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You might think that not eating anything at all – effectively starving yourself – will cause you to lose weight. This is absolutely true. In fact, people who have an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa can die from the substantial weight loss and subsequent shutdown of organs and bodily systems that comes from not eating.However, if you’re starving yourself temporarily to lose weight, you might end up gaining it in the end.
In order to lose weight, there is one thing that needs to happen – you need to burn more calories through physical activity than you take in via your diet. Starving yourself might seem like a good idea, and it’ll work – at least at first. When you stop taking in calories, your body notices a difference. It’ll go to work burning off fat and eventually muscle tissue to compensate. In turn, you’ll lose weight.
There’s a dark side to this, though. Because your body has only minimal need to process food due to your limited diet, your metabolism slows down significantly. When you start eating again, your body will still be in starvation mode.
Credible research suggests that repeated dieting may lead to weight gain. This is because our brain interprets these diets as famines and urges us to store more fat for future famines.It’ll take every single calorie it can and convert it directly into adipose tissue (read: fat) for fear that it may not see food again in a very long time.
That’s where the term “yo- dieting” comes from. People who attempt to lose weight with harsh calorie restrictions almost always end up gaining that weight back, and then some.
If you want to lose weight, change your lifestyle. Eat regularly, but eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get some exercise, and try to track how many calories you’re taking in versus how many you’re burning. You can and will meet your goals, but starving yourself is never the answer.