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How long can a person survive without food?


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How long would a person have to stop eating before they died?

 

I am wondering because so many people live off as little as 300 calories a day, yet they do not die after a week or even a month of it.

 

I am slim for my body type, but I do not believe it would take weeks to die; I do not feel I have that much spare fat to sustain me long lol!

 

I heard from people that it takes ages to starve to death, but what if a slim peson goes a week without food?

 

AND NO I am not planning on doing this -  I just have heard that it takes ages to starve, but honestly I cannot imagine being aline after much more than one week if I were to do it!

Edited Jan 31 2011 14:58 by bierorama
Reason: Locked pending moderator review
18 Replies (last)

I read about a case where a very obese man (400+ lbs.) lived for 2 years on nothing but nutrient supplements and water, under incredibly strict medical supervision. I don't remember what it said about exericise, but I think he also had planned activity as part of his daily routine. He was part of an experiment-thingie.

That being said, a different man of the same weight and constitution could have died under the same treatment within months or less.

Without food, but with water, I imagine the average person would make it about four or five weeks, maybe? Give or take, but not a lot. It'd certainly be a slow, torturous death and one would probably want to die before it actually happened. Especially if one weren't properly nourished to begin with. Ever read about death by scurvy or other nutrient-defeciency related illnesses?

Original Post by personaltrainer87:

How long would a person have to stop eating before they died?

 

I am wondering because so many people live off as little as 300 calories a day, yet they do not die after a week or even a month of it.

 

I am slim for my body type, but I do not believe it would take weeks to die; I do not feel I have that much spare fat to sustain me long lol!

 

I heard from people that it takes ages to starve to death, but what if a slim peson goes a week without food?

 

AND NO I am not planning on doing this -  I just have heard that it takes ages to starve, but honestly I cannot imagine being aline after much more than one week if I were to do it!

Eh..it would depend on several factors.

The weight/body fat percentage of the person in question

Whether they received NO food, or just inadequate food

Whether they were under physical strain/exertion during this time.

Look at the actors who have intentionally starved themselves drastically to play characters dying of Cancer or something like that..50 Cent, and Christian Bale come to mind.

They both brought themselves to a point where they were emaciated for a role, but in 50 Cent's case, it was some kind of liquid diet, and Bale says he ate a can of tuna and an apple per day.

Neither of them needed to lose weight as they were both trim and fit, so it was a pretty rapid process.

It's a long, slow, and painful death if photos of starving people around the world or victims of concentration camps are any indication.

 

 

This is interesting.

Usually about 4 to 5 wks, but there are alot of factors.

But I think I read somewhere that you can only go a couple days without water.

Thanks guys!

 

I read the link too, thanks for that:)

 

I wonder about this, because when I was a little thinng and got food poisoning I was 110 lbs and lost almost 2 lbs from it and I felt VERY fragile -  as in,  there is NO way I think, that at THAT slim weight, I would be able to last even 2 weeks without food!

 

I actually feel as though even now, at 115 -116 lbs at 5 '5, I cannot see myself being able to ( or I could not imagine)  lasting more than 2 weeks?

 

Perhaps it is just a lot to fathom. If I worked it out mathematically it would probably make more sense - you know, to work out how much weight I would lose in  1 week, and then  figure out at which point WHAT weight would be too low on my body.

Lastly:  do you think the hunger dissipate? I am sure it would inthe end stages, or even after a few days; I have heard hunger lessens after the initial intense hunger.

 

Towards the end of starvation, it's entirely possible that the starving person would recoil from food--the smell of it could actually cause them pain. Can't stress enough how horrible of a death starvation is. It's not like that feeling when you haven't eaten all day and your stomach's rumbling and you're getting irritable and fatigued. That's a walk in the park with an ice cream compared to actual starvation.

Why the curiosity?

oh, no. no no no no no. this is not cool. pt, you cannot ask this question without setting off alarm bells, and i think you know that. 

what's going on?

Original Post by pgeorgian:

oh, no. no no no no no. this is not cool. pt, you cannot ask this question without setting off alarm bells, and i think you know that. 

what's going on?

 ?

I just looked at your profile, OP.

Now that I'm refreshed on who you are, I'm more than a little concerned. While everything I've said is information that is readily available on the web, I feel like you wouldn't have asked this unless it pertained to you in some way.

Talk to us.

Yeah, you got me. I can't lie to people and prefer to be honest.

 

I have been doing the right thing and eating enough and eating normally and healthily for a while now, and I am looking  healthier than ever - so I have no issue with knowing how to be healthy.

 

Un fortunately,  AFter the social isolation of an ED,  I am very lonley in my new town, although I do have some very good friends online who I cannot see in peson though:(

And I know about how to get out ther and meet people, but even when I am out there, I am discovering that people are too busy to bother much with people unless u find some one u really click with.

I never got severley udnerweight before, and I never had the urge to  use  starvation as a way to self harm; to punish myself.

I do not have depression, in the chemical sense, however, the circumstances in my life right now have lead me to feel so much pain and anger at people for not including me in their lives, that I HAVE wanted to starve myself.

 

The reason I have such a strong urge to stop eating, when I have not had this  urge before, ever,  is because;  I am in so much pain when I see ppl on their face book arranging meetings with ppl and talking to one another, and yet side stepping me.

I want people to SEE how much pain I am in; hence the very strong desire to SHOW people how I feel on the inside - I feel like a shrunken skinny version of me, it is how I FEEL, and I want people to see me and how I really feel.

 

I am gunna start another thread on the recent turn of events with this other guy.

I have not managed to act too spastic, I stepped away this time thank god!  However, I am still bummed about it.

I always try to not eat, and then I end up having this stupid drive to be healthy and eat;  so I have actually been stuck between to extremes of wanting to stop eating more than ever  for reasons beyond wanting to LOOK good, which was my past reasons for wanting to be thin.

While nmy desire to just be normal and ehalthy suddenly crop up; I often go from wanting to NOT eat, to lagter that day, suddenly thinking  " I am going to be healthy". When I have wanted to fade away to nothing all day.

SO I do want to starve, knowing it will not acomplish anmything besides people seeing that I am in trouble and hopefully THEN caring; because no one wants to see a perfectly attractive young women starve herself to death.

 

Original Post by personaltrainer87:

because no one wants to see a perfectly attractive young women starve herself to death.

 

 You're certainly correct about that.

The self-harming thing...it isn't the kind of attention you want. I promise.

Have you thought about checking yourself into the hospital? I know that to many, it sounds almost unthinkable, but I think you'd benefit greatly. You need to learn skills for coping and how to function healthily. There was a time when I had to self-harm just to get to sleep at night. I was completely out of control and, to be honest, was acting **** crazy as hell. It took me a long time to see just how far I'd spiraled and I'm still in shock of it. At the time, I knew that I had issues, but I didn't think I was that bad. Looing back, I'm amazed I didn't lose everything and worse. I'm amazed that I'm still alive.

You owe it to yourself to get intense treatment. I know you don't really enjoy the mental anguish you seem to put yourself through. It's a defense mechanism. With good help, you'll be able to let those defenses fall away and still be able to protect yourself.

It's worth a try.

 

pt:

Where are you going with this? I've read your other threads and when I read this one, I thought...wtf? Why are you even asking this question? I don't believe that your question has anything to do with being simply being curious about the starvation process. What are you really up to? This is disturbing. You need help. When was the last time you met with your therapist? You need to tell your therapist what is going on in your head.

I dont need a hospital because I eat normally and healthily, in a very robust way lol. I have my body weight  under control now more than I ever have.

And the problems I have, I know. I am aware.  I know exactly WHY I feel such a strong urge to starve myself.

I know the things I need in my life to feel better, I am just lazy and weak and hence give up some times at working hard to get the life I deserve and need.

Instead, starvation can be appealing, as it feeds into my attention seeking tendancy, to want people to give me attention and care about me due to the pain I am obviously feeling to be starved; when obviously, I shuld get people to care about me because I am a good person to people, and they like me.

depends on how fat you are.

Original Post by rachd:

This is interesting.

Usually about 4 to 5 wks, but there are alot of factors.

But I think I read somewhere that you can only go a couple days without water.

 Good link Rachel. The information is largely correct.  How long one can survive without food depends on a lot of factors.

  • The reserve of the person.
  • The health of the person.
  • The will to live.
  • In the case of prisoners (how well one can find supplement food: insects, lizards etc., and how much hard labor one must do).
  • The quality of water.
  • The condition of the surrounding (no food in extreme hot or cold and one dies quick).
  • The knowledge on how to quickly bring oneself to near sleep level when activity is not needed to conserve energy.
Original Post by personaltrainer87:

 the circumstances in my life right now have lead me to feel so much pain and anger at people for not including me in their lives, that I HAVE wanted to starve myself.

TI want people to SEE how much pain I am in; hence the verystrong desire to SHOW people how I feel on the inside - I feel like a shrunken skinny version of me, it is how I FEEL, and I want people to see me and how I really feel.

 

very, VERY scary...

You need help. Making yourself look emaciated will alienate you from people, not make them want to include you in things. This is a very worrying thread...

Moderators, please?

Original Post by dansmum99:

Original Post by personaltrainer87:

 the circumstances in my life right now have lead me to feel so much pain and anger at people for not including me in their lives, that I HAVE wanted to starve myself.

TI want people to SEE how much pain I am in; hence the verystrong desire to SHOW people how I feel on the inside - I feel like a shrunken skinny version of me, it is how I FEEL, and I want people to see me and how I really feel.

 

very, VERY scary...

You need help. Making yourself look emaciated will alienate you from people, not make them want to include you in things. This is a very worrying thread...

Moderators, please?

 Agreed.

PT87, I am going to pray for you that you find the strength you need to overcome these obstacles in life. You are better than this. {pt87}

Original Post by roxysparkles:

PT87, I am going to pray for you that you find the strength you need to overcome these obstacles in life. You are better than this. {pt87}

 ^This

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