You feel desperate to lose weight, and you’re willing to try anything to make it happen – including starving yourself. Before you resort to such drastic measures, consider this. Your body is similar to a car in that it needs fuel to run efficiently. If it does not get fuel, it will putt and chug along until it finally clonks out. In other words, when you starve yourself, you deprive your body of vital nutrients and seriously endanger your health.
What Constitutes a Starvation Diet?
When people hear the word “starvation,” they automatically picture a scenario where a person eats absolutely nothing. While this is one form of starvation, you don’t necessarily have to forgo all food to starve. Starvation is technically a severe imbalance in the amount of energy you take in versus how much you expend. Many experts consider diets that contain fewer than 1200 calories starvation.
Dangers of a Starvation Diet
The health ramifications of starving to lose weight are too numerous to name, but some of the common dangers include:
- muscle atrophy
- botched metabolism
- organ damage
- heart arrhythmias
- electrolyte imbalance
All of the conditions listed above can have a spiral effect and lead to other health problems. If starvation is severe, you can end up with a one-way ticket to an early grave. Keep in mind, it only takes 12 weeks of completely starving yourself before you kill over.
When it comes to losing weight, eating too few calories is counterproductive because it can result in a lower metabolic rate. Instead of burning calories efficiently, your body will try to protect itself by holding on to excess fat. Your body only has so much fat to go around, so if you starve yourself long enough, you will eventually drop pounds. The bulk of the weight you lose, however, will be the result of dehydration and muscle deterioration. Since muscle can burn twice as many calories as fat, you are not helping your cause any by allowing all of your muscle mass to wither away.
Even a short-term starvation diet can ruin your metabolism to the point where it takes months for it to recuperate. Once you resume your normal eating habits, your malfunctioning metabolism will cause you to gain every pound you lost back and then some. You will end up weighing more than you did before you started depriving yourself of food.
Starvation diets are not only detrimental to your health, they can thwart your weight loss efforts and cause you to gain even more weight. If you want to lose weight effectively, take starvation off the table. Instead, opt for an eating plan that is healthy and sustainable.