The Dangers of Starving Yourself to Lose Weight

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

For some who do not want or can’t afford to exercise, dieting is the next best thing to lose weight. And there’s nothing wrong with making healthy food choices or watching what you eat. Dieting becomes dangerous when you start starving yourself.

Surprisingly, starving one’s self isn’t an effective weight loss method. You just can’t stop eating because it’s not normal. The body requires nutrients to work. Without it, you are literally killing yourself slowly. When you choose extreme dieting, you push your body to its limits. It’s working beyond its own capabilities. This will lead to all sorts of serious health disorders. It could also lead to eating disorders, mental degradation, and psychological problems.

All diets work the same way, a person will limit his intake of certain foods. These foods are usually high in calories. For some, they start eating healthier to lose weight. But for others, they go on one crash diet after another.

The Dangers of Rapid Weight Loss Diets

Dangerous Symptoms

Crash dieting and rapid weight loss diets have similar effects to the body. For one thing, they cause fatigue and headaches. When the body is deprived of nutrients, it won’t work properly. Fewer calories mean less energy.

The body works exclusively by burning off glucose. Glucose is derived from the food we eat. Not eating for extended periods will lead to severe fatigue. The lack of energy becomes so severe, you cannot do normal tasks properly. The lack of nutrition will also lead to muscle atrophy.

Extreme dieting also causes continuous hunger pangs and malnutrition. It will lead to dehydration, bloodshot eyes – and in severe cases – seizure and death.

Starvation Mode

Don’t think that not eating at all will make you lose weight. Most times, a restrictive diet backfires. When you don’t eat, the brain signals the body to go into full starvation mode. When it’s on the starvation mode, the body will hold on to as much fat cells as it can. So instead of losing weight, you gain more weight. If the body is deprived of food, it will start destroying the muscle protein for fuel.

Extreme Muscle Loss

Through nutrients and blood, the muscles become flexible and strong. But when you go on an extreme diet, the body cannot maintain normal body functions. When the body cannot get fuel from food, it will start eating its own tissues. And the first to go are the muscles. This is why you lose more muscles when you shed significant weight through dieting. The food you eat nourishes the muscle tissues. Once your body destroys your muscles, you become weak.

Slower Metabolic Rate

As your body enters starvation mode, it will start conserving energy to survive. The brain will trigger the thyroid to slow down the metabolic rate. You will start feeling tired, sluggish and faint. Once you start eating again, the body is no longer as efficient in burning off calories. This will make it very hard to lose weight in the future.

Serious Health Problems

Rapid weight loss diets are dangerous. From heart attacks to seizures, extreme dieting could lead to serious health problems. It leads to bone problems, inflammation, and malnutrition. It could result in psychological and behavioral disorders. That’s why no health expert worth his salt recommends extreme dieting as a healthy way to lose weight.


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