Famine Brain ~ The Fattening Way to Lose Weight

famine brain
From: The 4 Day Win by Martha Beck

Stage 1 ~ Pre-Contemplation ~ Famine Brain

Fact: Your brain is an astonishing complex and powerful instrument specifically evolved to keep you from losing weight.

Fact: Because it is an evolutionary imperative, eating is highly rewarding physically and psychologically. Not eating food makes us hungry, but it also makes us afraid.

Fact: Dietary restriction and strenuous exercise cause the brain to fixate on finding food and comfort, while pumping out hormones that signal the body to lay in supplies by becoming more sedentary  and storing fat.

Fact: Famine responses are far stronger than conscious intention. They are will outwit, outplay and outlast your attempts to diet by will power.

Fact: Eating less and being hungry will escalate your stress responses until they make you want to everything in sight and they will also cause your personality to change (not for the better!)

Fact: Read about the Ancel Keys Minnesota Starvation Experiment 1950

Among the many conclusions from the study was the confirmation that prolonged semi-starvation produces significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis as measured using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a standardized test administered during the experimental period. Indeed, most of the subjects experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression. There were extreme reactions to the psychological effects during the experiment including self-mutilation (one subject amputated three fingers of his hand with an axe, though the subject was unsure if he had done so intentionally or accidentally).

Participants exhibited a preoccupation with food, both during the starvation period and the rehabilitation phase. Sexual interest was drastically reduced and the volunteers showed signs of social withdrawal and isolation. The participants reported a decline in concentration, comprehension and judgment capabilities, although the standardized tests administered showed no actual signs of diminished capacity. There were marked declines in physiological processes indicative of decreases in each subject’s basal metabolic rate (the energy required by the body in a state of rest) and reflected in reduced body temperature, respiration and heart rate. ~ Minnesota Starvation Experiment

Absolutely everyone is likely to develop  backlash, obsession and overeating as a psychological response to deprivation. Overeating and putting on fat is the normal psychological response  to the mere expectation of being hungry – not being chronically hungry, merely expecting to be.

Healing my brain wounds is the only way to become thin easily and effortlessly. Once I correct the landscape of  my brain I don’t have to restrict my eating and suffer famine-brain’s physical and psychological symptoms.

Watch My Famine Brain

What messages make me think I must lose weight? I am healthier, fitter, more attractive, more successful and more confident if I am a size 8 and have visible muscle definition

Things I tell myself  to make sure I lose weight? I am unattractive, lazy, indulgent, undisciplined, lacking motivation and I don’t try hard enough

With these thoughts in mind what emotions do I feel? Disappointment, self-loathing, depression, and anxiety

Holding these thoughts in mind do I feel more or less desire to eat? I need comfort because I feel so bad and the quickest way to feel comforted in my world is to eat

turtle stepTurtle Step

Each day for the next 4 days , I’ll watch my own emotional and psychological responses to food limitations, noting where I show signs of famine brain.

Did You Know

  • During the 6-month semi-starvation period of the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, each subject’s dietary intake was cut to approximately 1,560 calories per day.

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About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

4 thoughts on “Famine Brain ~ The Fattening Way to Lose Weight

    1. They were men though so maybe that’s about 1000-1200 for women? I don’t know as the experiment will never be repeated because we would classify it these days as inhumane. ♥

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