Starving Yourself: Does It Really Work for Losing Fat?

Theoretically speaking, you can lose weight by starving yourself. The simplest “weight loss equation” says that weight loss is to be achieved when you burn more calories than you consume. When you stop eating food, your body will start using up the fat stored in your body as energy sources. However, this method doesn’t really work and is a drastic way to diet.

Quick weight loss is not that easy to achieve in reality, and most of the body weight you’d manage to lose by starving would return the moment you start eating again. Cutting that many calories can have an opposite effect, eventually stalling all your weight loss efforts.

Weight loss potential

According to Livestrong, severely overweight people can lose up to 3 pounds per day, but it’s often due to water loss.

Healthy weight loss is no more than 2 pounds per week (which is about a quarter of a pound per day). Any weight beyond this amount is water, and the scale goes back up once you replace that water.

During a fast, the body is reluctant to use fat reserves. In the absence of fuel, muscles get broken down and become smaller, they utilize less energy and work less, allowing a person to last longer on the stored fat.

The Dangers of Starvation

Men need a minimum of 1,500 calories per day, while women need 1,200, to provide nutrients for bodily functions such as pumping blood, hormone production, cellular repair, and breathing.

If you starve yourself, you won’t have enough energy for everyday tasks, not to mention the energy needed for the basic bodily functions. Starvation can lead to weakness, nausea, nutritional deficiencies, digestive distress, dizziness, fatigue, and depression.

Undergoing a starvation diet or fast for too long can have an adverse effect on your health and even lead to organ failure.

Potential Consequences

The metabolism slows down when you fast.

It does that in order to save energy and survive the perceived hunger.

When you start eating normally, your body wants to store up more energy sources for the next period of starvation, leading you to gain weight even when you consume fewer calories.

Weight Loss Strategy

Create a caloric deficit of 500-1,000 calories, instead of cutting food out altogether. One of the best weight loss strategies is consuming minimally processed, healthy whole foods and engaging in the right physical activity, all with the aim to create a negative calorie balance.

Yogurt with berries

It is unrealistic to believe that you can lose extra weight in just a few days.

The healthiest progression is losing 1-2 pounds per week. This will help you go through this transitional period much easier.

Our bodies are better at adjusting to small reductions of calorie intake, because this way they don’t feel like they are facing starvation.

The Best way to cut Calories

Instead of starving yourself, you should eat just enough to keep your glucose levels within the normal range, avoiding the cascade of problems, and maximizing your resting metabolic rate and fat metabolism.

Take your baseline RMR and cut about 25% of it.

This won’t set off the starvation alarm, but is enough to kick-start the weight loss process.

You may be advised to use the strategy of intermittent fasting, which suggests cutting all calories in order to get your metabolic machinery running.

Intermittent fasting is great for those who seem like their metabolism is stuck.

They don’t eat for a period of 18-24 hours, and then resume their regular dietary regimen.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

If you’re not sure how to maintain a healthy diet, you should start by keeping your body hydrated. Drink enough water, especially before every meal, as our minds sometimes mistake hunger for thirst.

Water helps with your daily body functions (for example, getting rid of body waste and keeping your temperature normal), and can accelerate weight loss as well.

Avoid consuming fruit juices, pops, and other foods packed with empty calories. They have no nutritional value and don’t substitute water.

Include all food groups in your daily meals. Eat as many vegetables as you can because they are rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in calories.

Quality pre workout supplements can help you train harder while promoting fat loss, so try to find out as much as you can about them.

Never skip meals and try to eat at the same time every day.

Have snacks and small meals throughout the day instead of large and infrequent meals, because it will increase fat loss and keep your metabolism working at the same rate.

After a heavy meal, your metabolism doesn’t process the food efficiently because it is shocked.

The most important thing in reaching your weight loss goal is to be happy while doing it.

Overtraining and starving yourself don’t work in the favor of that.

You will see the results when you start doing things that make you happy and kick the “quick weight loss” idea out of your head.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to stay fit and healthy for a long time.

About the Author:

 

Lue douglas headshotLuke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet.

He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

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