Starving Yourself For Weight Loss

While everyone wants to look healthy and be thin, the fact is that most of us are at least a little bit overweight.

The pressure to be thin has made us try everything from diet pills to shakes to some very extreme diet plans (anyone remember the grapefruit diet?)

Unfortunately, one of the worst possible ways you could try to shed some pounds would be to stop eating. Although many people claim that it is works wonders, it is terribly detrimental to your health.

Want to know how to lose weight properly? Keep reading!

Starving for weight loss

What If You Stopped Eating

Let’s take a look at what actually goes on inside your body if you quit eating.

  • Most people will start to feel seriously hungry after about 6 hours. You will also start to get cranky and angry at just about everything.
  • You will now begin to enter a state called ketosis, which means that your body will begin to break down your fat to use as energy. Don’t think “Yea!” Keep reading
  • Your fat will be turned into long chain fatty acids. Unfortunately, your brain cannot use these fatty acids as food. Your brain will find some short chain fatty acids to use as food from your fat, but it’s not getting everything it needs.
  • Now that your brain is only getting about 75 percent of what it needs to keep going, so you are going to suffer from something called brain fog.
  • After 72 hours, your brain will be unhappy with this arrangement, so it will start to break down protein in your body so that the brain can function normally.
  • Where is it getting this protein? Your muscles, mainly. Your brain has now become a cannibal in an attempt to keep you going.
  • Your body will now attempt to save energy, thereby, not using so many calories, by shutting down unnecessary functions such as the menstrual cycle, as well as spending more time sleeping.
  • Your sex drive will be the next thing to make a hasty exit. Your body will have no energy for this and it must seem pointless in trying to make a new life if there isn’t enough food to sustain your own life.
  • Women will lose a great deal of mineral from their bones, causing them to become more fragile and susceptible to breaks or fractures.
  • After about 2 weeks, your immune system will run out power due to lack of vitamins. This leaves you vulnerable to almost every disease on the planet.
  • Depending on your size, starvation can kill you in as little as 3 weeks, with many people dying from heart attacks.
  • Those who are very overweight might make it as long as 70 to 80 days, if they don’t die from a weakened heart or from a disease before they reach that stage.

Weight Rebound

If you watch television at all, chances are that you have seen "The Biggest Loser" or "Survivor", where people lose anywhere between 20 and 200lbs. This is done through a starvation diet and some pretty intense exercise program.

The problem is that almost all of these people, once the show is over and they return to their normal lives and normal eating pattern, gain back the weight they lost. Some even gain extra weight as well.

Take a look at Survivor Australia competitors who were living on "nothing but rice and beans". The Survivor Australia contestants, Kat Dumont, Phoebe Timmins and Rohan MacLaren have revealed they lost over 60lbs between them in a short 21 days! However, after leaving the show they all gained back the weight.

Eat high protein foodsPhoebe Timmins lost 20lbs in 21 days on the show, Survivor Australia

Same thing happened on the series The Biggest Loser. Contestant Ryan Benson, who lost 122 pounds on the first show, then gained it all back and more after returning home! Ryan came under fire for publicly admitting that he starved and dehydrated himself to the point that he was urinating blood during the show.

The Necessities

However, we understand that some of you will simply try the starvation route anyway. If you must, keep reading and find out how you can do it and not endanger your health.

As we mentioned, when the body is starving, you will feel sick from lack of vitamins, mineral, and calories. You will begin to look emaciated as the muscles begin to waste away. The easy solution to this?

Give the body just enough macronutrients and vitamins and minerals it requires and nothing more.

Please note that this should only be done for a very short time. This is especially true if you are already in the low fat percentage range!

1) Eat Plenty of Protein

Eat high protein foodsEating high protein foods such as lean cuts of chicken, beef, and turkey, will make you feel full for longer

If you don't want to see your lean tissue wasting away or to look emaciated, then eating enough protein is a must! By eating enough of high protein foods, such as lean cuts of chicken breast, beef, and turkey, you will not only feel full for a longer period of time, but you will decrease those hunger pangs.

Your body uses carbohydrates for energy first, then fats, and protein last. By limiting your intake of carbohydrates, you can still eat plenty of healthy foods that your body needs and will lose weight safely.

Your body needs protein to build, repair, and maintain muscles, including the heart. Protein is not the body's first choice for energy, as it must work twice as hard to convert it into energy.

You will need to eat 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150lbs, you will need 90 grams of protein. This equates to just 360 calories.

2) Eat Plenty of Low Calorie Vegetables

Eat high protein foodsEating high protein foods such as lean cuts of ham, chicken, beef, and turkey, will make you feel full for longer

Many vegetables are extremely low in calories or high in water content. Eat fibrous vegetables, such as cabbage, celery, carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers. For example, you could eat a kilo of cabbage and only rack up 200 calories.

Asparagus only has 27 calories in one cup and lettuce only 5 calories in a cup!

By eating your fill of low calorie vegetables, you will not only feel full, but you will be giving your body the necessary vitamins, it needs (such as vitamins A, E, and C) as well as important minerals your heart needs each day, such as potassium.

3) Supplements

Eat high protein foodsTake 5-10 (1000mg) fish oil softgels a day

Since calories are so restricted, it is likely that you will still be deficient in many vitamins and minerals, so it is a good idea to take a general multivitamin for your health.

Another essential macronutrient that the body needs are EPA and DH Polyunsaturated fats! In other words, omega 3 fatty acids. Without this, the ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 will be skewed which can be harmful to your health.

How do you get omega 3 fatty acids? The easiest way is via fish oils capsules or liquid. Take 5-10 normal strength (1000mg) fish oil a day.

The Bottom Line

We hate to sound like a broken record, but starving yourself is BAD for your health. It’s been shown that those who starve themselves, not only regain the weight the loss faster than other dieters, but they gain extra weight on top of it.

Intermittent fasting is another issue entirely. We will talk more about how that works in our next article.

Please keep the bigger picture in mind and be kind to your body. Always check with your doctor before going on any type of extreme diet plan, such as the one mentioned above.