A laxative diet is one of the most popular fad diets that people follow for quick weight loss. How does the diet work and is it effective enough? Read the following information and find out.
The laxative diet is supposedly one of the fastest ways of losing weight. Laxatives are substances that are prescribed or advised by doctors in order to cure constipation and expedite bowel movement. They are also used as a method for weight control, despite doubts regarding their usage and reliability. They stimulate bowel function. However, regular consumption of laxatives weakens the bowels. Eventually, laxatives become a daily requirement for bowel movement.
What is a Laxative Diet
People who suffer from eating disorders, particularly bulimia, often resort to laxative diet. Those who follow this diet usually sip on laxative teas all day. Various herbs like cascara, blackthorn, aloe, rhubarb roots, senna roots, castor oil, prunes, acai berries, etc., which contain laxative properties, are used for making these herbal teas. Sometimes herbal tea and laxative diet pills are combined for better results and quick weight loss. Celebrities are known to combine these teas with the master cleanse drink, i.e. a combination of water, lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. On such diets, they do not consume anything solid.
Adverse Effects of the Diet
While you may notice that you have lost weight or feel lighter after following this diet, you ought to know that this is only water weight. This is because laxatives only get rid of the remains of food from the large intestine, the nutrients of which have already been absorbed by the small intestine. These nutrients include calories, fats, carbs, proteins, and so on.As such, effectively, all you lose is water from your body. Moreover, when you consume nothing but laxative drinks, there is nothing to excrete from your body, and you may develop diarrhea because of this.
Constantly consuming laxatives in any form is perhaps one of the worst things to do to your body. The following are the side effects you may develop upon following the laxative diet.
- Laxatives induce diarrhea. In such a state, the body resorts to water retention. So when you stop taking them, your body bloats up again, within 48 hours.
- Moreover, you feel weak and exhausted, and may even suffer from nausea during this phase.
- Other side effects include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, dehydration, rectal bleeding, fainting, electrolyte disorder, weakening of bones or osteomalacia, and chronic constipation.
- Another important factor to consider is the mineral and vitamin deficiency. Because you are not consuming food and only sipping on laxatives, the vitamin and mineral reserves in the body also get depleted. This is the reason why it is an unhealthy way of losing weight.
- Following the laxative diet over an extended period can cause symptoms such as mood swings.
As you can see, the diet helps lose weight only temporarily. Severe cases of laxative diet withdrawal may need urgent medical assistance. In some cases, this diet has proven fatal, especially among people who suffer from eating disorders. As such, following this diet may not be a very wise choice. If, however, you still want to give it a shot, do so after consulting your doctor or a dietitian, who may be able to advise healthier ways of following this diet. Last but not the least, the best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy diet and a good exercise regime. Though it will take longer, you will feel much better and healthier after attaining your goal weight.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of an expert.