Archive for the tag - starvation

Lost 40 Pounds In One Month…

Dear Davey,

I’ve struggled with obesity since childhood. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve been paying more attention to my body.

In the last month, I’ve managed to lose 40 pounds by not eating. I know that you need to eat to survive, but I want to continue getting results. What advice do you have?


Smaller_Plate_Wont_Help_Your_Diet_Research_ShowsHey Jason,

Thanks for the email.

I have to say, you are playing a very dangerous game – and, it’s one that you’ll inevitably lose without a dramatic change in your habits and the guidance of professional help.

Despite all the science that demonstrates otherwise, many people resort to starvation as a weight loss technique. As you’ve discovered, it does yield initial results; if you stop eating, you’ll lose weight. But the problems with this approach are many.

For one, you’re slowing your metabolism. Your metabolism determines how many calories your body burns on a daily basis. Because your body is starving (generally 1,000 calories or less per day), it will do everything it can to reduce its calorie consumption. Eventually, you’ll need to start eating again – and, when you do, your metabolism will lag. With a reduced daily calorie burn, all those extra calories from food will be packed on as fat. The resulting weight gain, in many instances, exceeds the initial weight loss.

No to mention the dramatic impact of nutritional deficiencies.

We also know that diet AND exercise are required for best results. By just practicing one or the other, you’re selling yourself short. Though diet alone can result in weight loss, exercise is required to ensure that the lost weight is mostly fat and not muscle. It takes a lot of energy to maintain muscles – and our bodies are very efficient machines. If you’re not using your muscles during periods of calorie restriction and weight loss, you’ll be quick to lose them.

You mentioned that you’re paying more attention to your body. That’s important. But don’t just pay attention to how your body looks; pay attention to what your body is telling you. If your body is hungry or weak or tired, then listen to these crucial messages – and act on them. Feed your body with the foods it really craves, like a delicious, colorful salad or some lean meats and vegetables. As you fuel your body with nourishing foods, pay attention to how your body feels.

I’d also suggest giving yourself the gift of professional help. It is absolutely worth your time, money and effort to work with a nutritionist, weight loss specialist or healthcare professional. After all, you only get one body. Let’s keep it in a good, working condition.


Being Healthy Doesn’t Always Mean Eating Less.

Stop starving yourself and indulge in the delicious abundance of healthy and nourishing foods available to you!

I dedicate this post to my many body-conscious gay friends who think they’re doing themselves a favor by going all day on just “half a bagel.” You know who you are. ๐Ÿ˜›

It’s time to settle another health and fitness misconception. There is a pervasive belief that living a healthy lifestyle necessitates eating very little.

While a restricted diet and portion control can be an important aspect of a weight loss routine, it doesn’t mean that tiny, unappealing portions are a requirement for all people looking to be healthy, strong or even well-defined. In fact, even though it may seem counter-intuitive, eating too little often results in weight gain due to the effects of starvation on the body’s metabolism.

People are always astounded by the copious quantities of food that I consume. They often ask, “How can you eat that much food and look the way you do?” I answer that in order to look the way I do, I need to eat the way that I eat. Though prolific in quantity, I don’t eat everything in sight. In fact, I’m very careful about the foods that I eat.

In order to power myself through my my daily workouts, a lot of fuel is required by my body. You can’t fly a jet across the ocean on a few gallons of gas, and our bodies are the same way. Almost everything that I eat is connected to my fitness goals – though I do allow myself some wiggle room.

Of course, not all foods are created equal. I look for lean, high-quality protein options that are low in sodium. I get my daily requirements of fruits and veggies. And to stay lean, I don’t overindulge in carbohydrates. Though I eat a lot, it provides my body exactly what it needs. Moreover, I allow my body to enjoy the abundance that this Earth has to offer.

There are many, many delicious and nourishing options available – it’s just a matter of connecting your meal plan to your fitness goals. I hope this comes as welcome news for people serving life sentences of tiny, pea-sized portions of cardboard food. Live, and eat!

Please Don’t Try to Lose 5 lbs By Tuesday.

Starvation usuallys has the opposite effect than what is intended: Long-term weight gain.

Last Sunday, I was talking with a young man who insisted that he wanted to drop 5 pounds by Tuesday.

My first reaction was, “What happens on Tuesday?” I figured that there must be an impending tropical vacation, or perhaps a gratuitous photo shot or something of the sort. “Oh, nothing,” he replied. “I just want to lose a few pounds fast, so I’m not going to eat.”

I suggested that it might be wiser to drop the weight over a period of 4 weeks rather than 3 days, and to use a more effective technique than starvation. But there was no persuading him, and it wasn’t my battle to fight.

I fear that his mindset is fairly widespread – that most people don’t know why dropping weight quickly is so detrimental… and that the detrimental effects are amplified by starvation. While it may produce temporary results, starvation does a huge amount of damage to one’s metabolism – and almost always results in a weight gain that is equivalent to (or larger than) the amount of weight originally lost.

When you starve yourself (generally 1,000 calories or less for most people), the body responds. Through eon’s of evolution, the body has built a starvation response that aids in survival. The metabolism of the starving person slows to a crawl to conserve calories. This will ensure the body’s survival as long as possible. So even though the number of calories in has decreased, so too has the number of calories out.

Starving yourself, obviously, is not sustainable. Eventually the fasting individual will resume their original diet – but the slowed metabolism will lag. Calories are packed on as fat, and the result is a weight gain that often exceeds the original weight loss.

Moreover, starvation can result in the loss of muscle mass, hair loss, decreased energy and increased tiredness. There are also psychological implications of starvation, including irritability and depression.

To achieve real results, realize that the changes must be long-term. If you want to lose some weight, it can be achieved over time by boosting one’s metabolism (though, among other things, an exercise program that combines strength training and cardio) and making healthy food choices.

The bottom line: Starvation doesn’t work – whether it’s done for a few days or a few weeks.