Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

TOPIC: starvation mode: myth or fact?

« Prev 1
« Prev 1
 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
May 14, 2011 4:06 PM
Many sites and people have indicated that if you do not eat enough calories a day your body will undergo "starvation mode". I mean is this true? It just doesn't make sense to me. I mean, how about the people who were stranded in the desert, or the malnourished people in Africa and around the world, or even the victims of the holocaust? Furthermore, I've also noticed that i've lost weight much quicker when I ate less calories. So is this really a myth or a fact?

Thank you! :)
May 14, 2011 4:10 PM
well your examples are cases of extreme starvation just not minimal food. Holocaust victims would have the equivelant of a days calories in about a week. google ketosis and that might help. your body at some point doesn't know that you will be feeding it enough and basically slows down the metabolism and stores things as fat to keep a "back up" amount of energy for hard times. So if you keep your body in starvation mode you will lose weight, of course but it will be unhealthy for your body and you risk losing muscle and water weight rather than fat weight.
  6493983
May 14, 2011 4:11 PM
It is a myth in my book. I don't feel starvation with my diet.
Rick (Fishboat)
May 14, 2011 4:11 PM
My doctor told me it was fact so I consume no less than 1200 calories daily at her advice, just one persons opinion though! ;^)
  4539969
May 14, 2011 4:12 PM
bump
  292349
May 14, 2011 4:12 PM
It is a fact,its how I gained my weight.That is a kinda long story so I will leave it at that. But I do not believe 1200 is a magical number for everyone.I also do not believe I will go into starvation mode by not eating my exercise calories
May 14, 2011 4:14 PM
Are you looking for someone to validate not eating enough life sustaining calories by comparing dieting to children and adults starving to death in africa? Never mind those people are extremely sick due to diseases such as Aids, Malaria and all of those other illnesses that affect poverty stricken areas..... Really, really bad comparison.

Yes starvation mode is very real. You need calories to sustain your life or your body will start eating itself. Your body will become weak, malnourished and you will be sick. Your body will shut down, just like the people in africas bodys are shutting down, only they dont have the luxury that you have to decide when to eat.
  5276080
May 14, 2011 4:19 PM
It's true. A good friend of mine was anorexic, and her doctor had to run tests to make sure her body wasn't STILL in starvation mode. If it gets into and stays into it you generally have to put on some weight to coax it out of starvation mode.
  4933704
May 14, 2011 4:20 PM
Have a read of this post I read in the forums a while back, it might give you a little explanation. Also you can't compare to the holocaust or being stranded. You are by no means going to be living in those conditions, and if you choose to allow yourself that little of food, you might want to re-evaluate your weight loss plans. Yes you loose weight that way but that's because your body has nothing left to feed itself but the stored fat and muscle. Not healthy by any means. Another point you bring up is that you loose weight faster, there in lies another problem. I've been on diets where I've lost a lot of weight quickly, but if you don't continue living that lifestyle, you will put the weight back on and then some. It is much healthier to loose weight slower, it also gives your skin time to shrink with you. If you looses weight too fast, you can still look a bit odd with all the saggy skin. Anyway, here's the link I was talking about.

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/3047-700-calories-a-day-and-not-losing
  5244545
May 14, 2011 4:20 PM
QUOTE:

I mean, how about the people who were stranded in the desert, or the malnourished people in Africa and around the world, or even the victims of the holocaust?



How about them? That's EXACTLY how they survive. Their bodies go into starvation mode so they need less fuel to live. If they were to start eating a normal amount of food, they would gain weight rapidly. You, too, can starve yourself. If you severely limit your calories you generally will lose a lot fast...AT FIRST...then your body will panic and start to store more for the lean times ahead. Your weight loss will slow as your body conserves because it doesn't want to die. Then, if you ever plan to eat like a normal person again, you will gain the weight back. This is a common problem for yo-yo type dieters. They starve themselves, lose a bunch of weight, plateau, start to feel crappy and run down, begin to eat normally again, then balloon out to as big or bigger than they were before. Slow and steady weight loss is the best, healthiest way to do this. Good luck!
May 14, 2011 4:20 PM
QUOTE:

Are you looking for someone to validate not eating enough life sustaining calories by comparing dieting to children and adults starving to death in africa? Never mind those people are extremely sick due to diseases such as Aids, Malaria and all of those other illnesses that affect poverty stricken areas..... Really, really bad comparison.

Yes starvation mode is very real. You need calories to sustain your life or your body will start eating itself. Your body will become weak, malnourished and you will be sick. Your body will shut down, just like the people in africas bodys are shutting down, only they dont have the luxury that you have to decide when to eat.


Very true, and well said. Also, what happens is your body says, "Oh, I am starving, I need to store up everything," so it actually makes it so you don't burn the calories that you eat effectively. Essentially, it makes it like you are eating a lot more calories than you are, more than you can burn. Then, when your body becomes malnourished, it will start breaking down muscle weight, and even eventually destroy your kidneys, liver, etc. Obviously, though, this doesn't happen overnight, it happens if you are consistently taking an unhealthy calorie deficit.
May 14, 2011 4:20 PM
Bump
May 14, 2011 4:21 PM
Yep, sorry but it is true. Our body's metabolism will "think" there is not enough food coming in and will pretty much shut down in an attempt to save us. The really bad thing is when our body has used all the fat, it can actually start to use-up the muscle and guess what is a muscle . . . the heart. It can do damage to the heart so severe, you can die. While this is extreme starvation, the principle of slowed metabolism on too few calories is very real.
  5147772
May 14, 2011 4:23 PM
Starvation mode is real. After WW2 they had all these soldiers who'd been in the consecration camp. They were far too skinny to send home like that, but no matter how much they fed the soldiers they wouldn't gain weight. So they instead lowered their calories for a few days, way below what it should be, and then upped it. The soldiers would gain some weight, then stop again. They had to keep doing that until they were at a healthy weight. The body is extremely efficient at surviving bad situations. During a time of crisis the body can adjust to stay alive longer, and part of that is slowing down the metabolism. Can't burn through as much calories if it's not running as high.

Eat healthy, eat for the good life, not just to achieve some number on a scale. When the body doesn't have enough calories to function it starts eating fat, muscle, and bones. And yes, the biggest richest muscle is your heart. Read up on "Karen Carpenter" for a real life effect of what eating under your calories does to your body.
  6190726
May 14, 2011 4:28 PM
MYTH. If it were true... starving people would not lose weight. Your metabolism DOES slow down; however - it doesn't do this until you are below a certain percentage of body fat.

The problem with not eating enough calories in a day has NOTHING to do with "starvation mode". It is more the problem that your body will "eat" your muscle instead of fat. So what you are losing is muscle... dangerous and ineffective as a weight loss method.

I don't promote eating less than your body needs... You should feed it correctly and exercise. I do not eat back my exercise calories, but what I do eat maintains my needs and I don't exercise at a rate outside of "fat burning".

Also, the 1200 cal requirement obviously isn't a one size fits all number. Your needs may be more or less.
  4648510
May 14, 2011 4:55 PM
Without going into the examples you gave, I just want to say there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between WEIGHT LOSS and FAT LOSS. Weight loss, due to very low calories (ie: starvation) usually includes significant muscle loss. Fat loss, on the other hand, from eating sufficient calories, preserves muscle and helps burn fat in the long run.

I guess the question you have to ask yourself is this ... Do you simply want to see smaller numbers on the scale or do you want to lose excess fat, preserve and possible gain a bit of muscle, and look lean and tones while being healthy and fit?

I'd also like to add a special message to anyone over 50 who might read this post. The older we get the more bone and muscle mass we lose; therefore, it is essential you eat no less than what your body requires to function and strength train using a moderate amount of weight.
May 14, 2011 5:03 PM
guys I really didn't mean anything negative!! i was just pointing something out, so it just made me confused! i hope i didn't offend anyone, im really sorry! :(
May 14, 2011 5:09 PM
No apologies! We're all here to learn. :)
  6445960
May 14, 2011 6:57 PM
It's very much a fact:
http://spikediet.blogspot.com/2011/01/minnesota-starvation-experiment-what.html

It's happened to me several times in my life while dieting.
Part of the problem is the wording, "Starvation" It's hard to say we are starving when there are literally millions of people who don't have food to eat. It should be more like "Metabolism Slow-Down Mode"

What is the definition of "starving" to our brain?
I would say it's a negative balance of calories.
Whenever our calories out is greater than our calories in, like a diet.

So what would the difference be if we eat 1,500 calories a day and burn 2,500 or eat zero calories and burn 1,000??
Bottom line is nothing, both would leave us with a -1,000 calorie balance.

We store bodyfat for long-term energy storage as a survival mechanism. When our fat is being burned up, our brain sounds the alarm that energy is scarce and it's time to slow down our calorie output to find a new balance point.

Don't worry, Starvation Mode is gradual and doesn't happen overnight, just be careful not to eat too little, or just try a weekly spike day.
  1669630
May 14, 2011 11:19 PM
QUOTE:

guys I really didn't mean anything negative!! i was just pointing something out, so it just made me confused! i hope i didn't offend anyone, im really sorry! :(



It's all good! drinker
May 14, 2011 11:30 PM
survival mode is real, if your not feeding your body then it will feed itself , first your fat, then your muscle, etc... so its not an overnight thing... if your eating x amount of cals and lower the x amount then yea your gonna lose weight.

the key is to feed the muscle , if you lose weight but its muscle loss then your not doing the right thing...
May 14, 2011 11:36 PM
God, there are some seriously dumb individuals out there. How about we do a little research, perhaps phone our doctors or the local hospital nutritionist and ask them before telling someone that starvation mode is a lie?

You've already gotten the facts, anyway. People who undergoe severe starvation only survive because of starvation mode.

A "starvation diet" is a diet where the person in question eats less than 50 percent of their needed calories for the day. You calculate your needed calories by calculating your base metabolic rate (you can do this online at many places). People on a diet usually shave off 500ish calories from that in order to lose weight, and if you cut that number in half and eat less than it, you're starving yourself. And eventually, your body will go into starvation mode.
  7234411
May 14, 2011 11:52 PM
When the body is in survival mode, does it always go for the fat first to feed itself?
  5463231
May 15, 2011 3:10 AM
QUOTE:

When the body is in survival mode, does it always go for the fat first to feed itself?


No it goes after muscle first, and stores most of the food you do eat as fat, once your muscles have been emaciated it will then go after the fat.
  5244545
July 7, 2013 8:03 AM
http://fitnessblackandwhite.com/starvation-mode-myth-or-fact/
  35132617

Reply

Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.