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TOPIC: How can I get out of starvation mode?

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April 8, 2012 8:56 AM
Yesterday I ate 600 calories and GAINED half a pound. Every day lately I've stayed under 1000 calories and I keep gaining weight. I've stopped getting my period as well I think. I'm 5'7 and 122. How can I beat starvation mode without gaining more than a few pounds? I used to be 196 and so I'm terrified of gaining weight. I'm ready to just call it quits. Anyone help? :/
April 8, 2012 9:01 AM
You're doing it all wrong. HOw do u get out of starvation mode? Um stop starving yourself!! 600-1000 calories a day? Are you kidding me? you should be eating AT LEAST 1200 on days where you don't work out, and on days you do, way more. I'm 5'7 and 125 pounds and i eat about 1,500-1,700 calories a day and workout for an hour 5 times a week. You're not going to gain a bunch of weight if you're eating healthy and get in some exercise at least 4 times a week. Food is fuel for the body it isn't an enemy, stop avoiding it.
April 8, 2012 9:02 AM
You can get out of starvation mode by eating MORE calories! You are eating way too few calories right now. You should NOT be eating less than 1200 calories. Anything less is putting you in starvation mode. Your body needs the fuel to keep your metabolism high and burning calories. At this point, your body is holding on to everything it can which is why the scale is moving up and not down.
April 8, 2012 9:03 AM
Daily water weight fluctuations means that you shouldn't get all worked up when you gain weight. I've seen people gain and drop as much as 8 lbs in a day. It's just water retention.

That being said, you are undereating. Implement a Full Diet Break immediately and resume your diet after at least two weeks.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-full-diet-break.html
April 8, 2012 9:05 AM
Step by step;
1. Go to www.fit2fatradio.com/tools and use the Military Bodyfat Calculator, and then the Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate calculator.
2. Scroll down on the Calories calculator results page to see your suggested Calorie Intakes at different activity levels. There is a deficit factored into this already. Choose the appropriate activity level and the corresponding calorie intake.
3. Here on MFP, go to Home > Goals > Change Goals > Custom > Change Net Calories Consumed to the calorie recommendation given by fat2fit on their Calorie calculator.
4. Change carbs to 40%, protein and fat to 30% respectively.
5. Hit Change Goals.
6. Over the next month, gradually increase your daily intake to meet your new Net Calorie goal.
7. You will probably gain. Hormonal changes take time, but after a few weeks your weightloss should start to happen.
8. If after two weeks of being at your goal net calories you find you are maintaining, drop your calories by 100 a day and stick to that new goal for another two weeks.
9. Rinse and repeat 8.
10. Enjoy a greater food allowance and a body working for you rather than against you.
Edited by ironanimal On April 8, 2012 9:10 AM
April 8, 2012 9:06 AM
The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.
April 8, 2012 9:24 AM
QUOTE:

The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.


1200? 1000? 600? Where did you get these numbers from?
April 8, 2012 9:34 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.


1200? 1000? 600? Where did you get these numbers from?

Read the first post.
  18511156
April 8, 2012 10:11 AM
QUOTE:

Yesterday I ate 600 calories and GAINED half a pound. Every day lately I've stayed under 1000 calories and I keep gaining weight. I've stopped getting my period as well I think. I'm 5'7 and 122. How can I beat starvation mode without gaining more than a few pounds? I used to be 196 and so I'm terrified of gaining weight. I'm ready to just call it quits. Anyone help? :/



Follow cversey's advice, but be warned that as soon as you increase your calories you may gain some water weight as the glycogen in your body is replenished.

http://www.justinowings.com/understanding-bodyweight-and-glycogen-de/

It is NOT FAT. it's like the reverse of the initial water weight people lose when they start a diet.

Do not let it get you down, stick with it. Better still, stay away from your scales for a month.

Good luck.
  14463414
April 8, 2012 11:29 AM
Eat more. You are eating too little, trying to loose too fast. If you can't do that, you need help.
  10624035
April 8, 2012 11:39 AM
QUOTE:

Yesterday I ate 600 calories and GAINED half a pound. Every day lately I've stayed under 1000 calories and I keep gaining weight. I've stopped getting my period as well I think. I'm 5'7 and 122. How can I beat starvation mode without gaining more than a few pounds? I used to be 196 and so I'm terrified of gaining weight. I'm ready to just call it quits. Anyone help? :/


Ok, so normally I'm one of the first to be all like ZOMG yer doin it RONG but in this case, I'm not sure what exactly it is about your post, but something is nagging me. I don't want to immediately jump to "You've got an ED", but something in the back of my head is nagging at me that this sounds scary. My sister had an ED, and how you describe things......I see similarities, and I think what bothers me the most is that you arent getting your period. That is a sure sign you don't have enough body fat, and aren't eating healthfully.

So...maybe someone better equipped to give you some advice on here can do so, as im not a psychologist, but I just wanted to put out there that some of what you're saying worries me.
April 8, 2012 12:08 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.


1200? 1000? 600? Where did you get these numbers from?

Read the first post.


That doesn't answer my question. What is so magical about the number 1200?
Edited by Glucocorticoid On April 8, 2012 12:08 PM
April 8, 2012 12:13 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.


1200? 1000? 600? Where did you get these numbers from?

Read the first post.


That doesn't answer my question. What is so magical about the number 1200?


it's the minimum daily calorie intake recommended by health & nutrition organisations to give your body adequte nutrition.

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/calorie-intake-to-lose-weight.php
  14463414
April 8, 2012 12:30 PM
All the advice about eating more (at least 1200 calories) is great advice you should follow to get out of the starvation mode.

I would be curious to know what you're eating.

And it may be a good idea to self-evaluate, if you're willing, the fear you have of gaining back the weight. What's that fear about? How do you feel about your current weight? Eating for most of us has an emotional component, which if we dare to explore it can unlock the cause for our over-eating that can then be address with an individualized path to healthier eating for each of us...

I wish you well in your journey. Be kind to yourself, and your body.

Carla
April 8, 2012 12:44 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Yesterday I ate 600 calories and GAINED half a pound. Every day lately I've stayed under 1000 calories and I keep gaining weight. I've stopped getting my period as well I think. I'm 5'7 and 122. How can I beat starvation mode without gaining more than a few pounds? I used to be 196 and so I'm terrified of gaining weight. I'm ready to just call it quits. Anyone help? :/


Ok, so normally I'm one of the first to be all like ZOMG yer doin it RONG but in this case, I'm not sure what exactly it is about your post, but something is nagging me. I don't want to immediately jump to "You've got an ED", but something in the back of my head is nagging at me that this sounds scary. My sister had an ED, and how you describe things......I see similarities, and I think what bothers me the most is that you arent getting your period. That is a sure sign you don't have enough body fat, and aren't eating healthfully.

So...maybe someone better equipped to give you some advice on here can do so, as im not a psychologist, but I just wanted to put out there that some of what you're saying worries me.
[/quote

I agree, there is something more to this than just food. OP, food is not an enemy. All it is is fuel for the body. Just like you have to gas up your car before beginning a journey, you have to fuel up your body as well. You would not dream of damaging your car by putting little fuel in it. Your body is worth so much more. I think you should speak with a counselor if uou have fears about eating.
  16437197
April 8, 2012 1:07 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.


1200? 1000? 600? Where did you get these numbers from?

Read the first post.


That doesn't answer my question. What is so magical about the number 1200?


it's the minimum daily calorie intake recommended by health & nutrition organisations to give your body adequte nutrition.

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/calorie-intake-to-lose-weight.php


While studies have shown that caloric levels under 1000 calories/day caused a much greater drop in metabolic rate than even 1200 calories/day, that does not mean that 1200 calories is the way to go.

Most dieters assume that they should drop calories as much as they can because they believe that the greater the deficit, the more weight will be lost. Up to a point, this is true but this ignores the potential effects of extreme caloric restriction on metabolic rate, muscle loss, etc.

A better method to prevent metabolic slowdown/muscle loss would be to set caloric intake relative to body weight as opposed to an absolute deficit (such as 1000 calories below maintenance) or an absolute caloric intake (such as 1200 calories).
April 8, 2012 1:10 PM
5'7" and 122 pounds is considered underweight. You are flirting with an eating disorder and serious damage to your organs. Get some psychological help, as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more disordered your thinking will become. You are living on almost no nutrients, and your brain can no longer distinguish right from wrong apparently.

My 16 pound dog eats 500 calories a day.


Edited by cmriverside On April 8, 2012 1:14 PM
  5978
April 8, 2012 1:11 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

The only way that you can get out of starvation mode is by increased your caloric intake to at least 1200 calories. It is usually not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories per day, but aim for at least 1000. When you begin eating less than that, your body believes that it is "starving", so it holds on to all of the calories and does not burn fat. Therefore, your metabolism (basal metabolic rate) slows down and you hold onto every bit of calorie and fat that you have.

The only way you can get out of starvation mode is to EAT more than 600 calories per day. Your body needs nutrients and healthy fats to function. A sign that your body is no longer able to function with the calories that you are taking in is the loss of your monthly menstrual period. When this happens, irreversible damage is imminent. I suggest you eat and maybe see a physician, as well.


1200? 1000? 600? Where did you get these numbers from?

Read the first post.


That doesn't answer my question. What is so magical about the number 1200?


it's the minimum daily calorie intake recommended by health & nutrition organisations to give your body adequte nutrition.

http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/harris-benedict-equation/calorie-intake-to-lose-weight.php


While studies have shown that caloric levels under 1000 calories/day caused a much greater drop in metabolic rate than even 1200 calories/day, that does not mean that 1200 calories is the way to go.

Most dieters assume that they should drop calories as much as they can because they believe that the greater the deficit, the more weight will be lost. Up to a point, this is true but this ignores the potential effects of extreme caloric restriction on metabolic rate, muscle loss, etc.

A better method to prevent metabolic slowdown/muscle loss would be to set caloric intake relative to body weight as opposed to an absolute deficit (such as 1000 calories below maintenance) or an absolute caloric intake (such as 1200 calories).


I wasn't advocating 1200, I was just explaining where people get the number from.

I agree regarding the intake relevant to bodyweight, and prefer the "deduct 20% from TDEE" to simply deduct x calories.
  14463414
April 8, 2012 1:14 PM
i have to agree with angylis on this one. It sounds to me like you are undereating and I would strongly suggest you talk to a doctor and get sound advice, rather than relying on what people are saying on here. You say you are 5ft 7 and 122lbs? Why would you want to lose more weight? I have a friend who is a fitness model. She is 5 ft 1" and weights 115lbs and she looks amazing BUT she is waaaay shorter than you.

Please stop starving yourself and go see your doctor.
April 8, 2012 1:15 PM
btw this friend was 96lbs and she gained muscle...not fat. She is now fit and healthy and eats around 1500cals a day.
April 8, 2012 1:16 PM
QUOTE:


I wasn't advocating 1200, I was just explaining where people get the number from.

I agree regarding the intake relevant to bodyweight, and prefer the "deduct 20% from TDEE" to simply deduct x calories.

Understood. The post was also directed at others in this thread who are making it seem like 1200 is the magical intake level that will save you from "starvation mode".

To the OP, the best way to break through your plateau is not to lower the level of your deficit, rather it is to eat at maintenance for at least a couple weeks in order to normalize hormones (and many other reasons). You will be in a better position to resume your diet at this point.
Edited by Glucocorticoid On April 8, 2012 1:17 PM
April 8, 2012 1:18 PM
Eat at MFP maintenance levels for 2 months and do not weigh yourself. You have to get help also.
  11614737
April 8, 2012 1:18 PM
I would see a doctor or nutritionist. I completely understand why you fear gaining. You need some reassurance that your hard work will continue to pay off and it will.

But, you need to give your body the proper nutrients, and you want to feel good doing it.

How are you feeling now, physically? Do you feel hungry, or fatigued? Or even lightheaded?

Good luck and take care of yourself.
  5132205
April 8, 2012 1:18 PM
This seems like a silly question....um EAT more food?
  12151701
April 8, 2012 1:18 PM
bump

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