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TOPIC: When does "Starvation" mode begin?

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January 25, 2012 10:38 AM
I've been wondering this for a while but people are really passionate about this subject. People say things like... eating small meals throughout the day is a myth, and I just look at my weekly total of calories, and I don't eat my exercise calories and then have a "spike" day...

It seems to me that it takes at least a week for starvation mode to hit if you can go all week at a large deficit and then make it up on your spike days (unless my logic is flawed here).

It also seems that if the multiple meals a day is a myth it would take longer than 24 hours (assuming you can eat all your daily calories at the same meal every day).

So, does anyone actually know how long it takes for "starvation" mode to kick in?
  13864933
January 25, 2012 10:42 AM
Personally I don't believe in Starvation mode as long as you have sufficient fat to burn on your body.

Very few people on this website have this issue.

I don't believe in counting calories either. I believe in Intuitive Eating and quality reigns over quality any day. However, I no longer eat any processed foods.
January 25, 2012 10:44 AM
QUOTE:

I've been wondering this for a while but people are really passionate about this subject. People say things like... eating small meals throughout the day is a myth, and I just look at my weekly total of calories, and I don't eat my exercise calories and then have a "spike" day...

It seems to me that it takes at least a week for starvation mode to hit if you can go all week at a large deficit and then make it up on your spike days (unless my logic is flawed here).

It also seems that if the multiple meals a day is a myth it would take longer than 24 hours (assuming you can eat all your daily calories at the same meal every day).

So, does anyone actually know how long it takes for "starvation" mode to kick in?


Starvation mode is a misnomer.

http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html
  2812191
January 25, 2012 10:45 AM
QUOTE:

Personally I don't believe in Starvation mode as long as you have sufficient fat to burn on your body.

Very few people on this website have this issue.

I don't believe in counting calories either. I believe in Intuitive Eating and quality reigns over quality any day. However, I no longer eat any processed foods.


I very rarely eat processed food now (sometimes my wife makes something with processed flower, or I'll grab a few pretzals but no lean pockets or crap like that). I have plenty of fat on my body, so I just shouldn't worry about it?
  13864933
January 25, 2012 10:46 AM
QUOTE:

Personally I don't believe in Starvation mode as long as you have sufficient fat to burn on your body.

Very few people on this website have this issue.



I agree ^^. Most of the time what people refer to as starvation mode is actually simply the margin of error of counting calories/expenditure + water retention.
  2812191
January 25, 2012 10:49 AM
I had a recent revelation about *starvation mode* it's more about getting PROPER NUTRITION than it is about the number of calories you eat.

MFP gives you 1200 calories a day as a GUIDELINE because it's really difficult to get in enough nutrition on less than that...

BUT....
you can go into *starvation mode*eating 3500 calories a day if you are not getting PROPER NUTRITION.
  2131607
January 25, 2012 10:52 AM
Read this about starvation mode (scroll down)

http://muscleevo.com/lyle-mcdonald-interview-one/
  2812191
January 25, 2012 10:56 AM
My doctor told me this starts when you body fat gets down to normal or low levels and your still creating a big deficit. If your overweight there is basically no way to be in this mode since your body fat percentage is so high.
January 25, 2012 10:59 AM
Probably when you become very lethargic because of a low calorie intake.
January 25, 2012 11:07 AM
I believe starvation mode begins when your body runs out of fat to exchange for energy....here is why....

For example, if you are lost in the desert for several weeks without food, you will burn stored fat inorder to maintain normal chemical, mental, physical balance. The process begins by first using the stored glycogen (stored sugar, for simplicity sake), in your liver. That will sustain you for about 12-24hrs (depending on liver capabilities).

After this, the body turns to stored fat to breakdown and supply life sustaining energy requirements (aka BMR). This can last for about 21 days, give or take your personal body fat to begin with and how quickly your stores are depleted. After that the body will begin to catabolize lean muscle to obtain the chemicals (amino acids) necessary for brain function. This is not efficient an efficient process. Once this happens it is usually a downhill slope from there as rhabdomyolysis (skeletal muscle breakdown/catabolism) causes the kidneys to work extra hard to filter out brokendown muscle tissue. You will usually notice what we call burgundy urine when that starts to happen. From there, you stand a great chance for them to shutdown shortly thereafter. All of this ultimately causes electrolyte imbalances which is what will kill you quicker than the starvation itsself.

Remember, this is with ABSOLUTELY NO INTAKE. If you maintain intake at/around your BMR you will survive, but it will suck to be you, so I dont recommend starving yourself to take the weight off. Looking skinny in your coffin isnt all that smart....laugh

Jen
RN, BASN

Please see your doctor for further education on safe weight loss. Remember, a pill didnt put it there, and a pill wont take it away. The only thing that will is a healthy diet and exercise.
  15321691
January 25, 2012 11:08 AM
I've read the information from the links (thank you, lots of good info) and it seems that it honestly doesn't matter if I have a 1000 calorie/day or 2000 calorie/day deficit. That said, I'm obviously not going to be increasing muscle mass in this type of diet and may lose some, but I'll mostly lose fat. So it seems like I'm ok to not eat all of my calories. I find myself at the end of the day trying to eat anything healthy to get close to my calorie goal.
  13864933
January 25, 2012 11:21 AM
Deficits should be aligned with fat levels. The fatter you are, they higher of deficit you can sustain without losing much if any muscle mass or affecting metabolic rate.
  2812191
January 25, 2012 11:23 AM
QUOTE:

Read this about starvation mode (scroll down)

http://muscleevo.com/lyle-mcdonald-interview-one/


Thats the best thing I have read yet! :)
January 25, 2012 11:33 AM
It's funny that this is out there and it flies in the face of wht 95% of the people on MFP believe.

I have plenty of fat to lose so I'm not at a risk of losing muscle mass aytime soon. This also answers the question on how "The Biggest Loser" contestants are able to lose so much weight. They are much bigger than I, but there is no way it is with a 1000 cal deficit a day.
  13864933
January 25, 2012 11:42 AM
QUOTE:

It's funny that this is out there and it flies in the face of wht 95% of the people on MFP believe.

I have plenty of fat to lose so I'm not at a risk of losing muscle mass aytime soon. This also answers the question on how "The Biggest Loser" contestants are able to lose so much weight. They are much bigger than I, but there is no way it is with a 1000 cal deficit a day.


Couple things to note about the Biggest Loser. The weekly weigh-ins are not evenly spaced. Some weeks are longer than others. Some of the huge numbers, like in Week 1 are because a highly restricted caloric diet will consequentially significantly reduce carbohydrates, which will amount to massive amounts of water weight reduction.

Its true they eat probably 1200-1800 depending on the person and might burn 6000-10,000 calories in a day and the weight will melt off. But they exercise like 6 hours a day as well. And they will lose large amounts of muscle in the process. They have to because when you weigh 400 lbs, you need a lot of muscle. I couldn't possibly walk around in a 200 lbs vest all day with my current amount of muscle. So your body only keeps just enough muscle that it needs. Training helps slow down the loss, but the loss is inevitable, especially when operating on such an enormous caloric deficit and losing weight in such a short time frame.

But Biggest loser workouts are unsustainable, and because they are so extreme, the contestants don't really understand what they need to do to maintain and most of them gain it back.
Edited by grinch031 On January 25, 2012 11:43 AM
January 25, 2012 12:04 PM
This is good information. So, because I have a lot of weight to loose, I will not go into starvation mode because of the amount of fat on my body? Not until there is not enough fat for my body to "live" on when I am back down to my "ideal" weight? Yes! I worried about eating less than 1200 calories on some days due to "starvation (I was sick the last 2 days and unable to even eat 1200 calories). happy
January 25, 2012 12:12 PM
Starvation mode kicks in sometime around week 2 of being marooned on a desert island. So long as you are actually eating food, you basically should never worry about starvation mode.
  6921816
January 25, 2012 12:18 PM
QUOTE:

6 pm?


Actually, its 7 pm. Well... Only if you eat something with a carb after 7.
January 25, 2012 12:19 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

6 pm?


Actually, its 7 pm. Well... Only if you eat something with a carb after 7.


EST?
  13864933
January 25, 2012 12:22 PM
I am glad I read this post. I can't seem to eat 1200 calories a day. I don't know what I was eating before but I'm not hungry now because I do eat healthier and fiber+protein rich foods. I was worried that I wouldn't lose weight because I can't eat the recommended amount of calories. Hopefully I'm wrong.
January 25, 2012 12:58 PM
QUOTE:

I've been wondering this for a while but people are really passionate about this subject. People say things like... eating small meals throughout the day is a myth, and I just look at my weekly total of calories, and I don't eat my exercise calories and then have a "spike" day...

It seems to me that it takes at least a week for starvation mode to hit if you can go all week at a large deficit and then make it up on your spike days (unless my logic is flawed here).

It also seems that if the multiple meals a day is a myth it would take longer than 24 hours (assuming you can eat all your daily calories at the same meal every day).

So, does anyone actually know how long it takes for "starvation" mode to kick in?


I don't know when it starts, but I do know my metabolic rate is slowing when I become sensitive to cold temperatures. My energy level isn't where it should be either. I just eat more. smile
January 25, 2012 1:08 PM
When I was not eating enough for my exercise level, I found I was feeling bad within three or four days, and my weight loss plateaued almost immediately.

Pam
January 25, 2012 1:11 PM
My friend on here ( Quasita ) had starvation mode back in her younger days bc she basically COMPLETELY stopped eating after she was injured and could no longer play sports (extreme depression). She has a recent blog where she explains it all. If you add her I am sure she could tell you more about it. She is an amazing woman
  1229060
January 25, 2012 1:21 PM
edited for more in depth explanation than im sober enough to give right now
Edited by FearAnLoathing On January 25, 2012 1:24 PM
January 25, 2012 1:26 PM
QUOTE:

It seems to me that it takes at least a week for starvation mode to hit if you can go all week at a large deficit and then make it up on your spike days (unless my logic is flawed here).


Think people with eating disorders, months to years is what I've heard from people with degrees (how much you eat matters, I was eating max 300-500 calories a day and running for a few hours a night and my body got jacked up within 6mos-year (maybe).)

It won't happen in a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, even just a few (3) months, it takes a really long time at a very low calorie diet to mess your body up to that point.
Edited by ilookthetype On January 25, 2012 1:40 PM

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