Starvation Can Turn Your Body Into A Dangerous Pacman
Remember how Pacman would chomp away at those dots while fleeing Blinky, Pinky, and Inky? It was always so exciting to see Pacman eat away dot after dot. This became so memorable that when I would change lanes driving my car I would make chomping sounds as I crossed through the dashed lines.
Then you would get enough points that the ghosts became “chompable”. It was intense!Maybe people may have taken the Pacman chomp a little too far when thinking about starving their bodies to lose weight.
It’s easy to think that our bodies do something similar when we starve ourselves. If we reduce calories, then our bodies must eat away at body fat. Then it makes sense that if we full on starve ourselves four hours or days, then our bodies will eat the extra fat at a much faster rate.
Well unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, well not fully. In fact, something worse happens.
Your body goes into what is called “starvation mode”. Instead of losing all fat, your body enters a fight or flight mode and tries to preserve the fat for back up energy. Instead your body pulls from other sources of energy first or foremost, such as lean mass muscle. Your body will “eat away” at about 50% from your lean muscle, 25% from body water weight, and only about 25% from body fat according to Tom Venuto, author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle.
So with every pound you lose starving yourself, half of that is lean muscle and only ¼ is fat. That is like for every four dots Pacman chews, only 1 in 4 is actually a “fat dot” while 2 in 4 are “muscle dots”.
Pacman is eating the wrong dots!
Your body composition, which matters more than body weight, is made of two parts: body fat and lean mass (muscle and organs). Being you end up losing more lean mass than body fat (2 to 1), your body composition becomes higher in percent that is fat, relative than lean mass. The sad fact is that you now have a higher percent body fat than before.
Your body is so protective of your fat during this dangerous starvation mode that it will even eat away at your organs before going toward all of your fat storage. Yikes.
You become what is called a “Skinny Fat Person”, which is light flab and bones.
Starvation of protein causes a negative nitrogen balance, which is a lack of a proper amount of amino acids. This limits your strength and slows down your metabolism.
Besides all of these physical effects, starvation also negatively impacts your emotions. It makes you grumpy, depressed, and gives such intense cravings that it can snowball into binging on even more poor foods.
Talk about a huge backfire emotionally and physically.
Chomp The Right Way
So eat your food every 2-4 hours, just like Pacman would (I can’t cite that). The real problem is choosing the right dots to eat.
Eat lean protein, complex carbs like vegetables, and unsaturated fats.
So chomp away, but make sure you are chomping the right foods so your body doesn’t chomp the wrong tissue.