Starvation Response

You’re nuts over food because of restriction.

When you restrict your food, even a little bit, the starvation response kicks in.

If you control your food, even just a little bit, the starvation response kicks in.

If you think you are going to restrict tomorrow or eventually “after you try this intuitive eating thing”, the starvation response kicks in.

If you feel guilty over what you’re eating, the starvation response can easily kick in.

It does not take much to trigger your body and brain into believing that there isn’t enough food and to trigger the starvation response.

When all you want is to lose or maintain weight, the starvation response is triggered.

Your brain and body are VERY connected when it comes to (everything… and) food, satiation, weight, hunger, and metabolism.

What happens when the starvation response kicks in?

You become fixated on food. You become hungrier. You binge. Food is all you can think about. Your metabolism gets slower. You become moody. You can become more obsessive. You can gain weight “just by thinking about food”.

That’s why eating anything and everything is essential to get to normal eating and repaired metabolism.

Mental Restriction

You cannot disassociate your brain from your body. What you think you are ingesting can actually affect what your body does metabolically.

Bingeing and feeling “out of control” around food, are often caused by actual physical restriction. Not eating enough food.)

But just as often it can be caused by just mental restriction, which is: guilt over eating, “I should cut back tomorrow”, “I really shouldn’t be eating this”, “this has got to end”, “i can’t eat like this forever”, “i’ll be good soon.” Last supper mentality: I am going to eat everything in sight now because I may never let myself again.

Because you’ve done it before, guilt over what you are eating can cause the body to expect you to deny it soon, which triggers the starvation response, which triggers food obsession.


Guilt or control over what you are eating is directly sabotaging your desire to “control what you eat”. It is also directly in the way of you experiencing normal eating.

Fun Facts:

You do NOT have to be underweight to be experiencing the starvation response. If our bodies waited until we had lost lots of weight it would be a very flawed system.

Going even 5 hours in between eating can temporarily trigger the starvation response.

If you are still bingeing, you are most certainly physically or mentally restricting.

2000 calories is almost never enough food.

Read this article about The Minnesota Starvation Experiment.

Restricting is NOT giving you what you want. Letting yourself eat again will make you wanna eat the whole world. You have to lean into it, trust it. Trust that your body knows how to heal from this physical and emotional famine you’ve been on.

The only way out is through. (Robert Freaking Frost!)