Losing weight affects more than just your waistline, and on the conquest for a thinner body, many people forget about the ways weight loss affects your hair and skin. Months later, after the pounds are gone, you might find yourself with dry, brittle hair, lackluster skin, dry skin, dark circles, puffy eyes, split ends, and see more hair on the floor than you used to. To avoid these unhealthy issues with your hair and skin during weight loss, be sure to follow some of the tips below. Each one of these ways weight loss affects your hair and skin can be prevented, all with just a few tweaks.
1. Dry Hair
Dry hair is one of the most typical ways weight loss affects your hair and skin. It all boils down to fat consumption. If you’re on a diet, you’re most likely watching your fat content, and possibly skimping on calories. In the meantime, your hair starts to become incredibly dry and just look dull in appearance. Let me start by saying that cutting fat is not only unnecessary for healthy weight loss, but also detrimental. It slows your metabolism, can increase your blood sugar levels, and can even put you at risk for depression. Your brain, body and your hair need healthy fats. Healthy fats help to keep your hair moist, radiant and increase their shine. For the best weight-loss friendly fats, eat avocados, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, coconut oil, olive oil and coconut. These are all excellent for your metabolism, hair and your brain.
2. Split Ends
Split ends are one of most women’s arch enemies, and certainly are one of mine! If your hair isn’t receiving proper B vitamins, healthy fats, zinc, iron, and protein, you may suffer split ends. While you’re dieting, don’t forget to include a multivitamin, eat two-three servings of healthy fats each day, and include at least 15-20 grams of protein at each meal. This will keep your hair healthy, and prevent split ends. B vitamins can be found in all whole grains, but I prefer getting my B vitamins from nuts, seeds, and spirulina. Spirulina is a deep sea algae that comes in the form of a tablet or powder. It is rich in Vitamins B12 and B6, and includes your entire daily allotment of iron in one tablespoon. I add it to my smoothies, or put it in raw, homemade energy bars. All lean protein such as fish, plain yogurt, chicken, turkey, eggs, quinoa and beans are also great sources of B vitamins.
Many people who lose weight can suffer acne. I don’t care how thin you are, nobody enjoys acne! To combat acne, be sure you get enough healthy fats in your diet and avoid processed diet foods. These processed foods contain refined ingredients, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, hormone-laced dairy, and sources of gluten that might lead to acne. You need to eat a diet of more whole foods, eat healthy fats and avoid added sugars, processed foods and refined foods of all kind. I find that eating salmon, tuna, and healthy seeds like chia and hemp also help to keep acne at bay. Be sure to include lots of leafy greens in your diet as well. Leafy greens are acne’s worst nightmare due to their chlorophyll content, so eat plenty of these each and every day.
4. Thinning Hair
If your hair starts to thin while you’re on a diet, it can likely be tied to a shortage of either B vitamins, iron, zinc or protein, or a mix of all four. Each of these nutrients are crucial for strong hair that doesn’t break or fall out. Be sure to eat lean protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and plenty of leafy greens and vegetables.
5. Dry Skin
If your skin starts to peel, or just starts to feel a little dry while you’re dieting, it is most likely tied to your calorie reduction. Increase your intake of healthy fats and reduce your consumption of starchy carbohydrates if you’re eating them. This will keep your weight loss moving steady, increase your metabolism, and make your skin nice and moist again. I find chia seeds, salmon, flax seeds, hemp seeds, coconut, and almonds to be the best source of fats to combat dry skin. Coconut oil, flax oil and hemp oil are also excellent, but I recommend using them raw instead of cooked to prevent the fats from turning rancid. Cooking with coconut oil is the best option of all three though.
6. Dark Circles
Dark circles under the eyes are likely due to one of two things: lack or iron that causes lack of blood flow, or adrenal exhaustion. Your adrenal glands are located right on top of your kidneys, and are one of the most important endocrine glands, or hormone glands, in the body. They are responsible for helping your body deal with stress, and if they’re overexerted and having to work overtime, they cause fatigue, inflammation, dark circles, weight gain or loss, depression, and less than stellar hair and skin. To take care of your adrenals during dieting, which the body senses as a form of stress to begin with, be sure you get 8 hours of sleep, eat a mix of protein, healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats, and avoid all refined foods, excess caffeine and alcohol.
7. Puffy Eyes
Puffy eyes are usually just a sign of lack of sleep, or too much sodium. They can also occur from eating too many refined foods, like diet foods. Eat more vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. Also be sure to eat foods rich in potassium, which helps reduce fluid retention. This includes celery, pumpkin, cucumber, asparagus, plain yogurt, almonds, avocados, winter squash, tomatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, all leafy greens, bananas and carrots. Parsley is also a natural diuretic, as are onions, so this can also help reduce fluid retention..
If you’re suffering one of the above issues, you don’t have to sacrifice weight loss for beauty. Just implement the tips I gave, and hopefully the issues will be resolved. If they don’t, you might simply be not eating enough calories. Don’t count your calories, but instead, eat quality sources of calories as described above. When you’re eating throughout the day and seeing your appetite become regular without suffering cravings or crashes, you’ve likely found your “happy” calorie place. If you’ve ever dieted, have you experienced one of these beauty issues?