What happens if you lose weight too fast when starting your diet to reverse fatty liver? You’ve probably seen or heard in many places that too fast of a weight loss can make your fatty liver worse (or even be a cause for fatty liver).
First, we should understand what “too fast” means. A healthy weight loss is considered that of up to 2 pounds (2kg) per week. So if you are under or around this, you should have no worries.
When I started dieting, in the first month or two, I was actually losing up to 3.3 pounds (1.5kg) per week. So even though I was above the recommended safe zone, I still reversed fatty liver and not made it worse.
It’s important to note that this wasn’t the rate I lost weight at on the long term.
I was pretty overweight, on the brink of obesity, with a BMI of around 29. When I dropped my caloric intake from whatever I was having to a healthier amount of a bit under 2,000 calories per day, the caloric deficit was so great that my weight loss was more substantial.
But as time passed by, the rapid weight loss slowed down and eventually, even though I was consuming the same amount of calories as in my first day of dieting, stopped losing weight.
And that is when I started adding exercising into my life, as well as dealing with dieting fatigue.
This makes complete sense: if we need to lose weight to reverse our NAFLD (and most of us do), we’ll lose weight faster at the beginning and slower afterwards.
Don’t put too much pressure on your body and liver as very fast weight loss might indeed harm your liver and make your fatty liver worse.
If you want to make sure that you lose weight the right way and do everything that’s needed to reverse your fatty liver, I recommend checking out Reverse Your Fatty Liver – a book that has everything you need to know laid out flawlessly.
Why losing weight too fast can worsen your fatty liver?
It’s not very clear why rapid weight loss can make your fatty liver worse (or even cause NAFLD). It is believed that the rapid changes of fats and fatty acids in the blood can have this effect.
Others believe that since our liver is responsible for processing fats, it will start burning down those stored in our body when we begin a diet at a faster rate, putting more pressure on it.
You can read more about these potential reasons why rapid weight loss can make fatty liver worse on Patient.co.uk.
However, nobody really defined how much is really too much.
The truth is that any type of extremely fast rapid loss is not sustainable on the long term. So even if you lose 3 kilos per week (which would be considered unhealthy), you won’t be able to stick to such a diet on the long term.
The fight to reverse fatty liver is a marathon and it requires a permanent change in the eating habits that we have, so it’s better to go slow and steady. That’s the easiest way to win this race.
So do try to stick to a maximum of 3 pounds lost per week – but try to aim for no more than 2 pounds after the first several weeks.
Should you be worried if you lose weight too fast?
If you are losing weight at an alarming rate and there’s no logical explanation to this, you should consult your physician immediately. Rapid weight loss without an apparent reason is not healthy and an expert’s opinion should be sought ASAP.
In my case, I got worried seeing that I was losing weight so fast after starting my fatty liver diet and just a couple of weeks after starting it, I scheduled another meeting with my hepatologist.
Everything was OK in my case – she analyzed what I was eating and concluded that I was overdoing it a bit, but she wasn’t really concerned about this.
This is what happens when you jump from eating lots of fatty and sugary foods to eating zucchini and eggplants and other healthy options.
So as long as you do follow a diet that feeds you way fewer calories than what you used to have, there probably is nothing wrong. But I still recommend playing it safe like I did and visiting the doctor again, just to be sure that all is OK.
We usually get scared reading all sorts of stories on the internet. I know I did when I started losing weight so fast, but I fortunately kept going.
Since very few people mention what “too fast” really means, some of us might consider what is actually a normal weight loss too much.
This is why it is important to always check multiple sources and especially visit an expert (your doctor, in this case) in order to make sure that all is OK. Stress is also bad for the fatty liver, and worrying too much won’t help at all.
But overall, as long as you do follow a diet and don’t do overdo it on the long term, a few hundred grams over what’s recommended as safe weight loss shouldn’t hurt you – it sure didn’t do me any harm!
I was diagnosed with a fatty liver back in 2014 and managed to reverse it by mid 2015. Since then, I’ve been studying NAFLD and I have decided to share everything I have learned over the years to help you reverse your condition.
I am also the admin of the Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook and the Fatty Liver Subreddit.