You desire to lose weight since you’ve put on additional pounds. What do you do? You naturally turn to tried-and-true weight loss, diet, and exercise strategies, like the majority of individuals. Today, everyone yearns for rapid gratification. We need fast-acting solutions for everything, including weight loss, so you start going to the gym or running a couple of days a week. You start to cut back on junk food and increase the amount of home cooking in your diet.
Some people feel that this technique takes too long to produce the desired outcomes. However, some people adopt extreme diets like starvation diets or low-calorie diets in the hope that they would lose weight by consuming fewer calories than they require each day.
But is it healthy? If you starve, can you lose weight? How long does it take the body to burn fat if you starve? What are the short and long-term health effects of starvation on the body? what to do instead, Read on to learn the answers as we address these questions in this article.
Can you lose fat if you starve?
Yes, you can lose fat if you starve. Although starvation may seem like a healthy way to lose weight, it hurts your body. While it burns fat, it also reduces lean muscle, weakens bones, and is bad for your general health.
According to one study involving human subjects, significantly reducing calorie intake caused considerable weight loss and a reduction in lean muscle mass. Within 8 years, the individuals did, however, regain almost all of the fat they had lost.
This sparks conversation and helps people comprehend how prolonged fasting affects metabolism. This indicates that a specific quantity of calories is required to preserve your lean mass. If you fall below this mark, your body will be compelled to use the energy stored in these muscular reservoirs.
Starving to lose fats has detrimental effects on the body that are extensive. It alters your metabolism, destroys lean muscle, lowers your bone density, and weakens you.
How long does it take for the body to burn fat when starving?
If you begin to starve yourself today, your body will use nutrients that were previously present to provide energy for the first seven to ten days, such as proteins and certain fats. Following that, the body will use fat from other body parts, such as the thighs, and inner parts of the belly. Therefore, it takes seven to ten days for the body to start burning fats when starving.
Is starving yourself healthy?
Starving yourself is not healthy in any way. It could eventually slow down your metabolism, make your body work less efficiently, and result in disordered eating patterns.
What happens to the body when it starves
Your body needs to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. A greater calorie deficit, however, does not always imply that you will lose weight and keep it off.
Even if you might lose a lot of weight at first, it might be tough for you to keep it off in the long run. So what happens when you starve?
starving yourself slows down your metabolism
Your body starts to use its fat reserves as its major energy source under prolonged calorie restriction, and muscle and skeletal tissue as its backup energy sources.
Through adaptive thermogenesis, your body gradually lowers your resting metabolic rate (RMR) in response to calorie restriction (metabolic adaptation). To retain as much energy as possible, your body attempts to burn fewer calories as a result.
You might get tired more easily if your metabolism slows down. Your body employs this tactical maneuver to stop you from using excessive amounts of energy. To encourage you to eat, your body also releases more hunger hormones.
Eventually, especially during periods of chronic starvation, your body will strive hard to stop further weight loss by decreasing your metabolism.
Your body’s performance decreases
Following the slow down of metabolism, your body may start to slow down unnecessary bodily processes and prioritize necessary bodily functions like breathing and heart rate depending on the severity of starvation, the number of calories restricted, and the length of time.
when the body’s performance reduces, there is a reduction in immunity making it difficult for the immune system to fight off infections and illnesses, and brittle hair and nails due to decreased hair and nail growth, Additionally, you can have erratic or increased hunger, persistent bloating, or stomach discomfort. As a woman, your menstrual cycle might cease or vary, and you may notice premature aging, and delayed wound healing. your bone mass starts to deteriorate.
What to do instead
Starving is a temporary solution for a problem that calls for long-term solutions when it comes to weight loss. However, this kind of acute calorie shortage can produce the exact reverse of what you want. Lean muscle mass, lean tissue, and bones are catabolized by the body instead of helping it lose fat. Choose healthy weight-loss methods as opposed to starving yourself. here are a few healthy options to choose from.
Instead of starving, you should try this eating pattern known as intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting, unlike starvation cycles between “eating” and “fasting” periods. The most common variation, for instance, is 16:8, which calls for a 16-hour fast followed by an 8-hour interval for eating.
While losing weight with intermittent fasting is possible, excessive calorie restriction is not the intended outcome. Instead, you eat fewer calories than usual or consume them over a shorter period each day.
What’s the difference between starving and intermittent fasting?
While starvation entails completely refraining from food or consuming very few calories over an extended period, intermittent fasting is defined as eating within a specific time frame.
Our bodies start to devour themselves when we are starved because they are deprived of vital nutrients. This is not the solution because our bodies still require fuel to function. Intermittent fasting differs from starving in that you continue to eat – eating within a set number of hours (8-12 hours) alternating with times of fasting (12-16hrs).
It is thought that intermittent fasting makes your body more sensitive to insulin, which accounts for its effectiveness.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Intermittent fasting alters the mitochondrial networks in our cells, according to recent Harvard research, which could lengthen lifespan. It can support mitochondrial networks’ flexibility and youthfulness. These networks then interact with organelles called peroxisomes in other areas of the body to modify fat metabolism thereby lengthening lifespan.
- It boosts your immunity, energy, and focus.
- it safeguards the cognitive ability
- It reduces the risks of developing inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases and impedes the growth of the tumors.
Tips for a healthy weight loss
Here are several methods to lose weight that is supported by science.
- The majority of research indicates that a deficit of 10–20 percent is tolerable and sustainable. A slight deficit in calories is a healthy way to start your weight loss journey.
- Increase your routine with strength training. During weight loss, strength training and cardiovascular exercises help maintain and grow muscular tissue. Your metabolism may rise if you add more muscular mass.
- increase the amount of physical activity you do. This physical activity may include; walking, swimming, running, etc
- Eat more proteins and cut back on processed food (fast food). During a calorie deficit, a high protein diet can aid in maintaining muscle mass.
Avoid specialized drinks, energy drinks, and sugary beverages because they often contain a lot of sugar and calories. Instead, choose beverages like coffee, tea, flavored water, and water.
Does starving yourself help to lose body fats? Yes, but it is not healthy as it slows down metabolism and affects your body in many ways, and not sustainable because you will likely gain weight again.
Fortunately, there are other ways to lose those body fats. If you are having a problem setting up a healthy diet and workout plan to help you lose weight, a health expert can guide you toward living a healthy lifestyle.