to wonder why people say starving yourself won't make you thin?

(66 Posts)
Ibelieveyoubutmytommygundont Fri 26-Apr-13 14:58:05

Just read an article about Matthew Mcconaughey losing a ridiculous amount of weight for a film role - by just surviving on a very small amount of food a day.

I lost a stone in 2 weeks because it was an extremely hectic time and I just didn't get chance to eat properly.

Yet so many people say starving yourself doesn't make you thin, it slows down your metabolism and you won't lose any weight.

(I don't and would never recommend that anyone starves themselves to lose weight as its obviously not healthy)

Trill Fri 26-Apr-13 14:58:35

The words "in the long run" are missing, that's why you are confused.

emsyj Fri 26-Apr-13 14:59:39

Because most people don't starve long term and so when they eat normally again, their bodies store more fat ready for the next famine.

It's a bit like when people say 'you are not eating enough to lose weight' what's that all about?

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Fri 26-Apr-13 15:01:12

I don't know, OP. I'm pretty sure there was a study recently that showed the whole 'your body will store more fat next time' thing was a myth.

Ibelieveyoubutmytommygundont Fri 26-Apr-13 15:02:18

Yes Sparkling - my friend is obsessed by weight loss, and I started doing 5:2 - so fasting for 2 sometimes 3 days and she kept going on and on saying I wouldn't lose weight because I wasn't eating enough.

Smartieaddict Fri 26-Apr-13 15:02:42

I'm guessing its more the case that if you starve yourself you are less likely to be able to keep it up, so you'll end up returning to bad eating habits and weight will go back on.

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 26-Apr-13 15:04:19

I agree OP, when I eat 3 meals a day and my proper intake of calories I put on weight, when I live on tea and toast and fruit and don't eat properly I loose weight.

soundevenfruity Fri 26-Apr-13 15:04:30

Because it messes up your metabolism and it's certainly true for me.

shallweshop Fri 26-Apr-13 15:05:08

I agree that, long term, starving yourself is not going to work to keep you thin because you can't sustain it. You might be lucky enough to keep off some of the weight if you eat a sensible diet following the period of eating very little. Most of the film stars who have followed a radical diet for a particular role are usually pictured some months after the movie having put the weight back on.

soontobeburns Fri 26-Apr-13 15:07:48

I saw a nutritionist for 6 months and was told to eat more as I was only averaging 1200 cals a day and not eating breakfast or lunch.

I weigh 18 stone and cant shift it, so I doubt it is because I am eating too little ffs.

The 5:2 does work. But that's because you're not actually starving yourself!

LimitedEditionLady Fri 26-Apr-13 15:10:33

ive heard that too.something like you might be eating less but the little you do the body works to store it in its fat reserves?

Ibelieveyoubutmytommygundont Fri 26-Apr-13 15:11:09

I was obviously doing it wrong waltermittymissus as it just didn't work for me sad

LimitedEditionLady Fri 26-Apr-13 15:12:50

But im not a dietician or anything incase anyone shouts at me!

Dahlen Fri 26-Apr-13 15:13:45

It should probably be qualified to say it won't make you stay thin.

Of course you'll lose weight if you eat very little, but because your metabolism slows it means that as soon as you start eating normally again you will gain weight much more easily.

Most people start eating normally again quite quickly because to not do so will result in illness - whether that's anorexia, exhaustion, nutritional deficiency, ketoacidosis. A normal, healthy individual will simply find that hunger overpowers willpower to starve if they are eating insufficient calories to maintain health.

Dahlen Fri 26-Apr-13 15:16:42

The only real way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regime that you can sustain indefinitely, which in many cases means completely re-defining the relationship we have with food. That's the hard bit.

HighJinx Fri 26-Apr-13 15:19:19

I think this is one of those things that isn't 'literally' true.

Of course if you starve yourself you will lose weight. If you continue to starve yourself you will remain thin or lose more weight or even in extreme circumstances die.

What people mean is that as a weight loss tool it isn't sensible or sustainable to starve yourself and therefore 'doesn't work'. It can also cause all kinds of other problems.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 26-Apr-13 15:23:37

Well clearly starving yourself will make you thin, we only have to look at famine areas. They don't have a choice though
The thing is in the Western world you can't sustain it, you can maybe get to your goal weight like actor in movies do, but eventually your body needs food, unless you have an eating disorder.
And then you could die.

I have a low calorie need, so I tend to eat a lot less than most people.

If I eat more I pile on weight, if I go hungry I lose it. Simple as that. I struggle to believe that there's anyone who won't lose weight if they starve themselves for a few weeks, I'm convinced it's a con perpetrated by all those diet businesses like ww and slimfast who make money selling you special foods and insist you need x amount of calories a day even if dieting hmm

Well, thanks Summer for pointing out how easy things are for you. Clearly we can replicate that with every other human being on the planet hmm

PickledLiver Fri 26-Apr-13 15:43:27

Yes, you will lose weight if you starve yourself. Obviously. But as others have said, in the longterm you pile it back on as fat very easily. Because your body has starved once, it will go on to prepare for the next starvation period.

But pickled, as myself and others have pointed out, we don't pile it back on of we return to eating normally. So that starvation = faster weight gain afterwards thing certainly isn't true for many of us.

Jack... I never said it was easy, I said it was simple, as in not complicated. It's incredibly tough to go hungry as anyone who's done it will testify to, but it works very effectively.

hiddenhome Fri 26-Apr-13 17:23:54

After my first dh died I ate nothing. I lived on coffee and cigarettes with the odd biscuit when I felt faint. The weight literally dropped off me and I lost about two stone in a couple of months. I kept it off when I did start eating again and only gained weight when I became pregnant some time later.

MadBusLady Fri 26-Apr-13 17:27:05

The time in my life when I put on shedloads of weight was when I got it into my head that I had to eat three square meals every day like a grown-up. Now that I'm back to eating like I did as a teenager (feast or famine, essentially) I find weight much easier to control. So this whole "you're confusing your metabolism" thing clearly doesn't apply to everyone.

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