Avoid Starving Yourself
Much like over training, people often make the mistake of trying to maximize their weight loss efforts by starving themselves. This is just as foolish and dangerous as over training and can lead to even more detrimental results.
Starving yourself will usually hinder or even reverse the results that you have worked so hard to maintain and could lead to eating disorders, injuries, muscle loss and malnutrition.
Nutrition has become a somewhat of a confusing subject within the world of weight loss and exercise training. In this way, many individuals fail to truly understand the importance of coupling the relationships between nutrition and physical activity.
In simplistic terms the easiest way to view the relationship between nutrition and exercise is that the body requires fuel to perform a physical activity and the nutrition from the foods that you consume are that fuel.
This section of the website will examine how under eating can affect your workout routine and weight loss goals and how to avoid it. Consistency and planning are both valuable tools to minimize the risks of starving yourself to lose weight.
The Facts About Starvation Mode
It is difficult to say what exact amount of cut calories will cause starvation mode. However, if you lose more than 2-3 lbs. a week, you are not eating enough. So, a simple mathematical formula could suggest that: A 250 lb. male needs to eat 2,710 calories a day to meet their basic energy needs. This equates to 18,970 calories a week. In order to lose 2 lbs. a week, this same male will need to cut 7,000. This leaves 11,970 calories to be spread throughout the week, or 1,710 a day.
The above example concluded that by cutting 1,000 calories a day, the subject will lose 2 lbs. a week. However, a cut of 1,000 calories a day is bordering on starving yourself if you need to eat 2,710 every day. In order to avoid starving yourself, aim to cut 500 through your diet and burn the other 500 through moderate exercise. If you normally drink two 20 oz. bottles of soda every day, the cut could occur there. Those two bottles equal 500 calories. Moderate walking for 1 hour every day (like walking the dog) will also burn 500 calories every day.
Using the above information, starving yourself is in no way necessary or wise. Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can cause big changes in the way you look and feel.
Symptoms of Starving Yourself
- Rapid and frequent mood changes
- Increase in stress
- Low resting blood pressure
- Sore throat
- Skipped period (in women)
- Bloodshot eyes
Dangers of Starving Yourself
Inaccurate Results: If you starve yourself, your body will expend water weight immediately and you will see a large drop on the scale. This drop will slow down as soon as your water weight is gone. This can be detrimental to motivation.
Muscle Loss: It does not seem fair, but your body tends to use stored fat as a last means of energy. If you starve yourself, one of the first losses you will see is in your muscles.
Decreased Energy: Normal activities will become more difficult. Your metabolism will decrease and you will put less effort into everything you do. While maintaining the same level of intensity in activities will keep losses steady, it will eventually be impossible to continue.
Malnutrition: Even the best dietary supplements need normal food to work correctly. By cutting too many calories, you will undoubtedly cut a major staple of your diet that could lead to serious conditions or illnesses.
Eating Disorder: There is nothing worse than trading one eating disorder for another. About 1/3 of teenage girls have at one time or currently suffer anorexia. Unfortunately, this number has continued to rise since the 2007 study.
Eat Better Foods: Many people that approach diets by eating better foods rather than eating less are very surprised at how much they can eat. By simply cutting fried foods and sugar, you will find that you can eat more food and still cut calories! No one will argue that a diet that allows you to eat more food is better than a diet that forces you to eat less.
Get Moving: Many calorie losses happen through simple activities. You may elect to use the stairs instead of the elevator and cut an additional 60 calories a day. You could even start walking to work to cut another 500. Small changes over long periods of time net the best results.
Visit a Dietician: Seeing a weight loss doctor can really help you focus your diet and avoid costly mistakes. A single appointment is normally cheap and if you are obese, these appointments are almost always covered by your health insurance company.
Take It Easy: Your weight loss goals should focus on the long term rather than the short. The most apparent losses occur over long periods of time. The easier you take your diet, the better chance you have of sticking to it for the rest of your life. Cut foods that you know you can live without. Drinking two less bottles of pop and spending more time playing with your children are both things that you can afford to do and will shed those extra pounds from your body.
Stay Realistic/Avoid the Lies: Never assume that a diet needs to be your means of existence to be successful. In fact, a diet should be something that is always at the back of your mind and only comes into thought when you need it. Successful diets are those that tell you to skip dessert rather than skip lunch.
Avoiding the Temptation To Starve Yourself
American society tends to be hard on its members. Constant images of perfect bodies flood the media and often cause us to feel bad about our own physique. You should, however, know the truth.
More often than not, images that appear on magazines and other forms of media are manipulated and air brushed to make the subject appear thinner or in better shape. Be proud of your own body but recognize when changes need to be made. These changes are entirely up to you.
Eating disorders are becoming more and more common in America than they have ever been in the past. You can avoid becoming a statistic by making smart decisions about your diet and focusing on the long run. Some pharmaceutical companies will often claim that 95% of diets fail to promote their own products. This is not true. Everyone makes small mistakes while dieting. The ability to learn from them is your best weapon. In the same way, if you find that you are starving yourself, stop and learn from it. It is seldom too late to make the right decision.