How Starvation Causes Weight Gain?
Have to attend a party next week and your dress is too tight? You might want to set your calorie counter at zero for the whole of next week to lose a few kilos. You will be surprised to know that starvation diets do not lead to loss of weight in the long run, starving would instead lead to weight gain! Starvation the enemy of healthy weight loss and it can lead to loss of muscle mass, rebound weight gain and binge eating.
Genes and starvation
You would have lived your entire life with sufficient food to eat or at least been away from an actual starvation. However, your genetic blueprint remembers the times when your pre-historic ancestors used to starve. History has been the witness of several feasts and also of several famines that resulted in the genetic make-up of modern humans. People who could store fat easily survived the periods of crop failure, bad climate or inability to hunt. Those who couldn’t store fat could not survive. The result of this is that fat storing genes have been passed down the generations. Our bodies are programmed to store fat!
Body’s way of storing fat
When you eat, your body converts it into elements that it can make use of. One important element being glucose. Without sufficient glucose circulating in your body, you cannot survive. The brain needs 2/3 rds of the blood glucose circulating in the body. When the levels of glucose fall down in the body, you start suffering from confusion, irritation or tiredness.
The problem is that in our modern society, we consume an excess of calories that cause spikes in blood glucose. The pancreas release insulin and allow as much glucose as required into the cells. The remaining glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and cells of your muscles or as body fat. When there is scarcity of food or when you require additional energy to perform strenuous tasks, your body taps the stored glycogen and fat.
Starvation diets and weight gain
Now you very well know that your body is programmed to store fat and protect you from starvation and it will take you no time to understand why starvation diets lead to weight gain. When you try out a starvation diet, your body will use up all the circulating blood glucose in a rapid manner and then switch to the stores of glycogen and fat. But, your body doesn’t want to starve, so it releases hormones and messengers to increase your appetite and this makes you suddenly ravenous. At this juncture, people are mostly unable to bear the hunger pangs and land up binge eating. And what happens when you start binging? You consume hundreds or thousands of calories in one go. But the amount of glucose needed by the body is limited. So, what happens to the remaining of it? Well, it is stored as excess fat. This way begins the vicious cycle of weight gain and starvation in people who go on fad diets, starvation diets or crash diets hoping to lose weight fast.
Be slow and steady with your weight loss
It may sound tempting but you can’t lose 10 kilos in 5 days. Your body just won’t allow that to happen as it is programmed to keep you alive and healthy. Instead of working against your body, work with it and lose weight the natural way. This will help you in keeping off the pounds for good.
Do you now agree that starvation causes weight gain?
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