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TOPIC: What happens to your body if you don't eat enough calories?

 
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May 20, 2011 6:47 PM
Here is what I found out...

Answer:
you get really bad headaches! but other than that I guess you can lose weight.
First your body burns all of its stored energy, in other words, your excess fat. Then it begins burning your muscles, and you get weak and lose all muscle tone. You get hair on your back even if you are a girl, and the hair on your head is not shiny anymore, but thin and ratty.

If your body starts burning muscle, remember that your heart is a muscle, and your health is *greatly* at risk. If you don't eat enough calories, you eventually die.
May 20, 2011 6:57 PM
That's right. You die.
May 20, 2011 7:01 PM
It's not just about eating enough calories, but eating the right types of foods. You could eat 2000 calories of chocolate candy each day and some parts of your body would starve.

Starvation isn't just about energy -- it's also about nutrition. You have to have the right stuff with your calories to nourish your body.
  6196745
May 20, 2011 7:02 PM
huh
May 20, 2011 7:03 PM
This is posted for people who are not eating properly over a long period of time. Many times we see people who have lost massive amounts of weight and they dont recognize their behaviors and they dont understand what can happen to them in the long run.
May 20, 2011 7:04 PM
Yep, and if you're closer to goal and don't eat enough I learned today that your body actually starts holding onto fat as stored energy because it's worried it's not going to get enough.....so the opposite of what I wanna do. Eating under calories is very popular here on MFP but I don't comment on those posts because eating under is often not the right move for everyone and I think it's a bandwagon thing, people feel peer pressure to finish under for the day. I don't eat all (but I do eat some, usually 1/3) of my exercise calories back most days, but I still don't consider it something to compliment people on.
May 20, 2011 7:18 PM
Can I share my two cents worth?
I was eating under my calories (1200 cal) about 1000, and I can not say for sure if this is related to it or not, however, something has affected the heart. I started having irregular heart beats, in fact the heart was beating at 44 beats a minute and then would go faster. I am in a yo-yo effect and it seems like your energy is just being sucked out of you. I was okay as long as I laid still but as soon as I stood up then the blood pressure would drop. I ended up spending 9 days in the hospital while they tried to get it regulated. Is it "starvation mode?" I am not sure however, the doctor did suggest that I take 50 mg of magnesium to try to heal the heart muscle. I am totally exhausted and she figures it has thrown me into a full blown fibromyalgia episode and it could be months before I come out of it. So my recommendation is if you are going to go under your calorie level, then make your calorie level more realistic by setting it higher. I am now set for 1500, but I am still finding it hard to eat 1300. I am one of the ones who always praised those on MFP for staying under their calorie goals, but now I am going to stop doing that. :))
  4123147
May 20, 2011 9:42 PM
QUOTE:

Can I share my two cents worth?
I was eating under my calories (1200 cal) about 1000, and I can not say for sure if this is related to it or not, however, something has affected the heart. I started having irregular heart beats, in fact the heart was beating at 44 beats a minute and then would go faster. I am in a yo-yo effect and it seems like your energy is just being sucked out of you. I was okay as long as I laid still but as soon as I stood up then the blood pressure would drop. I ended up spending 9 days in the hospital while they tried to get it regulated. Is it "starvation mode?" I am not sure however, the doctor did suggest that I take 50 mg of magnesium to try to heal the heart muscle. I am totally exhausted and she figures it has thrown me into a full blown fibromyalgia episode and it could be months before I come out of it. So my recommendation is if you are going to go under your calorie level, then make your calorie level more realistic by setting it higher. I am now set for 1500, but I am still finding it hard to eat 1300. I am one of the ones who always praised those on MFP for staying under their calorie goals, but now I am going to stop doing that. :))


I think that you two cents is exactly related to what I am trying to say. It seems obvious that this has affected your health. I hope others see I could affect theirs too. I just want for all of us to be healthy and happy with the successes we have. And not to do harm to ourselves in the process.
May 21, 2011 12:22 AM
QUOTE:

Can I share my two cents worth?
I was eating under my calories (1200 cal) about 1000, and I can not say for sure if this is related to it or not, however, something has affected the heart. I started having irregular heart beats, in fact the heart was beating at 44 beats a minute and then would go faster. I am in a yo-yo effect and it seems like your energy is just being sucked out of you. I was okay as long as I laid still but as soon as I stood up then the blood pressure would drop. I ended up spending 9 days in the hospital while they tried to get it regulated. Is it "starvation mode?" I am not sure however, the doctor did suggest that I take 50 mg of magnesium to try to heal the heart muscle. I am totally exhausted and she figures it has thrown me into a full blown fibromyalgia episode and it could be months before I come out of it. So my recommendation is if you are going to go under your calorie level, then make your calorie level more realistic by setting it higher. I am now set for 1500, but I am still finding it hard to eat 1300. I am one of the ones who always praised those on MFP for staying under their calorie goals, but now I am going to stop doing that. :))

What you are describing happened to you does not sound like starvation. Real starvation is not all that common in 1st world countries.
Your blood pressure dropping and your heart rate increasing is a positive sign of relative dehydration. You possibly did not have enough fluid (read this as blood and plasma) circulating in your vascular system. It's fine when you are lying down, because your heart doesn't have to pump as hard or against gravity to your upper half. When you stand, what blood volume you have "sloshes" into your lower body and legs; following gravity, thereby decreasing your blood pressure in your head and causing your heart rate to increase in response to this drop in pressure. Magnesium is an important part of muscle contraction, it helps the muscles (heart) to relax and recharge for the next contraction. Also there are a number of other things that can make the heart change it's speeds and beat erratically, I'm betting they performed lots of tests on you in the hospital to rule electrical disturbances and such out? Anyway, it is important to maintain proper nutritional balance in our intake, but it is every bit as important to stay well hydrated.
Good luck to you on your journey, you can do it!!
  5786445

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