If you're working on losing weight, not eating to lose the weight is not the healthiest option available. Whether you take a diet pill that suppresses your appetite or choose a starvation diet (that claim to drop pounds quickly), depriving your body of proper nutrition will have more negative effects on your health than positive--and may even result in adding weight instead.
If you're still not sure about starting or continuing a meal depriivation plan as a weight loss tool, consider the 5 negative effects below that you might experience:
Negative Effect #1: Can Lead to Malnutrition and Health Problems
The human body requires regular consumption of vitamins, minerals, fats, fibers and proteins for healthy, optimal function. Starvation diets and non-eating practices deprive the body of the nutrients needed for good heart, lung, liver and other organ functions. That deprivation can lead to serious cardio, circulatory and respiratory issues as the body compensates for the lack of nutrients and energy (by reduced function) to conserve what little fuel it has.
Negative Effect #2: Can Lead to Weight Gain
Our bodies are equipped with coping mechanisms that help us conserve calories for survival when we are not consuming what our bodies actually need. If you get into the practice of not eating, your body will start to conserve the calories you eat, storing them as fat for survival instead of burning it for energy.
When you do eat, instead of burning those nutrients for energy and cell function, it will be stored as fat, as a safeguard for survival. Some physicians even argue that prolonged fasting or starving can even deteriorate lean muscle mass you want.
Negative Effect #3: Can Make You Susceptible to Eating Binges
Hunger is a basic survival mechanism we were all born with to remind us to eat to maintain health and life. Continually depriving yourself of food, even in an effort to reach a healthier body weight, will not rid the body of the natural craving for food. While your willpower may succeed in helping you resist food for a time, the survival mechanism of hunger puts you at high risk for binging on unhealthy amounts and kinds of food.
Negative Effect #4: Will Leave Little Energy for Healthy Physical Activity
Physical activity and exercise isn't just a great tool for weight loss, our bodies crave physical activity for proper health. If your weight loss program includes appetite suppressants or starvation dieting, you'll quickly find yourself feeling sluggish and tired. As you continue to lower your calorie intake to lose weight, your body will also have less fuel to provide the needed energy for your daily activities. And, if you're planning to include an exercise routine with your starvation diet, there will be even less energy to fuel you through that activity.
Negative Effect #5: Can Cause Headaches and Unhealthy Side Effects
Starvation dieting over a prolonged time period begins to rob the body of needed glucose levels. Blood glucose is the preferred energy for our brains so starvation dieting can eventually lead to headaches. Other possible side effects may include:
- reduced sex drive
- hair loss
There you have it--starvation is terribly unhealthy and ineffective! So pack your fridge with healthy foods, and eat your way to your goal weight!