How Long Can You Stay Without Eating Anything?

Discussion in 'Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Food' started by WildSpirit, Jul 5, 2017.

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  1. WildSpirit

    WildSpirit Active Member
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    IvWRCigCEPXx8z6VWa8SwmsiEoGxluc5.jpeg
    This can be clearly interpreted as a matter of survival to extremely complicated places... :)

    Have you ever thought about how long you could survive without eating any type of food? I mean, "feeding" yourself only through liquids? I confess I never thought about it (despite some complicated times in the middle of the open jungle), but I would like to hear from you.

    Are wild enough to resist for a long time? :D
     
  2. Sino

    Sino Member
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    I would say I could go for a while without eating. I probably wouldn't be in the best mood lol but I could. The most I have gone was for about 12 hours because my family had gone on a road trip and we didn't stop to eat until we got to where we were going.
     
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Three weeks is considered to be the maximum one can go without food providing you have plenty of water to drink. This would obviously depend on the individual, their health, age & fitness would no doubt make a difference. When you go a long time without food, your body starts to feed on muscle. Your heart is a muscle! I think the longest I have been without food was 4 days. That was many years ago when I was a lot younger. Hopefully my past experiences & the skills I have learnt will ensure that I do not have to go too long without food wherever I am.
    Keith.
     
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  4. WildSpirit

    WildSpirit Active Member
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    Three weeks seems to be really something extremely complicated, but depending on the person (as you said) this is possible. I think the maximum amount of time I got to go without eating anything was just over a day.
     
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  5. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    I'm not being too optimistic but I guess I wouldn't be very hungry when I am stranded in the forest. My impression of the wilderness is a place with plenty of food whether creatures or vegetation. But I have to admit that being in a desert can deprive me of food. And for how long would I last without food? Maybe a day or 2 but I can last longer if there is enough water. And what's more important for survival in situations like that is the mindset. If you can fight off hunger by diverting your mind to other things then maybe you can add days to your life.

    PS. I had seen the demonstration of magician David Blaine who tried staying in a loft without food for 50 days. He was successful although he had lost weight (I think 50 pounds) and he was rushed to the hospital after that. He did that 50 days without food by diverting his mind.
     
  6. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    3 weeks without food is considered the norm, Bobby Sands who was imprisoned in Northern Ireland lived for 66 days without food but that was under medical supervision.
     
  7. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I think the longest I have been without food was about 4 days. I had to travel further than I had planned after reaching a desert camp & finding nothing there for me! The hunger pangs went away after a while & eventually I reached some outback settlement & stocked up again & continued on my travels.
    Keith.
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    have never gone without food for even 24 hours, never had to, dont intend to, if we cant grow it we can forage it, if we cant keep it we can shoot it, bottle the surplus.
     
  9. L.Anderson

    L.Anderson Member
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    I've lived without food for 2 days but I think that it depends on mental health, strength of each people. I see some of my friends can live up to a week just by drinking detox juice.
     
  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    if someone dosent eat they need to keep up a regular intake of fluids.
    Bobby Sands the IRA hunger striker lived for 66 days without food but that was under medical supervision and he was taking fluids daily.
    not something I would personally advise, I love my food.
     
  11. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    The three weeks period without food is merely surviving...and even then you would be taking your body to its absolute extreme of its ability to recover, there is very little information available regarding how functional you would be. There is no published information on what level of activity you could maintain or how lucid you would be. At a guess it would depend on your build and level of personal fitness and while the body can convert both body fat and muscle for energy the brain (especially in young people) also needs a minimal amount of sugar (fructose, sucrose, lactose or dextrose) in order to function.
     
  12. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    The thing to be clear about is that Sands died. He went beyond the point of recovery.
     
  13. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I know that the original question was how long you can go without eating anything but in a survival situation that is highly unlikely. There is just too much out there anyplace other than a bone dry sand box desert to eat that there is no way you would go totally without eating if you have even a Cub scout basic idea of what is available. So I am going to try and explain rather what happens and how long you can go if food is scarce and hard to get.

    This is like a lot of things and the actual answer is that it depends on a lot of factors both external and internal. Actually a person with lots of fat reserves can go a lot longer than someone that is skinny with little fat to fall back on. The ability to store fat is not a universal ability among all mammals. Rabbits can't afford the weight because it might slow them down. For them fat is more dangerous than starving to death. A fat rabbit wouldn't live long enough to die of hunger in a famine. Bears work hard to fatten up so that in a long hard winter they can go for long periods without food. People are a lot like the bears. When we were evolving we ate to excess and stored it as fat when there was plenty to eat. Then in the winter we could get by on very little for a long long time.

    One of the problems that is affecting modern man has to do with this ability and the way our body works. In nature carbohydrates are easy to find and eat in mass for a very short period. Once the fruit making wild plants have got past their fruiting period it will be a year before they do it again. Nearly all of the nuts, fruits and grains that were available in a totally wild environment only produced for a short time. When you eat carbohydrates your body urges you to eat all you can and it is busy storing it. This is one of the reasons that carbs don't provide a long energy fix for the body. It stored it and makes you want and need more. When winter came carbohydrate just can't be found and your body shifts to a very different mode of operation. When you eat more meat and no carbs your body begins to easily make use of the fat reserves.

    If you have some body fat you can live for a long long time on very little. You do a wildly better job of getting every calorie out of everything that you eat. Even a relatively tiny amount of meat will help you because one of the things in meat is El Carnitine. This allows fat to pass through cell walls and more efficiently be used.

    There is a product called Survival Tabs that makes a rather wild claim that 400 calories a day of their tablets will not just keep you alive but keep you moving. I've seem people blasting this as impossible. It isn't, it works because it makes or allows your body to make almost 100% use of these calories while at the same time making it easy for your body to make efficient use of the fat stores.

    If food is slim and hard to find the first thing that you need to do is switch from the way you normally would like to eat to a hand to mouth type of eating. If you find a nut eat it. A little while later you might finds a bug or a plant with an eatable part and again you eat it right then. When you stuff your belly full it feels good but you then only partially digest what you ate. One of the reasons the Survival tabs work is that you eat them one at a time several times a day.

    The human body is a totally amazing tool that we now make very little use of. We survived as a species in the early parts of our evolutionary trip in a way that was and still is unique in the animal kingdom. We have no claws, thick hide, fangs or big teeth. We are rather slow and weak pound for pound in comparison to other mammals. We don't see well in the dark and actually aren't very gifted in broad daylight. We have a few things though that made us the true kings of the beasts. We are smart, we have a coordination that is unrivaled for complex motions, we can eat anything and adapt to any environment and we have a rather surprising endurance and ability to keep going when other beasts fall. A man on horseback could never beat a man on foot in a mathon. The horse would fall over dead and the man would lope right past it. When food is short we change. This is something that herbivores and carnivores can't do only the omnivore's can do this.

    If you are ever in a starvation situation you need to go with it and make your plans in the long term. If you miss as few meals that isn't starvation. If you only eat a little every day or two you can last a long time. When you find food eat all you can. don't try and ration yourself very rigidly. Save a little that you can carry and move on. Your body will endure and as you learn more about it by experiencing it you will learn to trust it and understand just how hard it is to starve a human to death. I live in North America and can't imagine ever starving to death here. Knowledge and my natural abilities will always make food a pretty simple problem to deal with.
     
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  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    yes, that is the amount of time he survived before he died, this is probably on record if one were to look. this was under medical supervision, without that I doubt if one could go for more than the accepted 3 weeks, maybe a few days more but not long. and one wouldn't be capable of doing much more than just breathing.
     
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  15. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Undoubtedly true LW but the point I was trying to get across is that if you starve yourself beyond a certain point you will do yourself so much damage that you will not recover. It's not a great area for experimentation.
     
  16. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Yes, a couple of small handfuls of food every couple of days will keep you going for a surprisingly long time. If you're prepared to think outside the social constrictions that you've grown up with there is often food to be found, even if it's only leaves or insects.
     
  17. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    yes, there was this thought that at some point if your body is starved of nutrients its starts eating the lining of your stomach, i'm not a medical personal so I don't know if this is true, just what I've heard.
    I think there is a point where your organs start shutting down one by one.
     
  18. Oldguy

    Oldguy Well-Known Member
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    So long as I have to maintain a minimum amount of activity I can go many weeks with the first few days the worst.
    I will be tired and cold, I will be grumpy but I have gone several weeks with little ill effects with zero food.
    My estimation from previous experience is that I will loose about 300-400gm per day and gradually reducing to 200gm per day after many weeks. I expect problems from vitamin and mineral defeciencies to show after three weeks but to stay mobile for up to twelve weeks. After that I will be bed bound but alive for several more weeks.

    With a small but regular intake of vitamins and minerals I could survive with no caloric intake for around six months and be the better for it for the first three months.

    I always keep vitamin pills handy if needed and a large pack of parsley and radish seeds if foraging is not an option
     
  19. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I wouldn't want to have to survive that way for very long, I do love my food.
     
  20. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    180 days (approx) x a weight loss of 350g (average of 300-400g)= 63kilos or a little over 138 lbs. That is a hellova lot of body mass to lose.
    I'm a pretty big built guy at a smidge over 6'4" and that is close to two thirds of my bodyweight. I wouldn't care to try an experiment like that even if I was super morbidly obese. That kind of extreme starvation would lead to organ failure or a heart attack. We're not talking dieting and weight loss here, that would be proper starvation. Zero calories over a six month period will kill just about anyone, just like it killed Bobby Sands.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  21. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I see no point in starving myself unless I have no option, I love my food too much for that, even if all the shops were empty I have my stockpile, plus I can forage and I can hunt, if nothing else we seem to have more than enough woodpigeons around here, cant go 5 steps sometimes without seeing a woody.
     
  22. Oldguy

    Oldguy Well-Known Member
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    Humans have adapted to feast and famine by having storage cells!
    Excess is stored as fat in times of plenty and used in times of little, usually done on a seasonal/yearly basis like bears etc.
    Those who do not save any excess as fat will not fare well in lean times.
    Gym junkies and fitness freaks do not fare well without constant replenishment.

    In the land of plenty just in time delivery works well for business and food supply both on mass and on a personal level but in times of shortages storage is best business wise and on that personal level.
    As survivalists/preppers a 10-30% level of body fat is a good thing
     
  23. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I'm not bothered at all by a week long fast. I think that, because I have done it several times my body is used to it and shifts gear so to speak pretty fast. Over the years I have pushed my body to a lot of extreems. Some because I had to and some just because I was too busy to worry about eating or sleeping. It still isn't unusual for me to skip a nights sleep. I'll go between 48 and 52 hours without a lot of trouble. When I was a kid I never slept on Friday nights and sometimes would skip saturday night too. 72 hours is about the longer I ever went totally without. I often consider a couple of hours a night's sleep. I have always been a little like a hyperactive kid.
     
  24. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I just don't see the point of starving myself, probably do more harm than good, maybe if its for a detox or something but thats about the only reason.
    starving oneself will probably deprive the body of nutrients and other necessary things, of course we wouldnt want to go the other way and be obese, a healthy balance is needed I think, as my mother used to say "moderation in all things!".
     
  25. Richa94

    Richa94 New Member
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    Generally, it takes three weeks to survive without eating anything. But sometimes it depends on the individual also that how long he is able to survive without food. I can't say anything about myself because I never get the chance to experience such type of incidence.
     
  26. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    "3 weeks to SURVIVE without eating anything", you can live for 3 weeks without food then you will DIE, you can live for 3 DAYS without water, then same result, give or take a day or two.
     
  27. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I have always fought a weight problem. If I eat I gain weight. Diabetes is a killer. I lost a lot of weigh the only way that it seems that I could. Diets didn't work after a few weeks I would stop losing weight. I learned in the process that fasting really isn't hard for me. I got so I liked the feeling and actually seem to have more energy after a couple of days than I did before. I beat diabetes and am no longer diabetic. When food starts to kill you you either change or die. Had I not got my weight under control I would have been dead a long time ago.
     
  28. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I seem to have been the same weight for the last 20 years, it goes up a bit, I stop eating the "munchies"-biscuits and pastries and stuff- and it goes back down again. i'm not skinny by any means, but as long as I eat a fairly healthy diet I'm okay, we walk every day 7 days a week and we keep active.
     
  29. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    My Dad was like that. Until he got parkinson's and couldn't be active he weighed within about 5 pounds of what he weight when he was playing football for the University of Texas when he was a young man. He ate like a horse and kept jelly beans and M&Ms beside his chair and never gained weight. I could drive by a bakery and gain a couple of pounds just from the smell!
     
  30. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    I have to be a little careful about my weight but since I lead an active outdoor life I'm able to stay fit enough. if I allowed myself to I could get fat, it runs in the family. Both my parents have type 2 diabetes from eating too much starchy, sugary food, having seen what it does to them I want to avoid it.
     
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