Before diet pills and weight-loss shakes came the belief that laxatives and weight loss are somehow connected. Laxatives are simply drugs or substances that aids in bowel movement by making the body digest food faster than usual. The belief was using laxatives would clear out the body of waste materials as well as fats which in turn helps in weight loss. Ergo, laxatives and weight loss go together.
Laxative abuse is very common with people who have eating disorders. In their attempt to lose weight, these people resort to taking in laxatives to aid in the removal of unwanted calories.
Unfortunately, the idea that laxatives and weight loss are interrelated is nothing more than an urban myth that is bound to wreak havoc on the health of abusers or people who want to lose weight.
But how come the body loses weight after taking laxatives?
Body waste will always have a bearing, albeit a small one, on a person's weight. This is where the myth about laxatives and weight loss comes in. Laxatives, when taken, will clear out the bowel of the waste materials that are deposited there. Waste usually includes fluids and indigestible substances. Anything that ends up in the colon is just indigestible fiber and non-nutritive waste, otherwise known as stuff with absolutely no use to the body. So when you use laxatives, you actually lose a certain amount of weight which is just attributed to body waste. This doesn't really figure in your goal to lose a considerable amount of weight mainly because you'll end up losing this stuff anyway since your body needs to do so keep you from getting poisoned.
Yes, you do shed off some calories by taking in laxatives. But it's not really a big amount to warrant a success in weight loss through laxative abuse. Laxatives and weight loss are interrelated only when talking about people with eating disorders abusing the substance. To lose weight, one must remove calories and excess fat among others. These are essentially stuff that are found in substances that the body recognizes as essential to its metabolism so they hardly end up in our colon. Assuming that your diet hasn't changed and your calorie-intake is still higher than necessary, the calories that you end up losing through laxatives are nothing compared to what stays inside your body and what comes back the next time you binge again.
Laxatives + Weight Loss = Serious Health Problems
Aside from the fact that it's so ineffective, laxative abuse can cause a lot of complications that will never be able to justify it as a way to lose weight. These complications include gastric bleeding and ulceration, dehydration, pancreatitis and even permanent damage on the gastrointestinal tract. If you're trying to get pregnant, laxative abuse to lose weight can be a major hindrance for you.
The use of laxatives would also render certain medications ineffective. It can also cause a lot of side-effects like stomach pains, nausea and bleeding. You can also be prone to a lot of infections because laxatives can wreak havoc on your immune system. Electrolyte imbalance can also affect the proper functioning of your nerves and muscles so you can also experience muscle pains and spasms due to laxative abuse.
Laxatives does not equal weight Loss
Bottom line is, laxatives and weight loss do not really go together. Effective weight loss cannot be achieved by taking in huge amounts of laxatives. What you'll just end up being is dehydrated among others things.
Laxative-intake is not a good way to lose weight because it only removes waste and water, not fats. If you want to lose weight laxatives are not the answer. There are a lot of other methods that are far more effective and safer than resorting to increasing your bowel movement. You can try changing your diet, exercise or even weight-loss surgery. Those methods have a much higher probability of getting you to the body size that you've always wanted.
If you have been taking laxatives on a regular basis in an attempt to lose weight, it is time to seek for medical advice because you may already be addicted to the substance. Joining support groups on weight management and eating disorders would also be helpful in getting you back on a healthy weight-loss regimen that would work for you.