It’s simple! When you deprive yourself of energy for a long time, I mean two days, all in the name of losing weight or other health-related reasons, that’s what starvation dieting is all about. Starvation dieting isn’t solely about food deprivation, but water as well. Now, I know there is a thin line between dry fasting and starvation dieting; it’s possible that dry fasting could be a form of starvation dieting, but not all fasting falls under this category.
To lose weight, many have used the starvation diet method, which gives the person an illusion of a rapid weight loss, but it’s just another way to rack up more numbers on your current kg/lbs., whatever the case may be. The truth is, there are zillion ways to staying in shape other than running a truck on your stomach; it hurts badly.
In plain terms, starvation dieting is not healthy, and you do yourself more harm than good when on a starvation diet.
Asking me how? Well, let’s thoroughly consider what starvation and dieting entail.
STARVATION AND DIETING DEFINED
Starvation is a process that occurs in the body when there is an imbalance in caloric energy intake; this happens when the amount of energy consumed by the body is less than the amount of energy used by the body. Starvation can also result from factors out of human control, such as the body’s inability to metabolize and absorb the nutrients from food consumed.
Dieting, although also involving a reduction in food intake, is not restricted to only that. Dieting is generally regulating the amount and type of food consumed to either reduce, maintain, or increase weight. Also, to prevent and manage certain diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and other diet-related diseases.
Nutritionists will argue about dieting inefficiency, but I am not a nutritionist. So, we won’t go into that. Haha!
DISTINCTION BETWEEN STARVATION AND DIETING
Starvation differs completely from dieting. Starvation isn’t supposed to be intentional, but some persons have taken to it as a form of extreme dieting or perhaps self-inflicted punishment. They deliberately reduce the amount of calorie intake without reducing the amount of energy they expend.
Here is how these two terms differ:
- Dieting is done in a controlled environment, unlike starvation.
- Dieting is healthy, but starvation reduces the immune strength, muscle, and bone strength; it also causes hair loss and so on.
- Starvation focuses only on reducing body weight, while dieting involves reduction, maintenance, and increase.
- Dieting is also a way to treat starvation by incorporating the right amount of nutrients needed for rejuvenation.
- Dieting supplies essential nutrients, but starvation deprives an individual of those nutrients.
With this comparison, you see a positive and negative scenario: the positive being dieting and the negative, starvation.
In mathematics (I can’t help what you are about to read, sorry), positive x negative = negative, which is the product of combining dieting with starvation.
Starvation dieting is another negatively impacting lifestyle that eventually reflects poorly on an individual’s health.
HOW STARVATION AFFECTS DIETING AND HEALTH
- STARVATION REDUCES YOUR BLOOD SUGAR: There are compound explanations, but I won’t put you through the horror. All you need to know is that your body survives on glucose (the most significant source of body fuel) derived from carbohydrates and fats. Now, when you don’t feed your body for a day, it can still provide sugar for you to go about your day, depending on how healthy you are. However, once your body exhausts its glucose reserve, sugar level drops, leading to fainting and eventually coma. Nobody wants that!
- STARVATION ELIMINATES BALANCE, THE PRIMARY GOAL OF DIETING: One of the goals for dieting is balancing healthy eating with good nutrition. With starvation, both dieting benefits are off the equation. Whatever makes you unhealthy (eating-wise) and introduces poor nutrition is detrimental to your health in every way.
- STARVATION INCREASES YOUR WEIGHT GAIN RATE: Here is where I bust the myth that starvation is a great way to lose weight. While it may be true that you lose rapid weight in the initial stages, a starved body is at risk of eating whatever is available compared to someone who is on a healthy diet. And that is how you regain the weight, and even more.
For instance, “Mr. A had not eaten for five days straight because his love would visit in some months’ time. No food whatsoever! He is pale, tired, and hungry. On the sixth day, Mr. B, his friend, visited Mr. A and brought a delicious chocolate cake with a bowl of ice cream. As soon as Mr. B left, Mr. A ate the cake and ice cream like a hungry lion. Because of Mr. A’s previous hunger mode, he ordered pizza and kept eating. He had missed the taste of food so much that in the following days, he kept eating the sweetest and tastiest meals he could find.”
I know this scenario might not be 100% realistic, but think about it; it’s close to real. The bottom line is that starvation dieting only creates an illusion of rapid weight loss as regaining lost weight and more is eventual.
HOW THEN SHOULD YOU DIET?
Is there really a proper way to diet?
Yes, there is! Dieting isn’t about not eating food; but it’s about regulating what you eat. You don’t cut down on food when you diet; you cut down on excess nutrients and junk foods that aren’t needed.
The world has defined a particular stereotype of the perfect body, but being skinny doesn’t necessarily equate to being healthy. So, before you go on a diet, make sure you understand what it entails. Consult a dietitian and have a diet plan designed for you according to your metabolic type.
Note that starvation dieting cannot be efficient, mainly because it focuses only on the amount of food consumed and looks less on balancing the nutrients that need to be consumed. Well, maybe you’d agree with me or not, but when you want to diet healthily, make sure you do so under professional supervision and not go into any form of extreme dieting.
BONUS: TIPS ON HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS
- Eat a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid alcohol and drink lots of water.
- Replace simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates to reduce excess consumption of starch.
- Avoid sugar and fatty foods.
- Eat foods that are rich in fiber.
- Avoid processed foods and sweetened drinks.
In summary, eat balanced diets!
It’s the second to the last day in January 2021, and I guess one of your 2021 goals is to attain that fine summer body. I get it; I am on that journey with you as well, but dear friend, starvation dieting isn’t the way to go, neither is any other extreme dieting.
Let’s do it the right way! Cheers to healthy living (smiles).