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Fasting Vs. Starving

When it comes to the terms fasting and starving, people tend to confuse them with each other. Or even worse, the majority of people think that fasting and starving both means the same thing. In reality, there are completely different from each other. This post is dedicated to differentiating between fasting and starving, along with discussing their various aspects.

Differences Between Fasting and Starving

The difference between fasting and starving can be concluded in a single sentence that fasting is by choice while starving is not. Fasting is dependent on your choice as you select the time, date, and the duration for which you stop consuming any food. Fasting is a conscious decision.

Other than medical reasons, fasting is also a common religious practice among many religions as well as cultures. Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and many other religions have commandments about fasting in one way or another.

On the other hand, starving is a serious issue faced by people all over the world, especially poor countries. Starvation is common during times of extreme poverty and famine. People in such hard conditions do not have the option of when and what to eat. In some countries and war zones, starvation can on for such a long period of time that it becomes a basic part of people’s lives.

Fasting is Beneficial, while Starvation is Not

There are innumerable ways in which fasting can benefit your health. Some of them are:

  • Better immunity
  • Weight loss via increased fat burning
  • More energy
  • Better cholesterol levels
  • Regulation of blood sugar and blood pressure levels
  • Increased production of growth hormones in the brain
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Longevity
  • Prevents chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart diseases.
  • Decrease the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, starvation can produce the exact opposite impacts on your body due to imbalanced, unhealthy, and restricted diet, if any.


Starving oneself means limiting the calories to the point that it does not remain healthy or sustainable. Malnutrition can be the most major impact of starvation. Malnutrition means a lack of essential nutrients in your body that can lead to severe health complications. As a result, prolonger starvation can cause irreversible organ damage, leading to death.

Starving can be caused due to the following reasons:

  • Poverty
  • Famine
  • Severe depression
  • Anorexia
  • Eating disorders
  • Diseases and severe illness
  • Starvation is also used as a form of torture.

Excessive fasting can also lead to starvation, which can develop several eating disorders in your body. That is the reason why people are always suggested to fast according to the recommended durations and get help from medical experts if they want to fast for a long period of time.


You should always remember that the main difference between fasting and starving is that fasting is voluntary, whereas starvation is not. Fasting is done for a specific duration, where starvation can go on for an indefinite period, sometimes leading to premature death. Fasting is done out of one’s choice, while starvation is a global issue.