NO QUICK FIXES TO GETTING THAT BEACH BODY
APRIL 7, 2019 @ 8.02 PM
Not to state the obvious, but losing weight is hard. No matter how you go about it — diet, exercise or ideally a combination of both — achieving any weight goal is going to take dedication, willpower and probably some sacrifices along the way.
Dr Muhammad Rahmani, specialist from the Department of Sports Medicine, University of Malaya Medical Centre (PPUM) strongly agrees that there are no quick fixes while pointing why fad diets do not work.
“At PPUM, our treatment is based on research, evidence based, on expert’s opinion and experience, hence we don’t encourage quick fixes to weight reduction. However, we do recommend people to change their lives naturally and to make it a habit.”
Electrolyte imbalance from fast weight loss
Electrolytes are chemicals in the body that regulate important physiological functions and include sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium and calcium. When dissolved in water, electrolytes separate into positively and negatively charged ions. Nerve and muscle function are dependent upon the proper exchange of these ions in and out of the cells.
Electrolytes must exist in the body within a narrow concentration range in order to effectively serve a variety of critical functions such as:
1. Calcium - necessary for muscle contraction, nerve function, blood clotting, cell division, healthy bones and teeth
2. Chloride - maintains fluid balance in the body
3. Potassium - regulates heart contraction, helps maintain fluid balance
4. Magnesium - necessary for muscle contraction, nerve function, heart rhythm, bone strength, generating energy and building protein
5. Sodium - maintains fluid balance and necessary for muscle contraction and nerve function
“When a person loses five kilogrammes per week – it results in an electrolyte imbalance caused by loss of body fluids and may result in a number of symptoms depending on which electrolyte is out of balance and whether the level is too high or too low.”
“If you have altered potassium, magnesium, sodium or calcium levels, you may experience symptoms such as muscle spasm, bone disorders, weakness, blood pressure changes, twitching, irregular heartbeat, numbness, nervous system disorders, confusion, convulsions, lethargy and seizures.”
“Our body is a smart machine which takes time to adapt. Those who exercise would know that the heart and breathing becomes more efficient not overnight but in a span of three to six weeks.”
“In addition to this, the actual ingredients in each capsule – although it may be herb based – may pose a danger when consumed in the long term. Some may argue that it is approved by the Ministry of Health (KKM), however, the dosage of each capsule is still uncontrolled.”
“This could cause organ damage. There are lots of study and research conducted on the types of herbs and how it damages the liver, kidney and other organs as well.”
Sadly, he says that most people fall prey to promoters and salesmen who are not trained and often tell consumers that the more supplement they took – the faster the results.
There are thousands of products currently not approved by KKM yet sold over the social media or in the black market, promoting fast weight loss. Most of these products contain sibutramine - an anti-doping substance consumed to maintain body weight.
“These appetite suppressants were widely marketed and prescribed as an adjunct in the treatment of obesity along with diet and exercise, but it has been discontinued in many countries due to its harmful effects. It would be best to consult the doctor prior to consuming any slimming supplements or shakes,” he said.
What about slimming centres? Is it safe? Often times, these centres apply various techniques to goad people to their centres to achieve an ideal body weight.
However, Muhammad Ramani says the body toning effect is merely external and those resorting to such treatment need to be careful especially when it involves the blood, such as the 0-zone therapy that was banned in 2017.
The culprits behind o-zone therapy claim that the yellowish substance that is secreted from the dialysis type of treatment is fat. However, Muhammad Ramani clarified that it isn’t fat but fibrin which is a blood component.
“This was certainly a medical myth and since they are endangering the lives of people, KKM put a ban to it.”
As for liposuction, although it is evident based, nevertheless there are some side effects to it.
“Our body needs below 20 per cent of fat for vitamin absorption. Say, if we were out in the cold weather – we need the fat to keep us warm. When fat is extracted excessively during liposuction, it would cause side effects that are no different than consuming slimming supplements,” he said.
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