Article Tempted to try starving yourself for quick weight loss? Here are solid reasons why that will only backfire... 1 2022 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/256_1662668324.jpg Health coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
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Starvation Diet Plan - Does Starving Yourself Make you Lose Weight?

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Starvation diet plan, why starving yourself will never help you, weight loss, weight loss tips
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CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT BY STARVING YOURSELF?

I want to absolutely dispel the misconception that starving yourself in the name of weight loss will help you on your journey. It will not - fact. Taking this extremely unhealthy approach will have negative impacts on both your body and your attempt to lose weight. I want to help you understand the importance of regular, balanced eating, and here's what I want to share.

YOUR METABOLISM WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE FINAL SAY

Okay, so that title, regarding metabolism, is very definite, but I wish to illustrate the importance of your metabolism and the influence you can have over it. 

A metabolism is basically a group of chemical reactions in the body that change everything we eat or drink into energy. It powers us to get up from bed, sit down, jump, dance around, and most of all, our biological processes. 

What do I mean by that? We need energy in our daily lives, even breathing requires it. The body at rest still needs to maintain blood circulation, brain function, cellular growth and repair, and hormonal and neurological changes. And a stable supply of energy is needed to support these internal bodily processes (Farhana & Rehman, 2022; Trexler et al., 2014). Think of your body as a vehicle - if it only has half the fuel it needs to complete a journey how can you expect it to get to where it needs to be? 

See, your body needs a certain amount of calories each day to function optimally. Consume more than this and you'll gain weight. Drastically fall below this maintenance level though, and your body won't function properly. 


Think of your body as a vehicle - if it only has half the fuel it needs to complete a journey how can you expect it to get to where it needs to be?


THE EFFECT OF STARVATION ON METABOLISM

I want to explain what happens to a person who started taking a starvation diet plan. They will be okay at first, but that’s just it. With little to no food, the body responds by fighting back. It feels a lot like an overnight fast where the last thing you eat is at dinner and the next will be in the coming morning. At this time, you will not have much energy and will immediately feel sluggish.

Within days of not eating, the body will start to feed itself. It will use all of its available sources of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat in the body as fuel. I mean, we literally use everything we have to keep living. At this stage, the body is already struggling to support itself without much fuel. So, the metabolism slows down. In this survival mode, the body fails to nourish vital organs and tissues (Brink, 2016).

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In your efforts to lose weight, you want your metabolism to be fired up as much as possible because this will best facilitate fat loss. If you begin to starve the body of the food it uses for energy your metabolism will slow down, eventually grinding to a halt. As a result, this is what will happen:

  • You will lose weight yes but it will almost all be water weight.

  • Your body will enter starvation mode - it will hold onto everything you consume with the tightest of grips - you will inevitably put the pounds back on.

  • Your body will source energy from your muscles - the breaking down of muscle mass will occur.

  • Very little body fat will be lost overall.

I'll delve into that a little deeper but I want you to really take notice of the last point. It's a fact - starving yourself will lead to very little actual fat loss in the short term so if you're trying to lose weight, it would make absolutely no sense to pursue this damaging practice. 

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THE EFFECTS OF STARVATION ON THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND BODY

As I mentioned earlier, the weight that you will lose, and although it will be a significant amount, will be down to expelled water and lost muscle mass. I would like you to really think about that though - our bodies are made up of a huge amount of water so how can that be healthy? In short, it can't. It can however lead to liver and kidney problems and will also lower your immune system, making you much more susceptible to illness. 

Poor diet, let alone the lack of food, can limit how our immune system works. During starvation, the body loses its own shield from bacteria and infections because of compromised production and action of immune cells and antibodies (Bourke et al., 2016). 

Because the body uses the remaining reserves of energy for basic needs, vital organs and tissues can’t receive the nutrients that they need to fully function. Just like how you feel if you don’t receive the parcel you ordered long ago and you keep waiting for nothing, you’d probably be in similar dismay. Imagine how your organs feel without those nutrients. Eventually, the heart, lungs, ovaries, and testes shrink and body temperatures drop. They literally become sad that they shrink and become cold.

Let me tell you, without enough food, you will have difficulty concentrating. On top of this, you will experience horrible fatigue and much more likely to lose your temper due to increased irritability, and nobody wants to experience that.

Eventually, nothing will be left for the body to use. All that’s going to be there will be your muscles. Guys, I don’t mean to scare you but it becomes a real danger when the body starts using muscles to keep your organs working. In the last stages of starvation, your heartbeat will slow down until your heart stops working (Brink, 2016). It’s the harshest and most extreme effect of starvation, I know, and that’s something we want to avoid.

STARVING YOURSELF WILL BRING YOU BACK TO WHERE YOU STARTED

Okay, I won't go into the science behind this unless asked to do so of course, because it's the bigger picture that's important here guys. If your body is in starvation mode, and this is something that should be avoided at all costs, hormones that are responsible for fat gain will be released in much larger quantities than usual. This doesn't sound positive at all, does it? This means your body will actually store more fat in the long run than it would if you were eating regularly. 

With a balanced diet and regular eating, your body will tend to take what it needs and discard the rest. With a highly irregular diet, however, your body will use every single calorie, and that hormone I told you about will make sure it gets stored as fat. This means you'll first end up where you started, but you'll also be much more likely to gain extra weight in the long run; and of course, this is incredibly counter-productive. 

THE KEY TO HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS

I've said this before and it's something you'll see a lot - the best, most effective, and efficient way to lose body fat is always going to be through good, regular exercise and a regular, balanced diet. It's all about the long game here guys - getting into a routine, staying disciplined, treating yourself occasionally, as I address in my article on “Overfeeding”, and gradually losing weight in a safe manner. 

Diet

There is no secret ingredient to weight loss, and you can’t expect it all to happen in just one day. It’s good to remember that when losing weight, burning more calories than consumed is important. That means slowly cutting down your food intake and getting more physically active (Farhana & Rehman, 2022). 

The amount of calories you consume in a day greatly impacts your journey to achieving your desired weight. Very low-calorie diets will result in quicker and larger reductions in weight. Small to moderate changes in caloric intake, on the other hand, will result in a slow and steady rate. 

Low-fat, low-carb, high-protein diets also have their pros and cons when it comes to losing weight and decreasing risks for diseases. But everyone has a different response to these diets, so finding the most suitable diet program is also important (Volek et al., 2005). No matter the changes, we have to do it gradually to let the body adjust. We want a healthy and natural way of keeping the weight off, and starvation just isn’t the answer!


...burning more calories than consumed is important. That means slowly cutting down your food intake and getting more physically active.


Exercise

If you’re wondering about physical activities, don’t fret, any exercise at all is better than none, but more is better. I recommend strength training like weightlifting, squats, and core workouts because this way, not only do we help the process of losing fat, but we also work on increasing our muscle mass (Volek et al., 2005). 

And there are lots of ways to get moving, and it doesn’t always need to be at the gym. Even gardening, sweeping the floor, and carrying groceries are all considered physical activities. The sky is the limit at this point, as long as you’re moving. Mimic the way people in the Blue Zones exercise, where movement is incorporated into daily life (Blue Zones are the areas on Earth where people, in general, outlive the rest of us, so it’s safe to say following their lifestyle habits is not a bad idea!)

Other Interventions

Occasionally, drug or surgical interventions are one of the components of weight loss programs. But it still boils down to manageable dietary modifications and calorie restrictions to safely lose weight and avoid gaining back the weight lost (Farhana & Rehman, 2022).

I can't emphasize this enough - starving yourself, in general, is never healthy, and starving yourself to try and lose weight, and keep it off, will never work. Your body is too smart and has too many contingencies in place for such occurrences, and while you may be able to trick it to your advantage in some ways - as I've mentioned in previous articles - this is one game that it will win every time.

Shocking your body with little to no food as soon you start your weight loss journey will only bring you back to where you started. If you urgently need the best advice on how to lose weight and keep it off, visit a practicing dietitian for accurate evaluation. After all, the most suitable weight loss treatment for you is what we want to find.

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Thanks Guys,

Stay Focused.

Check out my other articles about health and fitness:

Cheat Day Diet Tricks

The Negative Impacts of Weight Lifting Versus Bodyweight Training

Best Fat Loss Supplements for your Health Goals

Interval Sports Training

Is Walking Good for Weight Loss?

How to Find True Happiness in Life

FAQs

Does starving yourself make you lose a lot of weight?

When you starve yourself, your body switches into survival mode. It will lead to weight loss but it will be unsustainable and you will only hurt your ability to lose weight.

Instead of skipping meals and starving, plan what you eat and exercise portion control.

How long can you starve yourself before losing weight?

Your body will start burning fat more quickly after several days or weeks. But you will also still be losing muscle mass. During starvation, your muscles become your lifeline they can support you for three days until your metabolism drastically changes to protect lean body tissue. 

Can you lose weight by starving yourself for a day?

Without any food for a day, initial weight loss may seem abrupt due to the lack of water in the body. You are also guaranteed to shed 1/3 or half a point of mass from body fat. 

How long is it safe to fast?

Consider limiting your fasting to 24 hours or less and having a snack on hand in case you start to feel dizzy or nauseous in order to keep yourself safe, especially if you are new to fasting. Be mindful to quit fasting as soon as you feel unwell or have concerns about your health.

How can I get help in my weight loss efforts?

Talking to a health coach is a great way to start! Many offer a free consultation. They will help you create a plan and take action towards your goals.


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COMMENTS

  • Nonsense Article
    September 30, 2016

    Absolute nonsense! Starvation mode is a myth. If starving yourself makes you fat, why the hell were all of those Jews saved from the concentration camps skinny? They should've been huge.

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