Weight Loss Battles: The Truth About ‘Starvation Mode’

Unfortunately, some people believe that to lose weight, they have to starve themselves.

Since weight gain comes from eating too much, it makes sense that eating very little should lead to weight loss.

So, why do we then keep losing these weight loss battles and gain weight instead?

Starvation Mode: Is It A Myth or Is It Real?

Over the centuries, the human body has evolved to survive famines by switching to this fat storage mode (1). Whatever little food is eaten gets stored as fat and the body starts sacrificing muscle tissue for fuel as its primary aim is now to stay alive.

Starvation mode does not switch on just because a person skipped a meal or fasted for a day. This happens only when dieting is taken to extreme levels and for extended periods.

When a person has been on a low-calorie diet for quite a few days, the brain starts suspecting there might be a food shortage. It responds by slowing down metabolism and holding on to its fat reserves, making it quite difficult to lose weight. Starving to lose weight causes multiple health problems as it leads to nutritional deficiencies.

When the person finally manages to lose some weight and resumes his previous eating patterns, the body will continue to store the additional calories rather than burn them for energy, as it’s still in famine mode. The person ends up gaining all the weight they lost and probably some more, thus defeating the goal of weight loss altogether.

Read more: The Science of Weight Loss: How to Lose Body Fat

How to Overcome the Constant Struggle to Lose Weight

There are several effective ways to lose weight quickly without resorting to starving, but they should be followed only for a short while. The healthy way to lose weight and keep it off is to make lifestyle changes that can be sustained over the long term.

Read more: The Complete Guide to High Protein Low Carb Diet for Weight Loss

Diets higher in protein and low in carbs are proven to help with faster weight loss. An intermittent fasting window can be followed without worrying about starvation modes. But eat healthy nutrient-rich meals during your eating window.

Read more weight loss articles from FitnessHacks

About Anju Mobin 104 Articles
The Nutritionist Wordsmith with a Chocoholic Edge! Anju is not just a writer; she's a brush-wielding, coffee-sipping, chocolate-loving wordsmith! With a Fine Arts degree in one hand and a Home Science degree in the other, she blends creativity and nutrition to craft content that truly nourishes the mind. Whether she's painting a vivid picture with words or brewing up engaging web content, she pours her heart into every project. When she's not busy whipping up articles, you'll find her nurturing orchids to bloom in her garden, baking scrumptious treats, and indulging her chocoholic tendencies with dark delights. She is the founder and managing editor of Fitness Hacks.