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What Happens To Your Body When You Starve Yourself?

Pro-anorexia websites advocate starvation and diet restriction to achieve a certain weight. The number, they emphasize, is worth the hunger and the pain. Starvation, or fasting, is  part of cultures all around the world. Some cultures do it intermittently as part of spiritual growth. Other cultures do it as part of holiday celebrations to emphasize the meaning of suffering and gifts from a religious deity. People consider fasting a regular part of health. For those with eating disorders, the fasting is part of a harmful routine associated with damaging thought processes. Regardless of the context, there is question as to what happens during a day with no food? Though the scale might drop as a consequence of insufficient calories, there is no guaranteeing that is the only result.

Starvation Consequences

The negative consequences of starvation start to happen roughly 16 hours after the last meal. Without an incoming food source, the body feels panicked for energy. Energy comes from food. Instead of relying on food for energy production the body depends on amino acids and protein from within the muscles. Mistakenly, many believe that starvation leads to a loss in fat. Contrarily, weight loss during starvation is lost in muscle and water weight.

Balancing Healthy Diet

Getting enough protein and balance of essential fats is critical for a healthy metabolism. Even after what may feel like the biggest meal of your life, supporting the idea of fasting for the next day, there will not be enough protein to last. The body starts to feed on itself and break down protein into amino acids to release sugar. Though the nuer on the scales may drop, the damage done to the body within a twenty four hour period after eating is far more harmful. Numerous studies have shown that after a period of starvation, a return to regular or excessive eating can be problematic. Typically, the water weight comes back, the muscle weight comes back, and in a compensatory process, much more fat is gained as well.

Get Help Today

Eating disorders are life-threatening mental illnesses that cause deeply rooted habits. Harmony Place offers eating disorder treatment as well as dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders such as depression or substance use disorders. Contact us today for a private consultation or more information on our programs.