The human body needs food to function both internally and externally. The calories and nutrients that food provides us are essential to get out of bed and do daily activities, but also so that our body can function healthily. Therefore, the human being cannot live without food since, in the long run, his body will begin to fail, and the organs will stop working. But how long can we live without eating? In this FastlyHealarticle, you will discover that the maximum time is two months, but below, we will detail this information better. Keep reading!
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Factors involved in the need for food
If you want to know how long we can live without food, we must consider that several factors determine how long a person can live without food. Food intake does not occur may be psychological or out of necessity.
Three main factors influence survival without food:
- General health
The most important thing for survival is water. Doctors confirm that a person can live without food for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. However, the body can last only a couple of days without water.
When you do not receive enough water to stay hydrated, a state of lethargy, dizziness, and confusion begins until death. Mahatma Gandhi went on a hunger strike at the age of 74. He survived 21 days, although he took small sips of water to stay longer.
In biology, the golden rule for survival is the rule of “three,” in other words: 3 minutes without air, three days without water, or three weeks without food lead to death, although it is true that with a large amount of body fat, a person can last longer without food; and if the person is obese, it can last between 4 and 25 weeks.
Two months is the time we can live without eating.
However, other theories suggest that the time we can live without eating is two months, that is, 60 days. This theory has been defended by Mike Stroud, a professor at the University of Southampton and who argues that, although after three weeks a person can begin to feel the ailments and weakness of not eating, they can survive up to 8 weeks in total without eating absolutely nothing.
This theory is undermined by some hunger strikes that have been seen throughout history and that the people who have started it have managed to hold out for up to 2 months; The person who went without food the longest was Bobby Sands, who died in Maze prison at 66 days without eating anything.
But we must point out that it is not so easy to know how to determine how long we can live without eating as this data will depend on many other factors such as, for example, a person’s metabolism or the body fat they have accumulated (that is, the reserve of calories that performs the body naturally). For this reason, a person with a weight less than recommended could last less time than a person who is overweight or obese.
What happens in our bodies when we stop eating?
When the body receives fewer (or no) calories per day, it regulates its daily consumption to spend less and survive longer. Usually, when we stop feeding ourselves, the body will start to live on the glucose it has stored, then it will attack the fat reserves to convert them into energy and function.
As soon as the fat has been consumed, the body will attack the proteins in the system and areas such as muscles. And this is the most dangerous part for the body as it will begin to consume significant tissue reserves, making us weaker and more tired.
All this procedure takes place during the two months that we have indicated. Still, other aspects can influence a person’s survival without food, such as psychological aspects, state of health, body, etc.
And how long can we live without drinking water?
Now that we know how long we can live without eating, we must look at another of the products that we need vitally to be alive: water. As you probably already know, the human body is 80% water. Therefore, it is a fundamental element of our life.
But how long can we live without water? Still, today there is no concise 100% answer, but, in general terms, it has been proven that we can go without drinking water for a maximum of 2 or 3 days. Therefore, water intake is much more necessary for the body than food since, without water, our body could not perform its vital functions and, little by little, they would present significant failures that could lead to death.
In this other FastlyHealarticle, we will discover the benefits of drinking water.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.