Nutrition empty plate

Published on February 14th, 2014 | by Joe Starks


Don’t Eat That! The Starvation Diet

When it comes to horrible diets out there, most of us have heard a thing or two. People have actually died, simply trying to lose weight in dangerous ways. While in the majority of cases losing weight in general benefits your health, there are those diets that might actually do much more damage than your extra flab ever would. In this article we’ll tackle an extremely dangerous group of diets, which actually aim to starve your body to force it to lose weight.

In no case should the contents of this article be considered a positive idea to lose weight with. If you are a person sensitive to such things you should not be reading this article at all.

What is a Starvation diet?

There is nothing mystical or glamorous about it, starvation diets simply aim to make you eat so little (or nothing at all) that your body begins withering away. In extremely rare cases such diets are used in hospitals, under very strict surveillance, to get dangerously heavy people to a healthier weight when they are about to die because of it.

There is absolutely no good way to do this on your own. Eating less than 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for the average man per day can lead to devastating effects on your health, some of which are not reversible.

The reason behind that is that starving does not give your body enough nutrients. The fat stores of your body are just that: fat. Your body can’t store all types of vitamins and so, just using your body fat for many days will cause you severe malnutrition. Your body also is made to not give up its fat easily when you are famished. This means that you won’t have any energy at all, start feeling depressive and might even hallucinate.

If you keep this up for more than a month you might experience heart palpitations, dizziness and even black outs. At that point your life is seriously in danger. You can actually have a heart attack and die on the spot if you haven’t had enough minerals in weeks.

What to do if someone you know is on a Starvation Diet?

Even when you just have a suspicion that this might be happening, you should immediately tell someone who is close to that person. A parent, an advisor or a teacher are always good ideas. If you are the closest person to the one who is starving him or herself, you should seek help online from professionals or from the phone.

Chances are that by the time you realize that your acquaintance is starving him or herself, it might already be going on a long time.

Some of the danger signs to look out for are:

  • The person never eats in front of others
  • Major weight loss within a few weeks. It doesn’t matter if the individual is actually normal weight or not, if weight loss is very rapid you should be concerned.
  • Wears many layers of clothes even when it is hot outside.
  • The person has an extremely bad self image that actually doesn’t match her or his real appearance.
  • The person hates to be embraced by anyone.
  • Negative attitude towards fat people and food.
  • Tries to feed everyone else, but doesn’t eat
  • Fixation with calories, macronutrients and/or exercise
  • Throws away  good food without reason
  • Never finishes a normal portion

These are just a few things that may coincide in a person that is doing a starvation diet. One or two might not mean anything, but if many of these signs are there you should be concerned.

While teenage girls are usually the victims in these cases, it is not out of the question that the person starving themselves is actually male or of any age.

Things that might happen to you if you starve yourself!

Here is a short list of the worst things that might happen to you if you go on a starvation diet:

  1. Death from malnutrition or because your weakened body can’t handle an infection
  2. Dizziness, blackouts, fainting, heart palpitations, heart attacks
  3. Dry, thin skin and extreme hair loss, as well as permanent black circles under the eyes. Starvation does cause early aging
  4. Extreme fatigue and depression

One can become addicted to this terrible diet, which can lead to Anorexia, the most deadly mental disease.

It is never too early to reach out for help. If you have been tempted to starve yourself, or even have attempted it at some point, reach out to professionals. They won’t laugh at you or force you to do anything you don’t want. You simply will get great, meaningful support, no matter if you have starved yourself yet or you were going to.

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