Can the Optavia Diet Lead to Hair Loss?

Various annoying and sometimes harmful side effects can arise from very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) — that range from constipation to an unhealthy relationship with food.

A significant issue is when rapidly reducing the amount of calories consumed leads to quick weight loss, which might result in hair loss.
Optavia Diet and Hair Loss

The Optavia eating plan is famous for restricting calorie intake for weight reduction.

Some people following this diet have complained of hair loss as one of the side effects.

This article will explain what the Optavia diet is and why some people experience hair loss if they use it.

What is the Optavia Diet?

Optavia aims at rapid weight loss by significantly cutting down on calorie intake.

The program called the 12-week Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan offers a daily caloric allowance of only 800–1,200 calories so that the pounds shed quickly.

After achieving their desired body weight, dieters go into another phase where they consume not more than 1,550 calories per day; lasting six weeks.

This amount pales in comparison to the average American adult’s daily consumption.

The weight loss phase of Optavia varies depending on how many daily calories are consumed: very low-calorie diets (600-900 calories per day) or low-calorie diets (1000-1500 calories per day).

Rapid Weight Loss and Hair Loss

When it comes to rapid weight loss via VLCDs and low-calorie diets, adverse reactions such as hormone imbalances and hair fall may be observed.

Drastic reduction of caloric intake results in a substantial decrease in body mass due to energy balance fluctuations that occur as a result of storing fewer fats than those used during various activities performed by a human being.

However, this sudden drop could cause acute telogen effluvium (TE), a condition characterized by general scalp shedding.

This happens because TE occurs when there is an extreme event like rapid weight loss, which involves the hair follicles shifting abruptly from the growth phase to the resting phase.

These hairs eventually start growing again before they fall out and lead to hair loss. Usually, TE starts around three months following the event and may last for about six months.

Specific Triggers of Hair Loss in the Optavia Diet

Crash Dieting:

Hair loss is a common symptom of starvation diets. Adequate calories and nutrients are essential for hair growth.

In crash diets rapid weight loss, calorie limitations, nutrient deficiencies as well as psychological stress can cause hair fall.

Very Low Protein Diets:

Hair loss can result if there is protein malnutrition because amino acids that are needed for hair growth constitute its building blocks.

Inadequate protein intake by the body causing it to prioritize other important functions over hair growth can lead to hair falling out.

Weight Loss Surgeries:

Procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy may lead to rapid weight loss and nutritional deficiencies that result in hair fall.

Hair loss is often experienced after surgeries like this one, particularly among females.

Restrictive Diets:

Nutrient deficiencies or stress associated with their elimination from entire dietary plans may trigger alopecia; a situation where an individual loses scalp hair.

Deficiencies in iron, zinc, selenium, protein as well as essential fatty acids have been implicated in cases of baldness.

Is Hair Loss Dangerous?

Hair loss itself is not harmful, but its underlying causes like nutrient inadequacies and extreme calorie deprivation can result in severe health problems.

These include iron deficiency anemia, muscle wasting, impaired brain function, infertility, and many more.

In light of this fact, it is important to consult a healthcare professional if you have hair loss so as to rule out other causes.

How to Prevent Hair Loss When Losing Weight

  • To stop hair loss during weight loss, try a healthy sustainable approach: Ensure that your diet provides all the necessary nutrients.
  • Do not go on crash diets: Avoid any diet that promises fast weight loss.
  • Include Foods That Are Full Of Essential Nutrients: If your diet restricts numerous foods make sure that there are nutrient-dense choices or consider supplements where needed.
  • Nutrition After Surgery: Before and after weight loss surgery, keep up with the right levels of essential nutrients as advised by the physician.

How to Help Regrow Hair

Before trying treatment for hair fall it’s important to know what caused it. It may occur due to various reasons and not just quick weight reduction or lack of nutrition.

Prevention of deficiency through nutrition may help halt hair fall and stimulate re-growth.

RELATED: The Surprising Connection Between Weight Loss and Hair Loss

A well-balanced diet also helps by eliminating strict diets. Consult a healthcare provider for an individualized plan.

The Takeaway

Optavia Diet can lead to rapid weight changes which might trigger Acute Telogen Effluvium (TE) which is temporary.

To avoid this condition opt for slow sustainable weight loss through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Seek medical attention regarding alopecia concerns and eliminate other predisposing factors.

RELATED: Is it Better to Let Your Hair Air Dry?

Tips for Making Your Weight Loss Healthy

  1. Stick with a high protein and fiber-rich wholesome food meal plan.
  2. Cut down on ultra-processed foods along with sweet drinks.
  3. Regularly engage in physical activities.
  4. Ensure you sleep enough every night.
  5. Try your best to mitigate stress levels at all costs.

By doing this, you can lose weight without risking hair loss or other side effects.

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