24 October 2017Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: I’m losing hair after dieting!

The first thing you need to do is change your perception about health and fitness

2 Feb 2016 | 11:51 am

I’m a 14-year-old girl who has been on a diet for the past six months, and so far I’ve lost 12kg. However, my hair has started to fall out drastically. I’ve started eating normally, increasing my protein intake, but nothing works. Plus, I’m constantly tired. Please suggest a way I can stay slim and healthy without losing my hair?

The first thing you need to do is change your perception about health and fitness. If you lose too much weight too fast, especially muscle and water, then you are in for some real trouble.

Not only will your skin and hair health be affected, but you will slow down your metabolism. You could also face issues such as an underactive thyroid gland or other hormonal problems. When your hormones are affected, your energy levels tend to plummet and the vibrancy and glow from your face will diminish.

If you are looking to truly change your lifestyle and remain fit for life, stop deadline-dieting, where you diet for a while and then resume normal eating. Instead start by making small changes – cut out processed foods and refined sugars.

Also, set some fitness goals and take up an exercise that excites you so you can stay active. Add some healthy fats from nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocados, and egg yolks into your diet so your skin health is restored, and increase the amount of protein you consume to stop hair fall.

Taking 50mg of zinc daily also helps reduce hair fall drastically. But you must remember to hydrate your body with at least three litres of water per day for all of the above to work.

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Rashi Chowdhary

is a nutritionist, an inch-loss expert and a certified diabetic educator. She can be contacted on 050 181 5030.