Extreme fasting is currently trending, led by Silicon Valley “tech bros.” It goes hand in hand with obsessive quantification of health stats and the idea of “biohacking” as a way of achieving extreme productivity and health. But there’s a dark side. Is this starvation just the rebranding of the dangerous and deadly eating disorder anorexia? The writer of this article who is recovering from anorexia thinks so.
We’re hearing a lot about fasting these days – intermittent and otherwise. But this isn’t a way of eating that should be undertaken without medical supervision and a safe setting. We’ve recently seen a family killed by a dieting driver who was fasting (article linked below). How many other people are putting themselves and others in danger through attempts at starvation?
Traditions of fasting support it’s limited use for spiritual enlightenment or religious observation but not for weight loss. Fasting used as a way to trick your body into taking in fewer calories is simply another form of restrictive dieting. According to Dr. Allison Chase, interviewed for this article, eating behaviors become concerning if they involve restriction or rigid rules.
If you’re not a young super fit tech bro, and even if you are, consider the consequences before attempting to starve yourself for weight loss.