Are You Starving Yourself To Lose Weight? You Must Read This!

Sarika Rana  |  Updated: May 28, 2018 16:48 IST

Are You Starving Yourself To Lose Weight? You Must Read This!
  • Does starvation really help lose weight
  • Post eating our body gets into digestion mode
  • Starvation leads to loss of essential nutrients and minerals
What's the best way to lose weight? Experts would say it's a mix of exercise, physical activity and a negative calorie diet. However, more often than not, people turn to starvation thinking it will help them cut down on extra calories for the day. Health experts have stressed, time and again, on the damaging effects of skipping your meals. Starvation here means that you are depriving your body of calories by not eating food, assuming this will help you lose weight. Does starvation really help lose weight? Will cutting down on calories completely help you get the desired results? Will it have any side effects? We help demystify all these questions.

How does body react to starvation?

Post eating our body gets into digestion mode, breaking down glycogen, a molecule that is responsible for storing energy. This process produces a molecule that is used as a major source of energy and is then absorbed in the bloodstream. Glucose acts as our primary energy source when we eat timely. This keeps us healthy and glucose helps fuel energy and fatty acids are stored for famine conditions. As the glucose content starts to diminish, we start feeling hungry.


Does starvation really help lose weight

Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta breaks down the process for us-

  • The meal we eat supplies energy. After a meal, Insulin levels are raised and the glucose from food is taken up by the cells and tissues.
  • Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in our liver.
  • Between 6-24 hours the insulin levels begin to drop and glycogen stored is used to provide energy for the body.
  • After 24 hours the liver starts using amino acids to make glucose.
  • 2-3 Days after the start of a fast, the low levels of insulin lead to break down of fats for energy. Triglycerides, the storage form of fats, are broken down to provide Glycerol which is used to produce glucose.
  • Fatty acids can directly be used by many tissues for energy except the brain.
  • Fatty acids are broken down to provide Ketone bodies, which become the chief energy source for our brain. In fact, after four days 75 percent of the energy for the brain comes from Ketones.
  • After five days of fasting the growth hormones maintain muscle mass and lean tissues, our bone and muscle are protected till we lose all the fat from the body.
weight loss
Starvation leads to loss of essential nutrients and minerals​

Now, if we start starving ourselves for a longer period in a bid to lose weight and deprive the body of recommended calories, it will start to use the sources stored in your body, eventually using up the fat stores. Basically, your body starts to cannibalize itself by destroying your muscle mass. All this will lead to mood swings, binge-eating and excessive hunger pangs that will only lead to weight gain.

Does starving help lose weight?


Starvation leads to loss of essential nutrients and minerals from the body required for proper functioning. In fact, it does not only affect physically, but also mentally. While it may help shed some weight, but it won't leave any sustenance. Your body and organs might not be able to cope with not having sustenance for days. It may be good to see yourself losing weight, but it will definitely take a toll on your body, therefore, even if you are thinking of taking a drastic step like this, consult your doctor who would be able to supervise better and help you lose weight in a much healthier way.


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