T Nation

Extreme Fatloss

Hopefully I won’t offend anyone with this post, but… I was thinking about claims that fat people “cannot” lose weight, and it got me to thinking. For those that have studied the holocaust, have you ever once seen a picture of someone that had been in a camp for awhile, but was still fat? No. While this certainly was not a good state to be in, it does seem to invalidate claims that certain forms of corpulence cannot be combated (although I suspect someone will argue that those that couldn’t lose simply died… but those that lived were a good cross section of the population). You can see this same effect anywhere that people were suddenly starved after having ample supplies of food previously.

But now, my question comes in: Does anyone know if studies have been done on people that have been severely starved to see if they’ve actually lost fat cells? When the body is stressed to that point, it seems reasonable.

Adipocytes (fat cells) are life-long companions unless they are killed off by disease, radiation, etc. Also I would put fourth an educated guess any severely obese captives simply did not endure to be super skinny survivors. There is an interesting thing that happens with obese cats. A normal cat that is overfed to the point where it is say twice normal weight will typically not survive weightloss. Even under controlled conditions they tend to die before loosing any significant weight.

weight and or fat loss is neither capricious nor unscientific. your example is precise. medical research in regards to the matter of hunger strike participants has concurred your observation. peace.

I believe extensive tests were done on prisoners in Ireland who chose to protest by starving themselves. It was found that they had relatively high body fat % even though they starved themselves to death.

Total and complete 100% starvation is probably not a good analogy or study to weight loss efforts as over time, the body and supporting metabolism requires many nutrients to subsist other than just raw energy from stored free fatty acids. I’m guessing that in severe starvation, many factors come into play and organs, etc start to shut down due to many different nutritional factors and also including that type of drastic stress on the body. I’m guessing in starvation, death comes not from necessary running out of energy but rather systematic organ shut down. Organs and associatied life sustaining processes probably fail before all energy reserves are exhausted.

Chronically low caloric intake does indeed result in the complete destruction of fat cells.

Thanks for the responses, guys. I think it’s important to keep in mind that these poor people were not completely starved, but were given very very low amounts of food for a prolonged period. I know of quite a few accounts of people that were over 200 pounds when entering the camps, but looked like anorexics afterwards.

Everybody can get lean PERIOD. I thought I couldn’t for years. I never used cardio and dieted at the reccomened 12 cals per lb. I got sick of it. Used some androgens,d ropped down to 8 cals per lb/LBM and di 1 hour of light cardio ED and dropped to 7% from 22% in 5 months. (270-215lbs!) I was “thick” in the midsection almost my whole life so don’t buy the I ant get lean BS!

I have studied some physiology books lately… according to them, surprisingly, death from starvation is usually caused either by complete respiratory arrest, because the muscles of
diaphragm (spelling?) are not strong enough to contract and therefore enforce breathing,
or pneumonia developed because of inadequate lung ventilation caused by weak muscles already
mentioned previously.

From what my lame ass prof told me, fat cell number can only increase or stay the same. When you lose weight, the cell actually gets smaller.

There were some major studies done on Army Ranger Students. I am not sure were you should search to find these studies.
Best O’ Luck

Wow…Poke, do you normally talk like that or were you just trying to confuse us.