You are descended from several generations – maybe over hundreds of generations – of ancestors who successfully survived famines. And the more this is true for you, the easier it will be for you to become fat and the more complete and comprehensive your efforts must be to remove excess fat – although you can do it successfully.
So, what happens in practice when you lose weight by systematically starving yourself by going too long a time between meals or eating too little at each meal or both – whether you are hungry or not – is that your body is hard-wired to decide for you that you are in a famine!
Then it gets to work:
Yes, it does begin to burn your fat stores; but it also begins to burn protein from your muscle and connective tissue that your body is wired to regard as less essential. As a result, the weight you lose includes muscle as well as fat which help your body reduce your metabolism and energy output. This process tends to remove much more muscle from you if you aren’t getting enough protein in the food you do eat or aren’t exercising enough for your muscles to demand regular repair or both.
Then your body conserves even more energy by reducing your metabolism; reducing the energy use of your less essential systems; reducing your overall feeling of energy and stamina; and tending to make you feel less inclined to activity or high effort exertion of any kind.
Lastly, your body takes further steps to protect your survival in the famine by setting things so that it’s harder to burn your bodyfat for other than emergency use, which helps your vital store of energy last longer; and your body begins to set up to help you acquire more reserves: it sets itself to store as fat a larger percentage of the calories you eat in your food above your new lower minimum required use; and your body sets your appetite to increase your desire for fatty and sweet low fiber foods – since those have the most energy per bite of food; then it helps you to feel hungrier when you see food or someone else eating – and when you think about food; and, in some people, it even prompts you to think about food more often!
Does this work? It works great to survive famines! If it didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Your ancestors wouldn’t have survived.
Does it work as a method to achieve permanent loss of excess bodyfat?
Its failure rate is at least ninety-five percent! In fact, in those who only starve themselves, the failure rate approaches one hundred percent!
This should hardly be surprising! Each and every one of the steps your body takes to protect you from famine are the exact opposite of what you want it to do to help you remove excess fat permanently!
The only exception is the temporary loss of the fat your body burns as reserve fuel. And it’s that apparent loss of fat that has tricked hundreds of thousands of people into thinking that starvation is the cure for obesity.
If you want to be trim and avoid obesity permanently you want to set your body internally – with comfortably sustainable methods – to the reverse of famine mode.