What happens if you don’t eat for a day? While most people will feel hungry and possibly tired, there is also a range of other effects. In this article, learn about how the body starts to burn fat for energy and whether fasting for 24 hours can be a good weight loss tool. We also investigate the possible risks.
Whether a person is fasting or not, the body still needs energy. Its primary energy source is a sugar called glucose, which usually comes from carbohydrates, including grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans, and even sweets.
The liver and muscles store the glucose and release it into the bloodstream whenever the body needs it.
However, during fasting, this process changes. After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters into a state called gluconeogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.
Eventually, the body runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then becomes the more serious starvation mode.
At this point, a person’s metabolism slows down, and their body begins burning muscle tissue for energy.
Although it is a well-known term in dieting culture, true starvation mode only occurs after several consecutive days or even weeks without food.
So, for those breaking their fast after 24 hours, it is generally safe to go without eating for a day unless other health conditions are present.