What Really Happens if You Don’t eat For a Day?

What happens to the body during a day of starvation? What happens if you don’t eat for a day? Will it be bad or not for our health?

The answer to this question may seem simple, but not eating 24 hours a day has a series of complex effects on the body.

In today’s article, we will find out together what happens to our body if we do not eat just one day. Hunger for a long time exists in other ways besides modern diets (Intermittent fasting).

It should be noted that this state of starvation has its roots in many religions, in various forms of fasting.

A number of different researches have been done in order to find out the possible beneficial effects,
and the risks of full-day starvation.

Of course, this also includes how it affects weight loss. In the following, we will briefly explain what happens in the body during starvation.

Also perhaps most important is what we can do to make this process safer for all of us.

What exactly happens during a day of starvation?

Whether we eat or starve our body has constant needs for energy intake. Because our body can not function without energy and nutrients.

The main source of energy for the body, believe it or not, is a simple sugar called glucose. Sugar (glucose) comes from a variety of carbohydrate foods that we consume in our diet.

That is, it includes fresh food, whole grains, dairy products, legumes, various sweets, etc. After ingestion, the liver and muscles store glucose by a special mechanism.

Furthermore, when the body has additional needs for it, they “release” it into the bloodstream and feed our body.

However, during fasting this process changes, ie due to the low concentrations of glucose in the blood, the process of glycolysis (breakdown of glucose) slows down. After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use up all its other glucose reserves.

At this point, the body enters a state called gluconeogenesis. In this situation, the body finds a way to produce the necessary glucose from other nutrients.

Gluconeogenesis significantly increases the number of calories

Studies show that gluconeogenesis significantly increases the number of calories consumed. In the absence of carbohydrates, the body produces glucose mainly by using fats.

However, after a certain period, the organism consumes this source of energy as well. At that moment, further starvation then turns into a much more serious form, ie starvation.

At this stage, the human metabolism slows down and the body begins to “rely” on muscle tissue as the next source of energy to function.

However, it is very important to know the following – starvation can not happen so fast. Starvation will not occur with 1 or 2 days of starvation.

This can only happen after several consecutive days or weeks without food. We can safely conclude that fasting overnight is considered safe.

It is not safe in very rare situations unless we have a serious health condition.

Does starvation really help to lose weight?

Experiences, but also more and more research on this topic indicate that intermittent fasting can contribute to weight loss.

We must also emphasize that research shows that this is not the case for everyone equally, for some more and for others less.

Diets are generally more or less a way of starving the body in order to lose weight. Popular diets include a variety of ways to lose weight 12, 16, and even 24 hours of fasting.

Calorie deficit in relation to weight loss

But it is very important to understand the fact that fasting is far from necessary to lose weight. Studies do not show any benefits of intermittent fasting over the simple caloric deficit.

Calorie deficit (intake of food or energy during the day, to a lesser extent than what is consumed) in relation to weight loss.

It may be better to opt for a simple calorie deficit when losing weight than intermittent fasting.

On the other hand, research shows that diets that include starvation have statistically been shown to be less successful in the weight loss process than a simple caloric deficit.

Studies show that this is mostly due to the psychological moment of starvation.

Namely, it has been shown that people who are hungry can more easily give up the goal of losing weight. You are also more likely to overeat after a long period of starvation.

In addition, starvation can promote a sense of “security” in achieving the goal, which is not always so positive.

For example, it can disrupt healthy eating and eating habits.what happens if you don't eat for a day

It is very easy to avoid the right meal in the period provided for eating.

However, if intermittent fasting works for you personally and you do not feel any problems – then feel free to apply it. There are no studies that say it can be dangerous to our health.

What are the other effects of starvation?

The main effect of starvation is to promote weight loss. But fasting overnight can offer other health benefits.

Research shows that 24-hour fasting can successfully improve our cardiovascular health. Some research suggests that starvation may help improve cognitive abilities.

Starvation can even improve the body’s ability to fight cancer, which is very important for our health.

How drinking water has its own effect on starvation

Drinking water daily is an essential need for maintaining good health. We drink water no matter if and how much we eat during our daily diet menu.

There is no set a standardized amount of water that is recommended for drinking during the day. Although many experts recommend drinking about 2 liters of water every day.

If your religious beliefs do not forbid you, drinking water (or some other beverages based on it: tea, coffee, low-calorie drinks …) during starvation can significantly help you fight the feeling of hunger.what happens if you don't eat for a day

Main risks of intermittent starvation

Although generally considered safe, starvation can be risky for some categories of people.

It is usually risky for the following categories:

  • diabetics
  • people who have had problems with eating disorders
  • pregnant or lactating women
  • children or adolescents
  • people on certain drug therapies

Tips for the safe practice of intermittent fasting

According to most experts, there are certain rules we need to practice. The most important tips to keep in mind during the starvation process are the following:

  1. drinking water (especially if you do not drink during the “fasting” period)
  2. eating smaller meals (one of the biggest risks, we can often overeat after the end of a long period of starvation
  3. This is not only a risk of not achieving the goal – reduced weight, but can be risky for digestive health as well)
  4. Chew food carefully without rushing, proper chewing is an important rule
  5. Eat whenever you can be cooked food (it is a food easier for digestion, for example, cooked vegetables instead of fresh is a better choice)
  6. Avoid too much experimentation with food
  7. Reduce the testing of new products or new recipes
  8. Especially after a long period of starvation, it can cause digestive problems. This is a particularly undesirable scenario in the process of intermittent starvation.


Fasting for a day is considered generally safe for everyone, without any serious consequences for our health.

A day of fasting can even be beneficial in several aspects we have talked about, including the possibility of losing (losing) weight.

However, we must emphasize that it is very important to understand that starvation has no advantages over simple calorie deficit deficiency (intake of food or energy during the day, to a lesser extent than what is consumed) in terms of weight loss, on the contrary.

If fasting is practiced for health reasons, it is very important that it is safe and does not last longer than necessary.

Because on the other hand long-term starvation starves the body, not only in terms of macronutrients but also in terms of essential micronutrients.

Micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc. This can also lead to major health complications and health problems.