How much weight can be lost by starving?


Quick Answer

The amount of weight that a person can lose through fasting or starving varies for each individual. The problem with this weight loss method is that it is completely inefficient, according to Medfit Medical Weight Loss. Instead of dropping pounds quickly, the body's metabolism slows down when starved. A slower metabolism leads to less weight lost overall.

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Full Answer

Most of the weight that is lost during the initial phase of drastic calorie reduction is water weight, notes WebMD. This is excess fluid that is stored in the body. In addition, any weight that is lost during a fast tends come back after normal eating resumes, and thanks to the slower metabolism, additional pounds are added on. Another problem that many choosing starvation do not consider is the loss of muscle. When muscle is lost, it is replaced by fat.

While fasting over short periods of time does cause a person to lose weight, it is not a good option for maintaining a healthy body. There are numerous side effects that starvation dieters may experience including headaches, fatigue and low blood sugar, states WebMD. Continued fasting can create systematic problems that puts the kidneys and liver at risk. Also, Medfit Medical Weight Loss points out that starving oneself leads to depression, problems concentrating and lack of motivation.

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