Starvation or severe caloric restriction still retains its popularity among people who want to lose weight. Especially young people, under the influence of mirage-figure, obtained quickly, opt for very restrictive diets.
Be careful though! Besides the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, starvation leads to a yo-yo effect.
In this process, the dieter is initially successful in the pursuit of weight loss but is unsuccessful in maintaining the loss long-term and begins to gain the weight back.
Find out why starvation can not help you to lose weight and how it affects your body health!
Starvation Isn’t The Way!
A person resorting to a caloric restriction (below 800 calories/day) has a false impression that the body if it does not get food, will use fat reserves instead.
Indeed, this is happening, but only the first two days. Then the body is sounding the alarm! Aware that no longer receives food, it will drastically reduce the loss of calories by slowing down the metabolic rate.
Thus, regardless of the quantity of food it receives, it will take a much longer time to consume it. It will also store a part of the food you eat, as your body tries to rebuild its fat stores for the next period.
1. Muscles First Affected
When losing glucose, the main energy source, the body starts using glycogen stored in the liver. They shall get up to 12 hours, after which it will begin to feed himself using the glycogen stored in the muscles.
Muscle loss is the main adverse effect of starvation as a method of weight loss. This is because, as we know, muscles are the only that can help us to lose weight healthily, being an “engine” which supports fat burning.
Moreover, muscles are made from 70% water. When there is a severe caloric restriction, in that muscle, glycogen is used and there is a loss of water.
So instead of losing muscle mass, you’ll end up losing lots of water, which will be quickly absorbed back when hydrated.
2. The Yo-Yo Effect? Present!
Another negative effect of starvation is the accumulation of pounds after giving up starving.
Why does this happen? Because during a severe calorie dieting inevitably consume fewer calories. This slows down the metabolism (20-25%) and entry into a state of rest in which you conserve energy and keep fat reserves.
When you give up that diet and caloric intake will return to normal, the metabolism remains in that state of slowing down and any calorie surplus that had yet to do will be deposited as fat.
In this case, the person feels weak but still big in the areas where there is fat.
3. The Side Effects Of Starvation
The sum of the effects that consist of severe caloric restriction produces:
- Muscle atrophy;
- And decreased concentrations of hormones.
In addition, vitamin and mineral deficiency is common:
- The deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine) causes beriberi disease;
- Deficiency of vitamin B3 (niacin) produces Pellagra;
- Vitamin C deficiency produces Scurvy;
- And iron deficiency produces anemia.
4. Lose Weight And Then Gain Weight Fast
A study published in the New York Times in 2011 by Dr. Joseph Proietto on 50 obese men and women demonstrates how dangerous is starvation. The men weighed an average of 230 pounds, and women about 200 pounds.
Patients followed an extreme diet, low in calories, which consisted mainly of shakes and two cups of low-starch vegetables, totaling just 500-550 calories a day for eight weeks.
After ten weeks, patients lost an average of 30 pounds since the weight loss stopped and started regress. They have reported that hunger feeling is more intense and are more concerned with food than before to lose weight.
The results showed that their bodies act as if they were still subjected to starvation and working at full capacity to regain lost weight.
For instance, a gastric hormone often called the “hunger hormone,” was about 20 percent higher than at baseline.
Another hormone associated with hunger, peptide YY, was also abnormally low. The level of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger remained lower than expected.
To avoid these troubles, adopt a healthy and balanced diet to lose up to 6-12 pounds per month or 10% of your total weight within 6 months.
In that case, eating healthy will turn into a lifestyle that will prevent fat from gaining over time.