The less food you eat, the more weight you'll lose, right? Sorry, but it just doesn't work this way. If your idea of the perfect diet plan for weight loss is popping crackers and diuretics, you're headed for disaster. Besides being downright miserable, a starvation diet can thwart your weight loss efforts and do some serious damage to your health.
Starving Slows the Fat Burning Process
Your body relies on the nutrients in food (real food, not saltines) for fuel. When you starve yourself, it senses the downward shift in your caloric intake and kicks into starvation mode. When this happens, your metabolism will slow down and your body will hold on to stored fat in order to conserve energy.
Lean muscle mass needs more energy to function than fat. Basically, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn. If you continue to starve yourself, your body will feed on your lean muscle tissue and make it even harder for you to lose weight.
Obviously, if you starve yourself long enough, you'll have no choice but to lose weight. But the weight loss won't be healthy, and it will show in your appearance. You'll become emaciated and your body will start to look like an old bag of bones (not joking).
Starvation Diet Results Are Short-Lived
The weight lost from starvation diets almost always comes back. Starvation slows your metabolism down. And it can take months for it to return to normal. As soon as you start eating again, you'll likely gain all of the weight you lost back, plus a few extra pounds. In the end, you'll wind up bigger than you were before you started starving.
Starving Can Damage Your Health
When you go without food, you don't get any of the essential nutrients needed for good health. This can result in fatigue, kidney failure, heart failure, gallstones, ulcers, hair loss, muscle weakness and osteoporosis. This is just a short list of the physical problems a starvation diet can cause. We haven't even touched on the mental stuff yet.
It's not uncommon for extremely calorie-restrictive dieters to struggle with depression, anger, indifference, memory loss, poor concentration, hallucinations and mood swings. Starvation can also increase your chances of suffering with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
In essence, your health will be a mess if you try to lose weight by starving. The worst part about it is that some of the health issues that arise from starvation diets can cause irreversible damage to your body and require long-term hospitalization or lifelong medical care.
I'm not trying to scare you, but if you plan to turn starvation into a lifestyle, you'll end up in a body bag way before your time. No amount of skinny is worth your life.
Don't let the desperation to lose weight push you to go on a starvation diet. This type of diet can destroy your health and make weight loss harder to achieve. The healthiest way to drop unwanted pounds is to eat right, manage portion sizes and exercise.