from Ready Nutrition:
Everybody knows what happens when you don’t eat for a long enough period of time. We’re also familiar with many of the symptoms that occur along the way, such as mental fatigue, hunger pangs, fat and muscle loss, etc. However, many of us have never experienced true hunger, and we’re not familiar with many of the strange and horrific symptoms that are caused by long-term malnutrition. But if you’re a prepper, you better familiarize yourself with these symptoms right quick.
That’s because the symptoms of starvation are often a gap in the knowledge and experience of the average prepper. We prep specifically so that we’ll never experience hunger, and unfortunately, that means that many of us don’t prepare ourselves for being hungry. We need to remember that no matter how much food we stock up on, or how much food we can grow, or how superb our hunting and foraging skills are, we may still go hungry someday. Horrible things happen to the best of us, and we need to prepare for the worst rather than just preparing to avoid the worst.
And for starvation, that means getting to know the symptoms. I guess it’s less about preparing for them, as it is about bracing for them. Being hungry and tired is bad enough. You don’t need these symptoms to catch you off guard when you’re already in a desperate mental state from the throes of hunger. Let’s begin with one of the more mild symptoms.
In 1950, a starvation study was conducted on 36 healthy male volunteers, who had to cut their caloric intake in half. Even though they weren’t completely starving (they had just over 1,500 calories a day for 8 weeks) it was enough for them to start to obsess over food. You’ve probably seen this symptom in people who are trying out a new fad diet.
The men quickly began to fantasize about eating. It was all they thought about and all they ever talked about. Restaurant menus and cook books fascinated them. Meals that normally took a few minutes to eat now took several hours as they savored every bite. They would vicariously enjoy watching other people eat, and they would even sneak food away so that they could quietly enjoy it in a ritualized fashion. They also mixed their foods in ways that would that would seem unappetizing to a well fed person. Hunger can definitely change your mental relationship with food, sometimes in very strange ways.
Depression and Anxiety
Obviously, starvation will lead to mental fatigue, but it does more than that. You won’t just feel tired, you’ll likely experience depression, anxiety, impatience, and nervousness. Your brain will start to have trouble producing serotonin, which can wreak havoc on your emotional stability. Ultimately though, apathy will set in. Nothing will make you want to quit more than being hungry, which is when you should be fighting harder than ever to survive. Fortunately you may also experience…
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