The lengths that people will go!People do some crazy things in order to lose weight and look good. Outrageous workouts, supplements, and diet plans have become the norm. One of the new weight loss trends that is making the rounds is using laxatives to drop pounds quickly. If you’re not familiar with laxatives, here’s a brief overview. What are laxatives? Laxatives are products that are used to increase the frequency of bowel movements and to loosen stools. Their purpose is to prevent and relieve constipation, as well as to flush toxins from the body. The use of laxatives was designed for, and is intended for, gastrointestinal purposes. Yet, some people have come up with the idea of using laxatives to lose weight fast. The logic is that if they take laxatives they will have more frequent bowel movements, and therefore get rid of the contents of their digestive system as well as water. The reality is that while these laxatives will help people lose weight, it is not a good idea because of the potential side effects. Here are a few: They Can Be Addictive: Laxatives help people who are having trouble with bowel movements. However, when used for extended periods of time the body may become dependent on laxatives. People who use laxatives for weight loss may risk the possibility of not being able to have proper, regular bowel movements. Harms the GI Tract: Studies have shown that laxative abuse may, “…mimic inflammatory bowel disease or malabsorption syndromes.” Also, “Patients frequently complain of diarrhea alternating with constipation and may have nausea, vomiting and weight loss.” Another potential side effect is fluid loss, as was previously mentioned. When the body has frequent bowel movements because of laxatives, the body gets rid of more water than it should. It’s Not Actually Burning Fat Yes, laxatives can help with weight loss, but it doesn’t actually get rid of fat. According to the National Eating Disorders Association: The belief that laxatives are effective for weight control is a myth. In fact, by the time laxatives act on the large intestine, most foods and calories have already been absorbed by the small intestine…laxative abuse causes the loss of water, minerals, electrolytes and indigestible fiber and wastes from the colon. This “water weight” returns as soon as the individual drinks any fluids and the body re-hydrates.” NEDA National Eating Disorders Association The Best Way to Lose Weight People who are overweight don’t want to be the way they are, although getting healthy and thin is easier said than done. This is what leads people to take such drastic measures as using laxatives. It is important to know that any time shortcuts are taken in regards to weight loss, there are likely going to be side effects. In the case of laxative use, there are many. The true path to losing weight and keeping it off is in reality a lot of work. It requires a person to dedicate themselves to a weight loss regimen, consisting of a healthy diet and regular exercise. While it may seem hard to achieve, with dedication and consistency anyone can make it happen. Avoid taking laxatives to lose weight and do the best thing for your weight, health and well being.