A starvation diet is where people really restrict what they eat in terms of calories and diversity of food. Sometimes they even live off ultra-processed shakes for a period of time – astronauts in space probably eat better.
There has been great research with British identical twins regarding weight. These studies take out genetic factors since they’re both the same. Other things taken out of the equation are things like upbringing, culture and social class – these are all matched.
In one particular study most of the twins were overweight, their BMI was generally over 30 (actually making them obese). One twin had had the will power to regularly go on a starvation diet over the previous 20 years. The other twin made no serious attempt at dieting.
There was practically no difference between the weights of each set of twins. 20 years of dieting with nothing to show for all that effort and no doubt misery.
Similar results were found in a group of twins who were practically the same weight when they were 16. In this study the twin who dieted ended up heavier at 25 than the twin who did no diets.
Why is this so?
Why A Starvation Diet Will Fail
Due to many years of evolution human bodies are programmed to adapt to reduced calorie intake, aka a restrictive starvation diet.
During a starvation diet the body will hold onto fat stores to maintain them. It may even manage to increase them, especially when you relapse and break the diet.
This is how we are hard wired to respond to a restrictive and unhealthy starvation diet.
If you want to lose weight – work with your body and not against it.
Work with it by reducing processed and refined food and giving it food than improves health as well as helping you achieve your ideal weight.
Bin all dieting!
Have a great week.
- Pletilainen, K.H. Int J Obesity 2012 Does Dieting Make You Fat? A Twin Study