Does Starving Yourself Help You Lose Weight?

Often when people are first starting to “build” their bodies, and they don’t (yet) have the needed knowledge, they tend to put themselves and their bodies to extreme conditions and loading, so they can get better results in shorter time.

“Hell yeah, man! Maximum effort – maximum result!”

You might ask what is wrong with that. What is wrong is that they put themselves to the limit, by doing things the wrong way. People do that, because they want faster and better results. But they do not realize that what they are doing, or the way they are doing it is wrong, and thus they put all their effort to something that will affect their organism in a negative way.

“I am done with my workout, but if I keep hitting those dumbbells, my muscles will get even bigger.”

An example could be a person who is working out way too much, or lifting weights that are too heavy, in many cases even both, with the idea that the more he or she lifts, the better the musculature would become.

That is not quiet exactly how the human body works. Yes, putting in the hard work and working out constantly is the main key to building a well formed and strong musculature. But this doesn’t mean that you have to spend the whole day in the gym, nor that you have to lift as much, as Arnold Schwarzenegger used to do in his best days, in order to form your musculature.

Overloading your muscles may lead to more harm than good. Taking rests and giving your muscles time to recover after being loaded is as important, as the loading itself.

Another extreme example could be the people trying to lose weight by keeping themselves starving.

“I will not eat at all, so I can lose weight faster. I mean, I NEED that “perfect” body in 2 weeks…”

Sometimes when people decide that it’s time for them to take off the additional pounds, they cut off the food drastically, some even entirely, in order to lose weight faster.


Starving yourself for a long period of time will seriously damage your whole organism and body mechanism, and will lead to serious health problems, diseases, and eventually… to death.

So, to answer your question: No, starving yourself will not help you lose weight… Or at least not in the way you would be wanting to…

Weight Loss – A Long But Well Worth It Process

Since consuming less calories than the amount you burn is the process of loosing weight, it would make perfect sense to entirely stop consuming any calories, so you can burn even more weight, right? Yes, it WOULD make sense for someone who is lacking knowledge about nutrition and dieting.

"You didn't gain all you weight in one day; you won't lose it in one day. Be patient with yourself." - Jenna Wolfe

A quote from the famous dietitian J. Wolfe with a photo of an exercising woman for having a bigger and better impact.

The process of weight loss is surely not quick, not even that easy, but it is well worth it for sure. It is worth it, because you will become a better version of yourself.

  • You will look better.
  • You will feel better.
  • But most importantly – you will become healthier.

Neither one of the things above is going to happen, if you decide to loose weight by cutting out the food entirely.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the human body needs about 1500 calories per day JUST to maintain the basic functions that keep us alive – heartbeat and blood pumping; breathing; muscle movements; production of specific substances; keeping all the organs working; and other essential functions of the organism.

Stopping the intake of the needed portion of energy for the body to work well will cause a lot of problematic consequences. Like taking the fuel out of a car and expect the car to be working as good, as it would be with the fuel inside. It’s NOT even going to work at all!

Let’s see what is going to happen, if you decide to take the “short cut” and lose weight by keeping yourself starving all the time:

What Will Happen, If You Keep Yourself Starving To Lose Weight

Sad empty plate

A picture of an empty “sad” plate showing that starving yourself on purpose is something negative.

You Will Lose a Lot of Lean Mass

The member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – Joanne Larsen – states that the human body is capable of burning at most half a pound per day of fat. Everything beyond that amount is lean body mass.

What does burning  lean body mass mean?

You may think that once your body doesn’t have a source of energy anymore, it will turn only to the energy that it was storing as a reserve – the fat – as a main source of fuel. In fact, experiments show that the amount of fat that bodies had been storing before and after very low-calorie and no-calorie regimes, was almost the same, i.e. there was a reduction, but not a significant one.

However, during the regimes the bodies burned also lean body mass, such as: blood sugar, muscles, water, bones, organs, and other important for the function of the organism elements.

Why were they burning more lean mass, but less of their own energy reserve stores?

Evolutionary the mechanism of the human body hasn’t changed much since it had evolved. Our bodies are biologically “designed” to endure in extreme conditions. Such a condition is the starvation – since thousands of years ago, when we hadn’t been the dominating species on the planet, and it had been very hard to find food and survive with all the other predators around.

When you put your body into a starvation mode, it will firstly use blood sugar (glucose mostly) and fat to supply energy. Not so long after that it will target the muscles, because they are not being used that much, and therefore they require less energy. The main goal of the body is to keep you alive for as long, as possible. Which means it will try to store the energy reserve for as much possible, not to burn it all.

The Consequences of Not Eating or Barely Eating

  • You will feel drained out and out of energy constantly, which will negatively affect your work, studying, everyday tasks and activities.
  • The delivery of important substances and nutrients to the brain, such as: vitamins, minerals, fibers ,and others, would be interrupted. This, along with the constant thinking about food will lead to depression, stress, anxiety and anger.
  • You may feel sick and dizzy as well.
  • You would become unable to concentrate for longer periods of time.
  • Sleeping problems and disorders will show up frequently.
  • You will become weaker physically, as your body will break down muscle mass.
  • The lack of vitamins and minerals will make your bones weak, including your teeth.
  • The decrease in blood sugar will make you pass out and faint often. There is a big chance to seriously hit and damage yourself.
  • Your body would not heal as fast and good, as it would, if you were consuming food regularly.
  • Eventually there will be a fatal ending, if you keep it that way.

You can also check what happens when you stop eating in this video below (source – SciShow)

Gaining All the Weight Back

At some point you will realize that causing this to yourself is not worth it and you will give up. You will begin to eat normally again – if not even more – but something has changed.

After the starvation mode your body will want to prevent all this from happening again. Or, to prepare itself better for the next time. So when you go back to your normal regime, your body will store most of the food, by turning it into fat. Even if you consume less calories, then you did before, you will probably gain fat. Your organism will simply not process the food the way it did prior the starvation mode.

At the end you will have gained more fat, than you used to have before starting the very low-calorie diet. You will have seriously damaged your health and mind, and that will probably have negatively changed your life. What an irony, don’t you think? You started all this to lose fat, but you end up having more fat and health problems.

Tips For Faster, Better And Healthier Weight Loss

You don’t need to make your body to literally eat itself, just to reduce a fair amount of weight. There are plenty of ways to make the process of losing weight easier, better, faster, healthier, more enjoyable and desirable. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them:

Drake meme - starving vs having a balanced diet.

The point of the image is to show that it is better to have a well balanced diet, than starving yourself.

  • Don’t Skip a Meal

On the contrary of starvation, eating regularly will actually help you to lose weight.

Skipping a meal will make you hungrier. And when the time for the next meal comes, you will consume more food at once, and your body will have a hard time processing it all. This will lead to slowing your metabolism and having plenty of energy delivered at the same time. Your body will not need all of the energy, and so it will store some of it, by turning it into fat.

So, do not skip your meal, break it down to several meals instead.

Check what CAN YOU eat and when. Get me some MEAL EXAMPLES.

  • Break Down Your Meals & Make Yourself an Eating Time Regime

A good way to keep yourself feeling better is breaking down the main meals through the day. Instead of eating 3 times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, eat 8 times – prior the breakfast; the breakfast; before the lunch; the lunch itself; after the lunch; before having the dinner; the actual dinner, after the dinner (an hour before going to bed).

Have more but smaller meals during the day. This way your body will not have to deal with all the food at once. And when you feel that you are getting hungry, you can take a snack, that will keep you filled up, until the time for the next meal comes.

Make it even better, and have all the meals every day at the same time. Your organism will adapt and will process the food easier.

  • Drink More Water

Drinking a lot of water is something that EVERYBODY should be doing, yet a lot of people don’t. It adds a lot of benefits and is essential for a healthier life style. (There is a reason why all the living creatures can not live without water, don’t you think?)

Some of the benefits you will gain by increasing the amount of water that you drink: cleaner organism – it takes the toxins away; removes the body waste; helps the blood flow – therefore helps the blood pressure as well.

Some other benefits: better and softer skin; looking younger (or at least not older); hydrated organism; etc.

Drinking water will also make you feel a little bit more filled up. Take a full glass of water 20 minutes prior a meal, and you will not feel that hungry when eating, therefore you will eat less.

  • Use a Smaller Plate & Eat Slower

National Geographic’s show Brain Games made quite a few experiments on how the brain could be “lied” when it comes to food and eating. In one of the episodes the focus was laid on the amount of food that you choose to consume. In this particular episode they prove how easily you can be lied to eat more, simply because you just think that the food you take might be less – even thou it is not – and take some more of it.

For the experiment they put the same amount of food in a small plate and in a big one. Most people thought that the bigger plate was emptier, even thou it was not. We are subconsciously programmed to fill up our plates. And this is why if you take a bigger plate, you will eat more than the necessary.

Think about that – How many times did you have a leftover on your plate, and even thou you were done, you ate it, just to clear the plate?

Using a smaller plate is a great way to reduce the unnecessary food. Another good tip to do so is to slow down the process of eating, and take one little bite at a time. Eating too fast leads to overeating. 

Your organism needs time to deal with the consumed food and turn it into energy (make you feel satisfied). By eating fast, when you reach that time, you will have already eaten more food than the necessary.

Think about that – Have you ever finished a meal and still remained hungry, got up to take some more food, and by the time you were back at the table, you were no longer hungry?

  • Exercise More & Start Taking Weight Loss Drugs, Powders, Pills, Food Supplements

For a faster weight loss, you should keep yourself active everyday.

Start exercising more frequently; add a couple of 20-minute runs through the day – for example before and after work; do some push-ups while staying at home; take the stairs, not the elevator; leave your vehicle and walk to the destination you need to get to, or use a bike; etc.

Combine the intense exercising and the well balanced diet with some food supplements.

Now, I am NOT encouraging you to start taking the “magical” pills that will “burn your unwanted pounds” while you will be able stay at home all day and do nothing… Those types of drugs are either unhealthy, or a scam (the providers are lying, and the product is useless). There is no magical pill… You will have to put in the work.

I am encouraging you to consider using food supplements. Their role is to deliver to your body nutrients that will help the weight loss process in a variety of ways. Some will help the organism to break down fat; others will make you sweat more while exercising; thirds will satisfy your hunger better, causing you to eat a little bit less; and so on.

You don’t need a pill that will make you lose weight, you need a pill that will HELP you lose weight.

More about the different supplements and reviewing products soon on Project – Lose Weight. You don’t want to miss it out, so subscribe NOW:

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“Eat for the body you want. Not for the body you have.”

The point of getting in shape is most of all to make you HEALTHIER, so there is no logic in ruining your health, just for the sake of losing weight.

In the short term you will reduce some weight. On the other hand, in the long term, it will have a lot of negative consequences. Some of them are: constant energy deficit, causing you to feel drained out; dizziness and sicknesses; weaker bones; weaker physicality; etc.

You don’t need to cause all these negative consequences to yourself, just to get faster results. To speed up the process of losing weight, follow up these tips: try to be as active, as you can through out the day; don’t skip your meals and break them down to more but smaller ones; eat slowly and use smaller plates; eat at the same time every day; keep yourself hydrated; and consider buying some food supplements.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my article. I really hope you found it informative and valuable.

Do you know someone who doesn’t eat enough? Then this article might be helpful to him or to her, so DO share it.

If you have something to add or ask, don’t hesitate to add a comment down below.

If you want to get in touch with me, simply send me an email at and let me know how you are doing.

Or, visit our contact page for a quick message. All it will take you is a minute.


Looking forward to hearing from you, and see you soon!

Teodor M.

Founder of Project – Lose Weight.

8 Responses to “Does Starving Yourself Help You Lose Weight?

  • I enjoyed reading your article on project lose weight. A lot of interesting and helpful information. Thanks for sharing ~Margaret

  • Hey, I really like your list of effect when you starve yourself. I didn’t realize that it could affect your sleep and ability to heal. Thank you for that information.

    • Always a pleasure to hear positive comments shuch as this one. Thank you for that!

      Have a great time in here and feel free to stop by again.


  • Hey Teo

    Great article, I’ve learned quite abit throughout my read.
    I was one of those people who thought starving myself would make me thinner quicker, boy was I wrong.
    Now I am older and wiser, I eat a well balanced diet, exercise and try to work out a min 3x per week.
    I so agree with you when you say use a smaller plate and eat slower, it really does make all the difference

    Thanks for this insightful information

    All the best to you

    • Great job, Tracy.

      Learning from our own mistakes is what make us growing and improving. Glad you found your healthy path.

      Keep on track,

  • This is an important topic people need to read and understand. Sadly, so many people nowadays use the starving method to lose weight. It works for a while but then it will give the opposite results. Because simply your body will feel threaten from starving and start storing more fat to avoid DEATH.

    Starving is not the solution to solve the problem of obesity. In fact, it is a way to destroy your body. Eating healthy 6 small portion meals, and doing some exercise or swimming can do the trick.

    Thank you for this important topic! I hope people pay more attention to this problem.

    • Hi, Mohammad, and thank you for the comment.

      You are ABSOLUTELY right! I hope more and more people will begin to think that way. Starvation is one of the most damaging things people can do to their own selves… without actually having to do anything.

      Stay healthy,

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