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TOPIC: Calculate starvation mode

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March 22, 2011 5:51 AM
Ok, so here we go, another topic about starvation mode.

But I don't really get it. 1200 can't be everyones limit for starvation. How do I know what mine is?

MFP tells me that I should eat 1200 kcal every day, so at the moment that means I feel bad for going even one calorie under. And I don't want to go over either.

So anyone who knows how this work, because I really don't want to end up in starvation mode!
March 22, 2011 6:01 AM
The only way to really know is to have your personal calorie expenditure measured professionally or with a tool like bodybugg.
March 22, 2011 6:01 AM
You might also find the links below helpful...

This is just a part of it! please read the link above

Generally someone with a BMI over 32 can do a 1000 calorie a day (2 lbs a week) deficit
With a BMI of 30 to 32 a deficit of 750 calories is generally correct (about 1.5 lbs a week)
With a BMI of 28 to 30 a deficit of 500 calories is about right (about 1 lb a week)
With a BMI of 26 to 28 a deficit of about 300 calories is perfect (about 1/2 lb a week)
and below 26... well this is where we get fuzzy. See now you're no longer talking about being overweight, so while it's still ok to have a small deficit, you really should shift your focus more towards muscle tone, and reducing fat. This means is EXTRA important to eat your exercise calories as your body needs to KNOW it's ok to burn fat stores, and the only way it will know is if you keep giving it the calories it needs to not enter the famine response (starvation mode)

Good luck on your journey
March 22, 2011 6:02 AM
Found this on line. Hope this is what you are looking for:

How do you measure Caloric Restriction?
In animal experiments, scientists divide a set of genetically homogeneous animals into an experimental group and a control group. They measure how much a control group eats, and then use that amount as the basis for determining how much to feed the experimental CR group, e.g., 30% less, etc. Although it is not possible to find genetically homogeneous controls for humans, the predictive energy expenditure equations like Harris-Benedict[2] and Mifflin-St Jeor[3], in addition to the Body Mass Index (BMI) formula, make it possible to determine the calorie requirements of a person with your physical characteristics, but having a BMI of 22.0 which corresponds to the middle of the normal range. This theoretical person will be your "Control Twin" and will have your same height, age, sex, and exercise habits, but a weight corresponding to a BMI of 22.0. The BMI is the ratio of the weight to the height squared. It is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared (BMI = weight / height2).

The Harris-Benedict and the Mifflin-St Jeor equations provide an estimate of the Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE), also called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Predictive energy equations are routinely used in hospitals and nutrition clinics to determine the calorie requirements of various patients. Of the four most commonly used predictive energy equations, the Mifflin-St Jeor equations give the most reliable results.[4]

The Mifflin-St Jeor equations are:

Male: BMR = 10×weight + 6.25×height - 5×age + 5
Female: BMR = 10×weight + 6.25×height - 5×age - 161

These equations require the weight in kilograms, the height in centimeters, and the age in years. To determine your total daily calorie needs, the BMR has to be multiplied by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

•1.200 = sedentary (little or no exercise)

•1.375 = lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week, approx. 590 Cal/day)

•1.550 = moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week, approx. 870 Cal/day)

•1.725 = very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week, approx. 1150 Cal/day)

•1.900 = extra active (very hard exercise/sports and physical job, approx. 1580 Cal/day)

NOTE: A 150-pound (68 kg) person walking at 4 miles per hour uses about 300 Cal per hour (5 kcal/min). The activity factor lightly active corresponds to walking 2 hours per day, moderately active corresponds to walking 3 hours per day, very active corresponds to walking 4 hours per day, and extra active corresponds to walking 5 hours per day (20 miles).
March 22, 2011 6:02 AM
"Starvation mode" does not happen right away either, but rather over time of not consuming enough. That being said the level is different for everyone. It may be as low as 900 cals or as high as 1500 or more NET calories (calories consumed minus exercise calories burned), as it is more of a function of the size of the caloric deficit as opposed to the amount of calories consumed.
Edited by erickirb On March 22, 2011 6:04 AM
March 22, 2011 6:06 AM
Its OK to zigziag your cals if it happens like that...if you are under on a day or two then over on a day or two...I think you will still have consistent weight loss without stressing if your exactly at 1200 each isnt meant to be that hard...if you have a cal limit of 1200, just getting around that daily is the prize whether you end the day at 1150 or big deal!!!
March 22, 2011 6:06 AM
1200 is a general guideline...but a ton of doctor's prescribe this amount as well. You won't need to feel guilty about a few under or a few under since it isn't an exact science. It takes a LONG time to get into starvation mode so unless you start to gain weight while eating 1200 NET or are doing just fine. If you will actually be Netting less than 1200 so it is okay to eat them back...In my case I was eating 1200 and excercising and losing then plateaued for awhile...I now eating my excercise calories back and back in the general losing phase. The closer you get to your goal...the longer it takes(just a warning) You will do great sticking to the plan that MFP has!
March 22, 2011 6:09 AM
This may be a dumb question....but is BMR and the "starvation mode" level the same figure?
March 22, 2011 6:11 AM
bump smile
March 22, 2011 6:12 AM

This may be a dumb question....but is BMR and the "starvation mode" level the same figure?

No, but for some people it may be. The less you have to lose the closer the "starvation mode" would be to your BMR. If you have a lot to lose you can go further under BMR than someone that only has 5lbs or so to lose. There is no magic number.
March 22, 2011 6:55 AM
Ok so I feel a little bit smarter now. I know that I because I don't have that mucg to lose, will lose weight slowly. I also know that I need to eat back my exercise calories, which I almost always do.

I think I might try this zig - zaging thing and just think that it evens out in the end. Thanks for all your help!
March 22, 2011 7:42 AM
Hello! I haven't read everyone's responses but I do know that I got a test at my gym called the CaloriePoint. This is to calculate exactly how many calories you personally need, or your RMR. They put a funky mask on you and you have to breathe and relax for 20 min. (this is after a fast of 12 hours as well) Then they print out this nifty little sheet that tells you where you're supposed to be.
For me, I have to eat 1127 calories a day MINIMUM. They then added on my "lifestyle calories" (i sit at a desk all day) to get 1435.
They also told me then to take 1435+calories burned during exercise (ex 300)=1735 minus 250 (1/2 lb per week weight loss, which according to the trainers is the fastest i would want to go based on my RMR)= 1485 on a day that I burn 300 cals.

Does this make sense? It's going to be different for everyone, not based on height and weight necessarily. You should look into getting test done, its also called Metabolic testing, RMR testing etc. They might even offer it at your Dr. office.

Good luck!


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