Submitted by: anonymous
i’m in health care, and this is in response to the girl who posted the anonymous “never hungry/thirsty” ask; i already commented on it, but i felt like i really needed to write something a little more in-depth to explain what’s going on and to reach a wider audience of girls who might be going through the same thing.
diminished capacity or total inability to perceive hunger or thirst is a sign of ACTUAL STARVATION. you are depriving your body of what it needs to survive. at bare minimum, a young adult woman needs anywhere between 1500-1800 calories for basic function—as in, this is what you would burn if you stayed in bed for 16 hours and slept for 8. (this is your BRM—basal metabolic rate.) anything beyond that, even as much as getting up, putting clothes on, taking a shower, driving a car, etc, will require additional calories. this is why values on food labels are balanced on a 2000 calorie diet, even though most of us will burn more than that in a day. our bodies have plenty of stores to chug along for awhile if we don’t get enough calories, but the real danger of prolonged insufficient intake is in a.) vitamin/mineral deficiencies, and b.) atrophy.
if you go to a doctor in search of diet advice, you will most likely get advice for calorie restriction and exercise. the BARE MINIMUM diet you will get put on will be between 1200 and 1300 calories. (if you are very, very heavy—large enough that you are physically incapable of exercise—some doctors might put you on a severely restricted diet, about 800-1000 calories, provide you with what you need, and keep you monitored. other doctors don’t feel that the benefits of this diet outweighs the risks except in extreme cases.) that’s because anything lower than that minimum is dangerous and unhealthy, and you will still probably have to take nutritional supplements because it’s incredibly difficult to get your full intake of vitamins/minerals in just 1200-1300 calories. if your goal is weight loss, most doctors will encourage you to eat about 1700-2000 calories a day instead and increase your activity rate to compensate.
if you are never hungry/thirsty, eat very little, and are still gaining weight, the key is—counterintuitively to your body—to eat more, take supplements, and exercise! do not go crazy with the exercise, but boosting your calorie intake to at least 1400 and then going for a brisk 30 minute walk daily will do wonders for you. 1400 is still not even remotely enough if you’re looking to maintain your weight, but what you want to do is jump start your metabolism—give it enough food that your body isn’t literally eating itself alive, rebuild the muscle you’ve lost to atrophy, and as you gain muscle mass, your BMR increases. depending on the person, you will begin to feel hungry/thirsty again anywhere between a few days to a few weeks. then you can slowly increase your caloric intake. staying active, making sure you’re getting proper nutrition, and eating enough is how you get into the cycle of healthy weight loss/maintenance.
PLEASE do not starve yourselves, ladies. no matter if your goal is weight loss or maintenance, this is the absolute worst thing you could do for yourself. loving your body includes treating it right!
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