Mary Desaulniers

Article Summary:

Starvation diets do not work because your metabolism slows and your body stores fat when it is starving.

Starvation Diets: Why They Don’t Work

It has become a familiar scenario: you start the day with black coffee; you lunch on carrots and celery sticks. You eat a mouse-size dinner. By the end of the week, you’ve barely lost a pound.

Does this sound familiar? Most people who begin a diet-fasting regimen regain their weight and more within a year. The reason is simple: a body in starvation mode will fight like mad to hang on to every fat cell. Your body thinks it is starving if you
a) skip meals
b)eat junk food (food that is rich in calories but is nutrient-deprived).

What kind of message are you sending your metabolism if you skip a meal or two every day? Or if you insist on Big Macs and Fries?

The message is simply this: TIMES ARE TOUGH ;YOU NEED TO BUCKLE IN THE FAT!

So how does your body respond? Your metabolism slows down; your body tries to save calories, not burn them off; muscle, rather than fat, gets burned off for energy; any food you eat (even black coffee) gets stored as fat in preparation for what your body thinks is THE LONG FAMINE.

Result: You gain weight; you are tired. Food and Fat have become a vicious circle. Add exercise and you stress the body even more by increasing caloric requirements without giving the body proper nutrients. Starvation and Exercise (eat less, exercise more) is just another urban legend for weight loss.

There is a way out of this circle, however. And it takes no more than a basic understanding of the “psychology” within the body’s metabolism. The body has a mind of its own, a mind that controls the thermostat of its metabolic functions. Starve the body and it turns the thermostat down so that no fat is burned and everything ingested becomes stored fat. Feed the body and it turns the thermostat up and happily burns fat as fuel and builds lean muscle tissue.

You’ve heard it before: your thoughts create your reality and nowhere is this more true than in the body. Feed it proper food 3 -5 times a day. Give it optimal cellular nutrition in the form of proteins, low-glycemic carbs, vitamins, mineral, botanicals, essential fats and water and your body will purr away like a well-tuned engine. Your body thrives on abundance.

Only through adequate cellular nutrition can exercise be a safe and effective means to building muscle and breaking down fat. Your goal should be as much lean muscle as possible and as little stored fat as possible.

This goal can be achieved by increasing your protein intake. Why? When you eat Protein, your body releases Glucagon which raises low blood sugar by converting protein and fat into glucose.When you eat Protein, your body burns fat; decreases cholesterol production; increases the release of Human Growth Hormone; makes kidneys release excess fluid; releases fat from fat cells for energy; turns dietary fats into ketones for energy.

In short, Glucagon shifts the metabolism into BURNING MODE.

Compare this scenario to that produced by Insulin, which is released when you eat Bad Carbohydrates. Insulin lowers elevated blood sugar; increases storage of fat ; stimulates the liver’s synthesis of Cholesterol ; decreases Growth Hormone release; increases appetite ; makes kidneys retain excess fluid ; shifts metabolism into STORAGE MODE.

What does this all mean to the contemporary dieter?

  • A sense of abundance goes a long way.
  • Feed your Body Lean!
  • Feed it low Fat Protein,
  • Good Carbohydrates like Whole Grains,
  • 5-7 servings of Fruits and Vegetables, and
  • Essential Fats.

Eat and be thin!

A runner for 27 years, retired schoolteacher and writer, Mary Desaulniers is helping people reclaim their bodies. Nutrition, exercise, positive vision and purposeful engagement are the tools used to turn their bodies into creative selves. You can visit her at

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