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Weight Loss and Dizziness

By James Patterson ; Updated July 18, 2017

It’s exciting to lose weight if you’re trying to reach a weight loss goal, but not at the expense of certain undesirable side effects like dizziness. If you’re experiencing light-headedness, dizziness or other similar symptoms, it could be an indication that you’re not losing weight correctly or getting enough nutrition in your diet plan.


Fad diets are notorious for causing you to lose large amounts of water weight in the initial stages, according to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH. While it’s nice to see the numbers on the scale drop, you could be doing damage to your body and experiencing symptoms like dizziness in the process. When your body loses too much water, it loses precious minerals called electrolytes in the process. These electrolytes help keep your body balanced chemically, and a lack of certain ones – such as potassium, calcium and sodium – can cause dizziness.

Lack of Nutrients

Not getting the right amount of calories and essential nutrient groups could also be causing your dizziness if you’ve been losing large amounts of weight too fast. Your body uses carbohydrates for energy, and limiting the amount of carbohydrates you eat while increasing your exercise and physical activity causes your body to search other areas of your body – such as lean muscle tissue – for energy. When your body can’t find the energy it needs, it can lead to dizziness and general muscle fatigue. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends all adults get at least 300 g of carbohydrates per day as part of a standard 2,000-calorie diet.


Dizziness is just one symptom of an overall problem with your weight loss approach if it’s happening on a regular basis. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to serious medical conditions if left untreated, such as the development of gallstones, further electrolyte imbalance and even irregular heartbeat, according to the NIH.


The best way to prevent general dizziness caused by weight loss is to make sure that you’re not losing too much weight too fast. A safe rate of weight loss is between 1 to 2 lbs. per week, according to MedlinePlus. Also make sure you’re getting enough calories in for proper nutrition to fuel your body and the exercise you need to achieve your weight loss. For men, the minimum number of recommended calories per day is 1,500. Women should get at least 1,200 calories per day. These numbers are general and may not reflect your actual caloric needs.


Dizziness can be not just an inconvenience, but can affect you while you’re working out or operating heavy machinery such as your car. If you experience significant dizziness on your weight loss plan and you feel that you’re eating and drinking enough, talk to your doctor immediately, as your symptoms could be indicative of a more serious condition.

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