- STARVATION BASICS
Let's start by understanding the physiology of the human body.
The human body uses glucose as the primary source to produce the required energy. When we have excess of glucose it is stored in the form of glycogen and fats.
We need to understand the difference between fat and muscle in terms of energy requirement. Fat is a tissue which requires negligible amount of energy when body is either active or non-active.
On the contrary muscle requires huge amount of energy when active and continue to require energy when non-active.
We can say that even in the resting phase our muscles continue to consume energy. When we starve the body uses up the circulating glucose in the blood.
This circulating glucose is enough for roughly a few hours and then gets exhausted. When we continue to starve beyond this the stored glycogen is mobilized from the liver and other tissues and provides the required amount of energy for approximately 24-48 hrs depending upon how much stores of glycogen we have.
Thereafter the body assumes that it is suffering through a condition of famine and thus tries to shed of the muscular tissue which consumes more energy as compared to fats and utilizes the energy obtained from the muscles to continue survival. Fat is a much richer source of energy than glucose thus making it an excellent substance for energy storage (that is it has more energy and consumes less space but it takes time to be brought into utilization. Remember that fat is not a fast source of energy and hence not an option when the body requires energy immediately.
The body utilizes fats as the last resort and thus when we starve/fast we don't end up losing our fats but rather we end up losing our muscles and stored glycogen. (Please note: all of the glucose is not used up by the muscles as it is always spared for the brain which uses only glucose as its source of energy).
Starvation increases the risk of gall stone formation and will lead to nutrition deficiencies
When we starve we not only deprive ourselves of carbohydrates, proteins and fats but also of necessary vitamins & minerals which are required to maintain a healthy body. When we stop our starvation the body has already adjusted itself to the starvation regime and thus becomes super-efficient in absorbing whatever food it gets thus making you fatter when you start eating again.
This explains why a lot many people experience rebound weight gain after discontinuing diets. Also the individual tends to eat more to satisfy his satiety once he leaves his starvation, all summing up to make you a much more fat rich and unhealthy individual. So it should be clear that one should not starve in any manner to lose weight, it is of absolutely no help!
- COUNTING CALORIES
People commonly believe that the more you eat the fatter you become but this is not always true. Every individual has a different body which works on the same guiding principles but processes food differently. All of us must have encountered people who report that they do not get fat whatever they eat and also individuals who say that "˜I become fat even with the slightest food I eat".
This clearly describes that counting calories is not the solution for losing weight.
It is very important to understand the reason for weight gain. There are various hormonal, psychological and enzymatic activities which cause weight gain.
We have got patients who could be eating possibly everything but they do not seem to gain weight.
The reason is simple their body processes food a little differently.
Also all the food that we consume is not completely absorbed or assimilated.
So eating only limited calories within a day hardly makes any sense if you are trying to lose weight.
It would rather adversely affect your physical performance and you would end up spending hours daily to make sure you ate the right amount of calories and selecting your foodstuffs as per your calorie requirement.
A wiser option is to make sure you look into the cause of your weight gain; consult your doctor.
Say for example you consume 1000 calories, you don't absorb all of what you have eaten, if this would be the case then we would find people whose weight would go on increasing on a daily basis since they eat more ( this is definitely not the case) Rather you stop eating what you crave for and that may affect a person psychologically as well.
All of us can digest different foods to different extents which explains why some us cannot digest milk well or do not like a particular kind of food.
The bottom line is the human body has a self regulating mechanism to maintain body weight which gets disturbed and needs to be reactivated. Obesity is a medical disorder, it should be managed under capable medical supervision which realizes the need of the patient and help him to get rid of the root cause rather than just treating the symptoms of the disease. We at Jalan HealthCare employ means of therapy wherein we make sure we treat the cause, our methods are individualistic and aim at correcting the dietary mechanism of the body and the way it processes food..