Celebrities Losing Weight for Movie Roles, Possible Health Risks

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 12/03/2013 | 04:00 PM EST

Is Hollywood putting itself at risk for fame?

Usher recently released a new photo of his dramatic weight loss for his new role as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard on his Instagram, sparking tons of buzz on the Internet. The singer reportedly lost more than 30 pounds to look the part. While physically he looks alarming slim, Usher trained the healthy way by bike riding everyday for 20 miles and boxing.

Many stars including Beyoncé and 50 Cent have gone to great lengths to landing or effectively embodying a role, including shedding major pounds in a short time’s notice for filming. While Usher seems to have dropped his weight the proper way, many do not.

After his drastic 50-plus weight loss for his starring role in Things Fall Apart, 50 Cent admitted that he ignored suggestions that he should seek medical guidance. “I just didn't want to go because I had to match the look in my mind,” he said during an interview. "I was so into what I was doing that I wasn't really concerned with that. I just kept looking at myself in the mirror feeling like I have to be smaller. I had to match."

There are major health risks to losing such dramatic weight in such short time, only to return to their normal weight. For one, quick weight loss can increase your risk of gallstones, mineral and electrolyte imbalances, arrhythmias, changes in blood pressure, and low blood sugar -- all of which can be life threatening.

It’s recommended that you only lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Typically when you’re losing weight at that rate, you’re losing water weight and not necessarily fat. Rapid weight loss can also lead to rapid weight gain. This is mostly because it increases the breakdown of lean tissue, resulting in a lower metabolic rate. It’s highly recommended that one seek’s a doctor before deciding to lose such extreme weight.

Sometimes a role just ain’t worth it.

(Photo: Usher via Facebook)

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