How to starve yourself (benefits & consequences)

In this article, we will talk about the benefits and the consequences of hunger.

We will also talk about the eating disorder, what are most common eating disorders and how to help a friend with an eating disorder.

How to starve yourself to lose weight

You might wonder about How can you live an alternative lifestyle? by bringing change in yourself, physically or emotionally.

If you want to lose extra pounds, you should know that starvation is not a recommended method.

That’s because it can have a number of unwanted effects on your physical and mental health.

To be able to lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit, and that means you have to eat less.

But if this deficit is too great, we are already talking about starvation, which puts your health in danger.

The effects of starvation on your health

Malnutrition – the first effect of starvation on the body is malnutrition, which in turn causes a number of nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin A deficiency, vitamin C deficiency and even iron deficiency (anaemia).

Reducing the metabolic rate – when the body is not fed properly, the metabolism slows down, which means that you will burn fewer calories than usual, so you will lose weight more slowly.

This is because the body strives to maintain muscle mass.

The weakening of the bones – when you lose weight, you lose muscle mass, but what few know is that starvation also causes the weakening of the bones, by losing their density.

Therefore, the entire bone system undergoes changes due to starvation, changes that, over time, can promote bone fractures or conditions such as osteoporosis.

Increased fatigue – as you eat less, you will have less and less energy. Fatigue is acute in people who are hungry.

Also, starvation is associated with weakness, dizziness and difficulty concentrating.

Constipation – the risk of constipation is higher among people suffering from starvation. With frequent constipation, the risk of haemorrhoids increases.

Psychiatric disorders – starvation also affects the individual’s cognitive abilities.

Therefore, people who do not eat properly for a longer period of time have memory problems, think more slowly and make harder decisions.

At the same time, due to the lack of food, anxiety, irascibility and even symptoms specific to depression appear.

Increased appetite – another unwanted effect of starvation is increased appetite. The more you abstain and stay without food for longer, the greater the desire, but also the body’s need to eat.

Side Note: I grew this blog to over 500,000 monthly pageviews and it now finances our charitable missions. If you are looking to start a blog as a source of income or to help your community then view our how to start a blog guide.

How to lose weight without starving yourself

Starvation can help you lose a few extra pounds in the short term, but in the long run, the results will not be maintained.

On the other hand, if you starve for long periods of time, you expose yourself to the risks listed above.

This does not mean, however, that you cannot lose weight, but that you must do it using another method.

If you want to lose weight without endangering your health, and then manage to maintain yourself without too much effort, you need to change your lifestyle and especially your diet.

You don’t have to starve, you have to make the right choices.

A healthy and balanced diet plan, which will not starve you, but which will help you create a caloric deficit of no more than 500 kcal per day, will be effective during weight loss.

In parallel, it is recommended to practice the sport at least 5 days out of 7. Then, to maintain weight in the long run, it is recommended to return to the number of calories allowed daily depending on age, weight and other factors, but to continue practising sports and avoid unhealthy foods.

If you feel that you cannot succeed on your own, seek the help of a nutritionist to create a personalized diet plan.

A fitness trainer can also be very helpful – he will design a personalized workout that will help you sculpt your body to your liking.

The consequences of starvation

When it is deprived of glucose, the main source of energy, the body begins to use glycogen stores in the liver.

These last up to 12 hours, after which it will begin to feed itself, using the glycogen stored in the muscles.

If the first meal does not come in a few days, the body saves muscle mass and begins to use fat deposits.

But fat also plays a role in the body, a percentage of about 10% being essential for survival.

When it reaches this point, the body announces that it needs immediate food through a feeling of a greater hunger.

Starvation, the sum of the effects of starvation, consists of muscle atrophy, constipation, insomnia, weakness, irritability, hypothermia, decreased basal metabolism and decreased production of sex hormones, which decreases libido and stops menstruation in women.

Starvation also means vitamin deficiencies, which can trigger diseases such as beers, anaemia, pellagra, scurvy.

These combined diseases lead to diarrhoea, rash, edema, heart and kidney failure.

The benefits of starvation

On the other hand, starvation also has benefits, as long as it does not exceed a certain limit.

Although extensive human studies have not been conducted, animal studies show that low-eating individuals live longer, have a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, have better immunity, and stay young for a longer time.

So far, studies in humans have only shown that controlled starvation is an effective weight loss cure, as long as it is done under the supervision of a doctor.

Certain branches of alternative medicine consider starvation a natural and safe process that allows the body to detoxify and heal.

In some countries, there are even special centres where people can go hungry under medical supervision for weight loss, detoxification and healing of diseases that alternative medicine associates with the wrong diet or overeating.

Eating disorders – the first signs 

Often, eating disorders are presented as whims of teenagers and young women, but this is not the case.

In fact, although it is common in young women, it affects both women and men, regardless of age.

Experts estimate that 40% of women and up to 10% of men face an eating problem by the age of 20.

The most common eating disorders

Anorexia is an eating disorder that involves a person’s inability to maintain a minimum weight for his or her age and weight.

People who suffer from this disorder usually have a strong fear of not gaining weight, even if they are underweight.

They often resort to extreme diets, excessive exercise or other methods to lose weight.

Bulimia is also a very common disease, especially among young people, but not only.

In addition, this can be a more difficult condition to notice than anorexia, because bulimics can have a normal weight.

Despite this appearance, like anorexics, bulimics have a negative self-image.

They develop an obsession with the accumulated kilograms and the food consumed and try to eliminate them by any method: administration of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, excessive exercise, isolation, diminishing social life.

An excessive eating disorder involves episodes in which the patient consumes excessive amounts of food in a short time but, unlike a bulimic person, does not show attempts to reduce body weight.

The disorder is most common during adolescence and young adulthood. Because of this, most patients are overweight or obese.

Studies show that up to 30% of people enrolled in weight loss programs have some form of an eating disorder.

How to recognize a person with eating problems

Usually, people with eating disorders are experts in hiding the signs that could “give them away”.

However, relatives or relatives may notice a number of behavioural changes that may raise questions. Here are the most common:

  • avoiding situations that involve eating (meetings for lunch or dinner, invitations to dinner);
  • obsession with calorie counting, drastic diets;
  • eating secretly;
  • irrational fear of gaining weight;
  • reducing the types of food consumed;
  • loneliness, isolation of friends, family, colleagues, avoidance of social activities;
  • depression;
  • constant use of chewing gum or excessive drinking of water to “trick” the appetite;
  • frequent use of the toilet (especially immediately after a meal);
  • frequent use of laxatives;
  • significant weight loss or frequent weight fluctuations. These people usually deny that they have lost weight or that their body weight has changed in any way.
  • hair loss;
  • Red eyes;
  • the presence of fainting or dizziness;
  • damage to tooth enamel;
  • growing fine, fluffy hair on the arms, legs or face;
  • absence of the menstrual cycle in women.

How can we help someone who suffers from eating disorders

Remember that eating disorders are a desperate way for a person to try to overcome their problems.

Even if you notice that the choice made is an unhealthy and inefficient one, your friend may consider that the eating habits he has created are a suitable way of life for him, so you should not be surprised if he gets upset or even angry if you try to get involved.

 The main fear is that you are trying to keep him away from the only way to solve his problems.

Thus, he may deny the situation he is going through, he may be angry that you have discovered his secret or he may feel threatened.

When trying to address such a topic, it is important to communicate the cause for concern in a calm, non-aggressive manner.

Choose a time when you can talk privately and explain exactly what worries you but at the same time listen patiently and carefully.

Your approach should be firm, but gentle. Be prepared to explain clearly the reasons that make you think that your friend suffers from an eating disorder.

Find out about eating problems. This way you will be able to better understand the moments your friend is going through.

  • Address the positive aspects. Try to highlight his talents and qualities.
  • Show him that you are worried about his general condition, his health and happiness and do not discuss specific behaviours.
  • Do not comment on his or other people’s weight.
  • Show him that you understand his fear and embarrassment, that you care about him and that’s why you can’t ignore his self-destructive behaviour.
  • Show him you support him. It’s the best thing you can do. Always show him that you trust him, and the results of this attitude will be seen in the recovery process.
  • Don’t give advice. Don’t always tell him what to do and what not to do. This attitude could have the exact opposite effect to the one you wanted. Your friend may feel attacked and defensive.
  • Set realistic goals. Don’t expect your condition to improve overnight. Recovery is a gradual and lengthy process.
  • Don’t change your eating habits in his presence.
  • Avoid giving him simple solutions like “if you ate more everything would work out”.
  • Encourage him to seek specialized help. The doctor can assess the patient’s health, can diagnose any complications that have occurred due to eating disorders. He can also identify if they are accompanied by other conditions or manifestations, such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusions

In this article, we talked about the benefits and the consequences of hunger. We also talked about the eating disorder, what are most common eating disorders and how to help a friend with an eating disorder.

If you want to lose extra pounds, you should know that starvation is not a recommended method.

That’s because it can have a number of unwanted effects on your physical and mental health.

To be able to lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit, and that means you have to eat less.

But if this deficit is too great, we are already talking about starvation, which puts your health in danger.

If you have any question, comments or recommendations, please let us know!

FAQ on how to starve yourself

What happens to your body when you starve yourself?

When you starve yourself, the first effect on the body is malnutrition, which in turn causes a number of nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin A deficiency, vitamin C deficiency and even iron deficiency (anaemia).

When the body is not fed properly, the metabolism slows down, this is because the body strives to maintain muscle mass.

What happens if you starve yourself for 2 days?

If you starve yourself for 2 days, you deprive your body of important nutrients.

When it is deprived of glucose, the main source of energy, the body begins to use glycogen stores in the liver.

These last up to 12 hours, after which it will begin to feed itself, using the glycogen stored in the muscles. 

What will kill my appetite?

There are a few options that will kill your appetite:
– Eat high-fibre foods

– Drink more water

– Eat more protein

– Drink green tea

– Drink water before a meal

Is it healthy to starve yourself?

No, it is not healthy to starve yourself.

The sum of the effects of starvation consists of muscle atrophy, constipation, insomnia, weakness, irritability, hypothermia, decreased basal metabolism and decreased production of sex hormones, which decreases libido and stops menstruation in women.

Starvation also means vitamin deficiencies, which can trigger diseases such as beers, anaemia, pellagra, scurvy.

Does it hurt to starve yourself?

It does not physically hurt to starve yourself, but starvation has numerous negative consequences on your physical and mental health. 

Is it bad to starve yourself to get skinny?

Yes, it is bad to starve yourself to get skinny.

If you want to lose extra pounds, you should know that starvation is not a recommended method.

That’s because it can have a number of unwanted effects on your physical and mental health.

Further reading

Not a Diet Book: Take Control. Gain Confidence. Change Your Life, by James Smith

The Optimum Nutrition Bible: The Book You Have To Read If You Care About Your Health, by Patrick Holford

Understanding Nutrition: The Complex Solution to the Simple Problem, by Jason Houghton 

Deep Nutrition, by Shanahan 

How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease, by Michael Greger

References

Webmd.com

Psychologytoday.com

Healthyweightforum.org

Was this post helpful?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]