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What happens if I don’t eat for 3 days?

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your body if you decided to not eat for three days? While some people practice fasting as a religious or health practice, it’s important to understand the potential impacts on your body. Going without food for an extended period can have both positive and negative effects on your body and mind. In this article, we’ll explore what happens if you don’t eat for three days, so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not fasting is right for you.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating?

Skipping meals every now and then is normal for some people. However, going without food for a more extended period of time can cause severe consequences. In this section, we’ll discuss what happens when you don’t eat for 3 days straight and how it affects your body.

Day 1: Glycogen Stores Depletion

Glycogen is glucose stored in the liver and muscles. The body relies on this glucose as its primary source of energy. Within 24 hours of not eating, your body will start using up all the stored glycogen.

Your body will begin to break down fat cells to release energy and keep up your vital organs, such as your brain and heart. As a result, you may start feeling weak, shaky, and dizzy as your blood sugar levels drop.

Day 2: Your Body Enters Ketosis

If you continue to not eat, your body will enter a state called ketosis. During ketosis, your body will start breaking down fat to release energy in the form of ketones, an alternative fuel source.

The body will produce ketones that some people claim to have therapeutic potential, as their brains use them as a fuel source, which may provide benefits to patients with neurodegenerative disorders.

Day 3: Your Metabolic Rate Decreases

As you continue to abstain from food, your body will start to slow down metabolic processes to conserve energy, thereby causing the metabolic rate to decrease.

However, your body will still require energy to perform crucial activities like producing heat, maintaining heart rate and breathing, among others.


Not eating for 3 consecutive days might push your body to its limits and cause adverse consequences. You might become dehydrated and experience lightheadedness, nausea, and extreme weakness.

The side effects of not eating can vary from person to person, and in some cases, it can lead to more severe health conditions that might require urgent medical attention. Therefore, it’s always best to keep your body healthy and full of the necessary nutrients it needs to function correctly.

What happens to your body when you don’t eat for 3 days?

1. Your body enters into a state of ketosis

When you don’t eat for 3 days, your body goes into a process called ketosis. It is the state where your body uses fats as the primary source of fuel because stored glycogen has already been depleted. During this process, your liver breaks down fatty acids into molecules called ketones, which serve as an alternative source of energy for your brain and vital organs.

ketosis state

2. Your body conserves energy by slowing down metabolism

In response to food deprivation, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. This means that your body burns fewer calories during physical activities and at rest. Your body’s main priority is to preserve energy for vital organs and brain function instead of physical activities such as exercise.

slow metabolism

3. Your blood sugar levels decrease

When you don’t eat for 3 days, your blood sugar levels will decrease. This is because your body has already used up stored glycogen from your liver. Low blood sugar levels can lead to fatigue, weakness, and dizziness.

low blood sugar

4. Your body starts to break down protein for energy

After stored glycogen is depleted, your body will start to break down protein to produce glucose for energy. Protein is an essential macronutrient that is primarily used to build and repair tissues, but in the absence of glucose from carbohydrates, your body will use protein as fuel. Breaking down protein for energy can result in muscle wasting if prolonged.

protein degradation

5. You may experience digestive discomforts

When you don’t eat for 3 days, you may experience digestive discomforts such as constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain. This is because your digestive system slows down as a response to food deprivation.


6. Your immune system weakens

When you don’t eat for 3 days, your immune system weakens. Your body needs energy and nutrients to maintain optimal immune function. In the absence of food, your body’s immune system cannot function properly, which can increase your risk of infections and illnesses.

weak immune system

7. Your mood and cognitive function may be affected

Food deprivation can affect your mood and cognitive function. Low blood sugar levels and the depletion of energy stores can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, the lack of nutrients can impair cognitive function, making it difficult to concentrate and think clearly.

affect mood

8. You may experience dehydration

When you don’t eat for 3 days, you may experience dehydration. This is because your body loses fluid through sweating, urination, and even breathing. It is important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.


9. Your body’s stress response is triggered

Food deprivation is a form of stress, and it triggers your body’s stress response. This can lead to the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic stress can have negative effects on your health, including an increased risk of heart disease, infection, and obesity.

stress response

10. Prolonged food deprivation can be fatal

Prolonged food deprivation can be fatal if left untreated. Your body needs energy and nutrients from food to survive. Without food, your body will start to break down its own tissues in an attempt to obtain energy, leading to organ failure and death. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience prolonged food deprivation.


Effects of Not Eating for 3 Days

1. Decreased Energy Levels

When you don’t eat for three days, your body starts to break down stored fats or muscle tissues to produce energy, which can leave you feeling fatigued and weak. Without sufficient calories, your body won’t be able to perform its regular functions, causing a decrease in energy levels. You may also feel dizzy and lightheaded.

Decreased Energy Levels

2. Dehydration

Dehydration could be a major concern if you don’t eat for three days. Your body is made up of around 60%-65% water, and it gets most of its hydration from the foods and drinks you consume. When you don’t eat, your body begins to lose water, making you more susceptible to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, headache, and decreased urine output.


3. Poor Immune Function

Your immune system plays a crucial role in combating diseases and infections. But when you don’t eat for three days, your immune system may become less effective, leaving you more prone to infections. Inadequate nourishment leads to a decrease in white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections.

Poor Immune Function

4. Slowed Metabolism

Your metabolism is responsible for keeping you alive, and it requires energy to function. When you don’t eat for three days, your metabolism slows down as a result of a decrease in thyroid hormone production to conserve energy. Slowed metabolism can lead to weight gain in the long run and makes it more difficult to lose weight in the future.

Slowed Metabolism

5. Emotional Symptoms

Not eating for three days may also have emotional effects, leading to increased irritability, anxiety, or depression. These could be due to physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and weakness, or they could be due to a lack of serotonin production due to inadequate nourishment.

Emotional Symptoms

Effects Duration Treatment
Decreased Energy Levels 3-5 days Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods
Dehydration Early signs occur within 12 hours, severe symptoms occur within 2-3 days Drink fluids containing electrolytes and seek medical help if symptoms persist
Poor Immune Function 3-5 days Eat a balanced diet and incorporate immune-boosting foods
Slowed Metabolism May last for several weeks after resuming a regular diet Include regular physical activity in your routine and focus on a balanced diet
Emotional Symptoms May persist for days or weeks Speak with a healthcare provider and focus on self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or therapy

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Take care of yourself, guys!

Hey, pals! Thanks for sticking with me till the end. I hope you have found the information useful and have learned that skipping meals is not a way to shed some weight and keep a healthy lifestyle. You need to nourish your body with nutritious food regularly to maintain a strong immune system, keep your energy levels up, and avoid health complications. So let’s take baby steps to bring in the change in our eating patterns and say goodbye to unhealthy starvation. Remember, your body is your temple, and you gotta take care of it. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to visit us later for more exciting content!

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