Why Starved Characters Need to Eat Less

It is very common in novels(particularly fantasy) where a character goes for days on end without any food. Then, by a stroke of luck, they find safety and protection. They are made food and eat until they feel like they will explode, then put to bed.

Well, that is not exactly how it would work.

While at a Survival Instructor course, our officer recommended that you do not eat anything for the first day in a survival situation; this is because it causes your stomach to shrink, making you less hungry the next day.

Toward the end of the course, we were sent on solo “mock survival” camping trips, and when we got back, we were very restricted on what we were allowed to eat. We were all given one burger; that is it. The reason is actually very important; it can be very bad for your body to suddenly eat too much after starving. It can cause problems; one of which includes throwing up.

So, we were given just a burger, and even that one burger caused some people to feel sick.

There is quite a lot of truth you can take away from a novel and people will not care, but adding something like this could add a lot more drama into your story for your starved character.


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