can cause hair loss:
- The amount of protein and fat in your diet. A low or no protein diet, a high protein diet with the exclusion of the other important food groups (whole carbs, fruit, veggies), or a low-fat diet all contribute to hair loss.
- Severely abnormal eating habits, i.e.: starvation, or eating a regular diet consisting of only one food group.
- Nutritional deficiencies such as iron, zinc, magnesium, protein, essential fatty acids (mentioned above) and vitamins D, B and A can all relate to thinning hair.
- Stress in the form of anxiety, worry, and shock is a major cause of thinning hair as it leads to a severe tension in the skin of the scalp. This affects the flow of required nutrients for healthy hair growth. Additionally, when the body loses weight rapidly, it puts stress on the body, causing hair loss (more details about hair loss here).
The good news is that once you return to a balanced diet, you can regain your previously full head of hair, however it can take up to 3 months, and for some people it can take 1 or 2 years. My personal goal would be to not lose my hair in the first place. 😉 Now there have been people who have had success with taking vitamin and mineral supplements, however the best solution is a balanced diet and gradual weight loss. In fact, even with the Six Week Body Makeover (it is balanced but does not include a lot of fat) it is recommended that you do take vitamin and mineral supplements, which I do (as well as flax seed oil caplets).
All in all, your hair needs nutrients, vitamins and minerals to grow strong and healthy, but it just isn’t very high on the list of priorities when you are starving yourself to lose weight or are eating in a very unbalanced fashion. There are more important systems in your body that rank much higher than hair growth, so while you are contemplating going on a diet of water, coffee, and one cup of cottage cheese per day (not a recommendation!), think about how you would feel if you started finding clumps of hair in your brush each day. 😉Dieting and Hair Loss – What’s The Relation?