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April 20, 2011 3:51 PM
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Has anyone out there been in starvation mode and followed this advice? If so can you please post wether or not it worked for you? I'm pretty sure I've been in starvation mode for many years and I am about to (fearfully) give this a try. It would really help if I heard some success stories.
  2246980
April 20, 2011 3:55 PM
700 total? or deficit?
  6064925
April 20, 2011 3:58 PM
700 cals IS starvation mode and you won't lose. You should take in at the least 1200 cals if you want to lose. If not 1200 or around there,your body will hang on to what you eat and won't let go. Try and eat more if you can and you'll see a difference.
April 20, 2011 3:58 PM
The reason you're not losing weight is because you're starving yourself. A woman should never eat less then 1200 calories a day. Always make sure your net calories are 1200 or more daily.
  3662302
April 20, 2011 4:00 PM
QUOTE:

Has anyone out there been in starvation mode and followed this advice? If so can you please post wether or not it worked for you? I'm pretty sure I've been in starvation mode for many years and I am about to (fearfully) give this a try. It would really help if I heard some success stories.


I was in starvation mode. For about three months I was eating 400-700 net calories a day. I started eating about 1500 plus exercise calories and started losing immediately. Then I experimented with different amounts of calories and I found that if I get fewer than 1400 plus exercise I stop losing.
  2469411
April 20, 2011 4:02 PM
Rather than doing this (eating 700 cals/day, it sounds like), why not get people to take a look at your Food Diary? Often, answers to many questions can be found by doing just that (why am i not losing any weight?).
Edited by KidP On April 20, 2011 4:03 PM
  3260784
April 20, 2011 4:03 PM
are you serious? your body is starving. eat at least 1200 calories and you'll notice your weight come off. It's so beyond unhealthy. You're risking your life by eating such few calories.
  4046456
April 20, 2011 4:07 PM
Friends, she is responding to a previous thread that reached 20 pages. She is asking whether eating more will help her, based on the advice given here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/3047-700-calories-a-day-and-not-losing
April 20, 2011 4:15 PM
I have to say, "I don't believe that You have eaten 700 Calories A DAY for YEARS and have not lost weight," that IS BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! STARVATION and Starvation Mode are 2 different things. If ANYONE thinks that YOU have eaten 700 Calories a Day or even Averaged 700 cals a day for years and NOT lost weight...check out what people eat in some 3rd World Countries, they eat MORE Calories than that and LOSE WEIGHT...So Does Super Models...Give Me a Break, if you were eating 700 Calories a Day for Years, YOU would be a BONE and UNABLE to be here, and You say you weight 258 lbs LOL, ROLMAO!
April 20, 2011 4:16 PM
QUOTE:

Friends, she is responding to a previous thread that reached 20 pages. She is asking whether eating more will help her, based on the advice given here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/3047-700-calories-a-day-and-not-losing


OK
April 20, 2011 5:09 PM
Copying/Pasting the OP for convenience

QUOTE:

Living With Obesity At 700 Calories Per Day!
By: David Greenwalt

I want you to consider a common female client. She's a woman about 5'5" and 185 pounds. A combination of a mostly sedentary lifestyle, quick-fix, processed foods and consistent excessively low calories has resulted in an incredibly stubborn fat loss scenario. Not only has it created a stubborn fat loss scenario but her ability to add body fat is remarkably strong.

Most would believe there is simply no possible way she could be 185 pounds eating mostly low calories. While it's true the average obese American created their own obesity by being a huge over consumer, a sedentary glutton if you will, many are able to maintain their level of obesity with the following formula in very precise ratios: starvation + binges + sedentary lifestyle.

An initial review of this woman's calories indicates she is just above starvation level in the 400-700 per day range. The food choices are mostly protein in this case (low-carb is all the rage you know) and there are virtually no vegetables or fruits to speak of.

Five or six days per week the calories remain low in this range, however, there are nighttime binges from time to time and weekend binges where carbs loaded with fat (doughnuts, rolls, cookies, pizza etc.) are consumed.

So while the calories are very low the majority of the time, there are one to two days per week where this isn't always the case. Even so, the nighttime binges and weekend slack offs don't amount to what you might presume would be thousands of extra calories, thus explaining the 185-pound body weight.

Very few foods are prepared from home. There are lots of fast foods being consumed. Convenience and taste rule.

I must say. Early on in my coaching and teaching career this woman was a real head scratcher for me. Isn't it calories in and calories out? Even if she's not active she's starving!

How in the heck does she stay at 185 eating an average, including all binges, of maybe 750 calories per day? She's frustrated beyond belief. She sees her friends and coworkers eating more and weighing less. Is she simply unlucky? Is everyone else blessed? And what in the world is she supposed to do to fix this, if it can be fixed?


Why Is She Not Losing Weight?

First, let me tell you why she's not losing weight. Then I'll tell you what she has to do to fix the situation. With a chronic (months and months) intake of less than 1000 calories per day and a 185-pound body weight her metabolism is suffering greatly. It's running cool, not hot. It's basically running at a snail's pace.

Think of it this way. Her metabolism has matched itself to her intake. She could, indeed, lose body fat but she's in that gray area where she is eating too few calories but not quite at the concentration-camp level yet.

If she were to consume 100-300 calories per day her body would have virtually no choice but to begin liberating stored body fat. This is NOT the solution. It's unhealthy and, in fact, quite stupid.

Today's society is about speed. We no longer have to wait for the oven to warm our food because we have microwaves ready to do the work in less time. The same is not true when it comes to fat loss.

Not only has her metabolism matched her intake, her body has maximized production of enzymes that are designed to help store any additional calories as fat. Anytime additional, immediately-unnecessary calories are consumed the enzymes are there and waiting to store the additional calories as fat. Her body is starved nutritionally and it has one thing on its mind - survival.

Being mostly sedentary, her metabolism (hormones play a large role here) can do a pretty good job of keeping things slow enough so that the pathetically low calories she's consuming are just enough to maintain.

But since certain enzymes are elevated, waiting for more calories so more bodyfat can be stored, every nighttime binge or weekend mini-feast will contribute to fat stores.

So on the days she's not bingeing her body does not lose fat, or if it does, it's very little. And on the few days or times she does binge a bit her body is quite efficient at storing fat. So, while she may lose a smidge of fat from starving it is quickly replaced with every binge.

Remember, these binges aren't a gluttonous 4000-calorie feast. Oh no, a binge might be 4-5 cookies worth about 500-700 calories. Nevertheless, since the binge foods are mostly carbs and fat it's very easy for the enzymes to shuttle the dietary fat into stored body fat. It's what they were designed to do.


So, What's The Solution?

Well then, now that we presumably know some valid reasons why she's not seeing a scale change and definitely no body fat change how do we fix her? We have to do something she's going to freak out over.

We have to get her eating more. Not only do we have to get her eating more but more of the right, whole foods need to be eaten. Foods lower in fat that aren't as easily STORED as body fat have to be consumed. And we have to warn her.

A Discouraging Start

We have to warn her that since she's been sedentarily living on protein with binges of carbs and fats she is likely to see a weight gain right away. It's true.
Once we begin really feeding her body with nutritious carbohydrates so she can become more active, her glycogen-depleted body will hang on to some of those carbohydrates (in skeletal muscle and liver) so she has stored energy for activity.

When her body hangs on to those carbohydrates it has no choice but to hang on to more water too. For every gram of glycogen (stored carbs) she stores she'll hang on to three grams of water.

This is not a negative response by the body but it will be interpreted by her as quite negative when she steps on the scale.

It's quite likely she'll see a five to seven pound weight gain when she really starts eating properly again. This weight gain will remain for one to three weeks before it starts moving in the other direction.

For argument's sake let's assume my Calorie Calculator and Goal Setter at Club Lifestyle suggests a 1500-calorie per day average in week one for a one-pound loss per week. First, she is going to freak out about this many calories.

For months she's been eating less than 1000 and usually around 400-700 in one to three feedings total per day. To her 1500 calories is a ton of food. And if she even begins to eat less fast and packaged-foods it will be a ton of food.

There is no doubt whatsoever that she will resist the increase. This resistance may take one to three weeks to overcome. During this period no weight loss will occur. She is too fat already in her mind and believes it will only hurt her to increase her food intake.

I mean, after all, isn't that how she got fat to begin with? In her early stages of fat gain this was probably true. She overconsumed. But as I've said already, that's not why she's staying heavy.

In addition to a freaked-out mindset about adding more food to her already overfat body she will simply find that it's all but impossible to eat four or more times per day.

She's just not hungry at first. Makes sense when you think about it. Why would she be hungry three hours after eating a 300-calorie, balanced breakfast? Her body is used to 400-700 calories per day!

So, even though she gets a plan and begins using my nutrition analyzer to log foods and meals she finds after having a balanced breakfast of 250 calories she couldn't force herself to eat meal number two on time.

It'll take several more days of realizing what is going on and being one-hundred percent honest and diligent with her logging and planning before she begins to eat her meals as planned no matter what - even if she's not hungry.

By now two to four weeks have passed and the only thing she's seen on the scale is it going up--not very encouraging if I say so myself.

Raising The Grade

After the first two to four weeks have passed she's probably beginning to consume her meals as planned although not quite like an "A" student yet. That is coming. She feels better because she's working out and is more active.
And she feels like she has more energy throughout the day because she's feeding her body more calories and the right kinds of calories.

She has finally begun eating the right kinds of fast foods (low in fat, moderate in protein) and less packaged food overall. She is making more meals from home and taking them to work for lunch rather than always grabbing something quick from a vending machine or the break room that always has some treat another employee brought in.

After another two weeks or so she's moved from a "B" grade to more consistent "A"s. She's planning her days one day ahead in the Nutrition Analyzer; she's consuming fresh veggies and fruits on a daily basis.

Her calories are almost ALWAYS in line with what is recommended by my Lean Account and she has seen her first signs of the scale moving in the right direction.

She is now dropping from 190 pounds (her high after reintroducing food and carbohydrates again) to 189.3! "Progress at last!" she says. In actuality, the entire process was progress. But that's not how she saw it in the beginning.

With a total of two to four weeks of increased caloric intake behind her and eating more consistently the right kinds of foods her metabolism has truly begun to rebound.

She didn't kill it as she thought. She only wounded it. And since our metabolisms are like kids (they are quite resilient) and she doesn't have thyroid issues or diabetes or any known wrench that could be thrown into the spokes of fat loss, she will begin, for the first time in months or years, to see results that make sense and that one would expect of someone who is active (30-60 minutes five or more days per week) and consuming a caloric intake of 1300-1500 calories per day.


Butterfly Effect: The Basics Of The Thyroid - Part 1.
Avoiding Sabotage

This process is in no way easy. I think you can see a plethora of ways it could be screwed up, sabotaged, given up on too early and so forth.
A key to success for this very common woman (men too) is not giving up too soon, having faith in the fix, and moving sooner rather than later to the increased, quality food intake.

It's going to take effort to overcome the mental hurdles of eating more food as well as the increase in scale weight that is going to occur in weeks one to three or so. It's disheartening, however, to charge hard down the weight-loss field only to get to the one-yard line and decide it's time to quit.


Don't Let Your Metabolism Fall.

Many don't realize they only had one more yard to go and they'd have had a touchdown. You gotta hang in there with this plan. It's going to take some time for the glycogen levels to be replenished and level out. It's going to take some time for mental adjustments to occur.
It's going to take some time before hunger signals are restored to anything close to normal. It's going to take time for the metabolism to rebound and not be in its protective mode.

Giving A Stubborn Body The Message

In certain, very stubborn cases, it may be necessary to eat at a eucaloric (maintenance) or hypercaloric (over maintenance) level for a few weeks to ensure the metabolism does get the signal that everything is alright and you aren't going to kill the body.
Remember, your body could care less about your desire for fat loss. It just wants to survive.


Some Take-Home Points

The most common cause of obesity is Americans are sedentary overeaters/drinkers. Nothing in this article should be construed as to say that under eating is the root cause of obesity. It's not.

It IS common for many men and women to be under eating with sporadic binges as I described here. This creates a perfect environment for continued obesity even if total caloric intake is quite low on average.

Low-carb followers or "starvers" WILL see the scale go up when calories are consumed at reasonable levels again and carbohydrates are reintroduced. Live with it. Deal with it. It's going to happen. 98% of the gain will be water.

The time it takes for mental acceptance and other adjustments to occur will vary but one should expect a two to four week window for these things to take place. Being forewarned with an article like this may speed this process up some.

Once the right types of foods are consumed and the right caloric intake is consumed and the right ratios of carbohydrates, proteins and fats are consumed on a consistent basis, then, and only then, will metabolism begin to be restored and the key to fat loss be inserted into the lock with a noticeable drop in the scale resulting.
This may take an additional two to four weeks to occur. Your metabolism is never dead or broken for good. But it may take several weeks of proper eating and activity for it to be restored.

From day one, until the first, noticeable drop in the scale occurs may be four to six weeks--maybe one to two weeks longer. Those who give up on the one-yard line will never see the scale drop as will occur when intelligent persistence and consistency over time are adhered to.
David Greenwalt
  3364335
April 20, 2011 5:32 PM
thank you for copying and posting this article... i was getting frustrated.... renewed my drive!!
April 20, 2011 6:11 PM
Very true. Glad you posted this!
April 20, 2011 7:19 PM
bump
  1436464
April 20, 2011 8:38 PM
QUOTE:

I have to say, "I don't believe that You have eaten 700 Calories A DAY for YEARS and have not lost weight," that IS BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! STARVATION and Starvation Mode are 2 different things. If ANYONE thinks that YOU have eaten 700 Calories a Day or even Averaged 700 cals a day for years and NOT lost weight...check out what people eat in some 3rd World Countries, they eat MORE Calories than that and LOSE WEIGHT...So Does Super Models...Give Me a Break, if you were eating 700 Calories a Day for Years, YOU would be a BONE and UNABLE to be here, and You say you weight 258 lbs LOL, ROLMAO!



Thank you. If this is the case why do people suffer from anorexia?
  1306303
April 20, 2011 9:44 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have to say, "I don't believe that You have eaten 700 Calories A DAY for YEARS and have not lost weight," that IS BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! STARVATION and Starvation Mode are 2 different things. If ANYONE thinks that YOU have eaten 700 Calories a Day or even Averaged 700 cals a day for years and NOT lost weight...check out what people eat in some 3rd World Countries, they eat MORE Calories than that and LOSE WEIGHT...So Does Super Models...Give Me a Break, if you were eating 700 Calories a Day for Years, YOU would be a BONE and UNABLE to be here, and You say you weight 258 lbs LOL, ROLMAO!



Thank you. If this is the case why do people suffer from anorexia?


Because anorexics typically eat far less (in the range of 0-500) cals per day. And do it for far longer. And (the ones who actually get really skinny) have the discipline not to have the occasional binges.

It's just a matter of time and threshhold, mostly. If your average intake is JUST below the amount your body needs and feels comfortable accessing fat stores, it will tend to gradually lower metabolism. This means you actually burn less and less. Then, you get to a point where you are burning a higher ratio of muscle to fat (rather than burning more fat than muscle). So this loss of lean mass further lowers your metabolism. And you tend to feel fatigued and not put as much energy into workouts. This gradual lowering of the metabolism means that you need fewer and fewer cals to sustain daily function. So where your normal maintenance cals might be 2000, you've forced your body down to 1500. So your weight loss slows or stops. So you eat less, thinking that will help. So your metabolism goes lower. And lower. The cycle perpetuates itself, until you reach a point of actual starvation, where the amount coming in does not sustain daily functions and that's the tipping point - the point at which starvation mode becomes actual starvation and you lose weight, but the majority of the weight is lean mass (muscle, skin, organ tissue). This is where anorexics are.
  3364335
April 20, 2011 11:17 PM
QUOTE:

bump


I love your quote you have at the bottom flowerforyou
April 20, 2011 11:18 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

bump


I love your quote you have at the bottom flowerforyou


This one:

... I know the plans I have for you....plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
April 21, 2011 2:05 AM
Hi there,

Just been reading through this thread.

Just because you are eating 700 a day doesn't mean you are in starvation mode.

I was on a wheat free diet (doctors orders, not by choice) for 6 months last year and ended up eating only 700-800 a day, mainly fruit/veg/startchy carbs/protein etc - i lost 6-7 pounds in 6 months whilst on that diet (not as much as if i was exercising too and actually wanting to loose weight)

I now eat around 1200-1300 a day and I am no longer wheat free(yay!) and have put the weight straight back on(boo!)

Therefore, I am no longer in 'starvation mode'. But....i have noticed that my sugar intake is ALWAYS too high on MFP...which is probably the reason I cannot shift the 6-7 pounds back off!

So, personally I believe that it depends on what types of food you are eating. I know people say it doesn't matter as long as you burn off fat - but remember - sugar is turned into fat when it is not burnt off too.

It's all about trial and error. My advice is reduce your wheat intake, and eat startchy carbs like potatoes etc to replace wheat products (eg:bread/white cereal) and add in exercise and you will soon see it drop off - even if you do only end up eating 700 calories. You can get very full off lots of veg etc! As long as you don't feel hungry - you won't be starving your body

Sorry, a bit long winded!



Also - bringing anorexia into a discussion board on a website like this, i don't think is necessary/helpful!
Edited by Helena4 On April 21, 2011 2:06 AM
April 21, 2011 2:40 AM
I'm really surprised that so many people do not seem to read this:

QUOTE:
however, there are nighttime binges from time to time and weekend binges where carbs loaded with fat (doughnuts, rolls, cookies, pizza etc.) are consumed.


i.e.: this person is eating far more than 700 cals a day and mostly in the form of fat and simple carbohydrates. no wonder she's not losing weight. the caloric intake of 700cals/ day is not that at all!
April 21, 2011 6:55 AM
QUOTE:

I'm really surprised that so many people do not seem to read this:

QUOTE:
however, there are nighttime binges from time to time and weekend binges where carbs loaded with fat (doughnuts, rolls, cookies, pizza etc.) are consumed.


i.e.: this person is eating far more than 700 cals a day and mostly in the form of fat and simple carbohydrates. no wonder she's not losing weight. the caloric intake of 700cals/ day is not that at all!


Yes, but you also have to read this:
QUOTE:

So on the days she's not bingeing her body does not lose fat, or if it does, it's very little. And on the few days or times she does binge a bit her body is quite efficient at storing fat. So, while she may lose a smidge of fat from starving it is quickly replaced with every binge.

Remember, these binges aren't a gluttonous 4000-calorie feast. Oh no, a binge might be 4-5 cookies worth about 500-700 calories. Nevertheless, since the binge foods are mostly carbs and fat it's very easy for the enzymes to shuttle the dietary fat into stored body fat. It's what they were designed to do.


Underfeeding and carb loading WILL result in slow or no weight loss, if done in the right proportions. I've experienced it myself. No, it's not necessarily a straight 700 cals when averaged with the binges - but the average intake is still little enough that with a metabolism that hasn't been slowed, you would expect weight loss. And frankly, that's part of what's so bad with underfeeding to begin with - for most people, it DOES result in bingeing. So it's still a bad strategy for most people, even if they have enough fat stores to still be losing weight. A combination of underfeeding, bingeing and slowed metabolism makes people give up when they see little to no progress on the scale.

Hardly what we want to see happening.
  3364335
April 21, 2011 7:14 AM
I have to read this later!
  4617460
April 21, 2011 10:54 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have to say, "I don't believe that You have eaten 700 Calories A DAY for YEARS and have not lost weight," that IS BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! STARVATION and Starvation Mode are 2 different things. If ANYONE thinks that YOU have eaten 700 Calories a Day or even Averaged 700 cals a day for years and NOT lost weight...check out what people eat in some 3rd World Countries, they eat MORE Calories than that and LOSE WEIGHT...So Does Super Models...Give Me a Break, if you were eating 700 Calories a Day for Years, YOU would be a BONE and UNABLE to be here, and You say you weight 258 lbs LOL, ROLMAO!



Thank you. If this is the case why do people suffer from anorexia?



Eating less will reduce your metabolism, but the most your metabolism will decrease is 40-60%. It's impossible for your calories burned to decrease more than that unless you're dead. If you're eating 500 calories a day, you will lose weight. I guarantee that this lady was underestimating her daily calories eaten and she was most likely eating more than she thought on her binge days.
  1306303
April 21, 2011 11:43 AM
Sorry everyone. When I posted my question it was in response to the article at the beginning of the thread. I guess I should have quoted the article. Apparently there is a science to posting on these message boards and I have not mastered it yet blushing Thanks LadyHawK for posting it.

I have been eating 1200-1300 cal / day and exercising off about 1000 cals/ day. So NET calories I am ashamed to say have been 200-300ish. I do A LOT of cardio (spinning and running) and take several weight training classes a week. I lost 30 lbs in 3 months and then plateaued for over a month now.

Unlike the lady in the article, I personally do not binge. I weigh my food for accuracy and estimate on the low side for cals burned. I am eating a balanced healthy diet. Based on the article I think my problem is that I am not eating enough calories and that my body has gotten very efficient at holding onto everything it can. I've never been much of an eater and was actually quite slim until I got pregnant. I gained 80 lbs (mostly in my third trimester) with my first pregnancy because I forced myself to eat more for the baby per my doctor’s advice. I lost maybe 20lbs of that but held onto another 40lbs between my second and third pregnancies.


So to solve this, I am trying to follow the advice in the article. Eat more, knowing that I will gain some weight back initially and then start losing in a healthy way. I was hoping there might be some people out there who have been there/ done that and can tell me that it worked for them. You can imagine the dread I feel at the prospect of purposely eating more and undoing what I have worked hard to accomplish.
  2246980
April 21, 2011 11:45 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have to say, "I don't believe that You have eaten 700 Calories A DAY for YEARS and have not lost weight," that IS BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! STARVATION and Starvation Mode are 2 different things. If ANYONE thinks that YOU have eaten 700 Calories a Day or even Averaged 700 cals a day for years and NOT lost weight...check out what people eat in some 3rd World Countries, they eat MORE Calories than that and LOSE WEIGHT...So Does Super Models...Give Me a Break, if you were eating 700 Calories a Day for Years, YOU would be a BONE and UNABLE to be here, and You say you weight 258 lbs LOL, ROLMAO!



Thank you. If this is the case why do people suffer from anorexia?



Eating less will reduce your metabolism, but the most your metabolism will decrease is 40-60%. It's impossible for your calories burned to decrease more than that unless you're dead. If you're eating 500 calories a day, you will lose weight. I guarantee that this lady was underestimating her daily calories eaten and she was most likely eating more than she thought on her binge days.


Well, first, he stated she was averaging 700-800, not 500. And I guess you missed the part where increasing her cals made her lose weight.

At any rate - you just denied your own hypothesis. You say she was underestimating cals - and that's certainly a possibility. But for someone who is counting cals and whose normal BMR should be around 1500, and even at sedentary would have a maintenance level of around 1800 - you're saying she was underestimating by more than 1000 cals per day? I seriously doubt that. Could YOU underestimate by that much, even if you were being lazy about it? I couldn't. Unless she's outright lying, I find it awfully hard to believe. And I'm sure there are plenty of cases where people do lie. But there are also plenty of cases of adaptive thermogenesis. smile

If her BMR decreases by just 50%... That takes her BMR to.... wait for it... 750. Throw in a sedentary activity level, binges and even a little for underestimating cals. Well, funny how the math works but that brings the numbers to right where the article is talking about -

Around 1000-1200 burned, and around 1000-1200 intake. That is maintenance. Which means no weight loss. Which is precisely what he is talking about in adaptive thermogenesis - someone her size should NOT be maintaining on 1000 or even 1200 cals per day, right? So unless you believe the person is underestimating by more than 1000 cals per day, the math supports his hypothesis. Obviously, you can believe what you like. But I've been there and experienced it. And I know what my intake was. And I should have been losing weight. But I wasn't... Until I started eating more and raised my metabolism back up. flowerforyou
  3364335

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