It’s pretty common knowledge that you need to have a calorie deficiency to lose weight. This means that you need to consume fewer calories than you burn on a regular basis to see results in losing weight.
Some people want to apply that understanding to the extreme and that’s where starving yourself to lose weight comes in.
Now, I am not talking about having an optimal low calorie diet where you get enough macro and micronutrients into your diet. I am talking about when you skip meals and literally eat almost nothing on a regular basis with the intention of rapid weight loss.
The Weight Loss Potential
So if you starve yourself throughout the day will you lose weight?
The short answer is of course!
The reality is that it doesn’t work like you want. If you’re like most people, when it comes to weight loss you don’t want to lose just any weight. You want to get rid of body fat.
In a healthy weight loss plan, you can expect to lose on average 1 – 2 pounds a week. This is with a low calorie diet and a regular moderately intense workout routine.
When you starve yourself and deprive your body of even more calories, the same calories that provide energy for basic bodily functions, you can absolutely lose more weight. You can even lose 10 pounds or more a week doing this.
Now that sounds awesome, but there are some issues that can make it dangerous.
The Lies that the Scale Tells You
Why do so many people obsess over the magical number that a scale spits out? In fact, people base their entire success when it comes to weight loss on the number the scale tells you.
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you are trying losing weight.
The scale should only be used as a guideline and with good reason. Let’s take a look at my previous numbers I provided. I said you can expect to lose 1 – 2 pounds on average in a healthy weight loss program. Now this weight loss focuses on quality and not quantity. This means almost all of the weight you’ve lost is fat. However, when you lose around 10 pounds a week starving yourself you’re losing muscle mass, bone mass, water, and fat. Losing all of that in such a short period of time will not give you the results you’re looking for in the long run.
The Dangers That Lay Ahead
For anyone considering to starve yourself to lose weight, you may want to reconsider since there are some clear disadvantages in doing so such as:
- Catabolism – This is when your body breaks itself down to get the nutrients it needs to survive. When your body does this too much it can shut down organs.
- Breaking Down Muscle – Most people like to preserve muscle mass when losing weight. This can only be done through a healthy diet and exercise plan and not through starving oneself. Keep in mind your heart is a muscle and isn’t exempt from the breakdown of muscle. Yes, your body will break down heart muscle tissue for the nutrients it needs that you’re not giving it.
- Changes in Your Metabolism – When you dramatically alter your diet in a short amount of time your metabolism speeds or slows down to accommodate the change. The problem is, the metabolism is quicker in slowing down to preserve energy, but is very stubborn to speed back up again. The reason why is because the metabolism thinks this drastic change will occur again and is stockpiling energy to ensure survival for when it occurs. This results in you having to consume fewer calories than you had to before to maintain the weight loss. This causes most people to put back on the weight.
- Hardwiring Your Brain – When you starve yourself to lose weight you are rewiring your brain to think there isn’t enough food and puts your body into a long-term survival mode. Your brain is not programmed to help you look skinny. It has your survival as its top priority. Expect your brain to act this way long after you start eating again.
On average, a woman needs roughly 1,200 calories a day and a man needs 1,500 calories a day to get enough nutrients for basic life functions such as breathing, eating, digestion, and moving. You should not go below these calorie limits for dieting if you want to lose the weight in a healthy manner.
If you go below the threshold you run the risk of dealing with some or all the problems listed above.
It is best to go slow and steady when it comes to losing weight to get a healthy and sexy looking body. It is important to set realistic obtainable goals, otherwise you’ll find yourself trying to take drastic measures such as starving yourself to lose weight to reach them.
Have you ever tried to starve yourself to lose weight?