Starvation Mode

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MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 19:05
I'm wondering if anyone knows much about the validity of "starvation mode"? I have come across a few things on line about it and I am beginning to worry. Since I started working out more heavily (the past about 2 months) I find that I am just not as hungry as I used to be. I end up eating 800-1200 calories per day, and my RDI is 1600. I'm not at all depriving myself of food. I eat when I'm hungry, and until I'm full, I'm just not as hungry any more. Now that I am seeing all of this starvation mode stuff, I am afraid this will happen to me. Is anyone knowledgeable about this subject?
doyoulovefoo...

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 5

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 19:35
Starvation mode is a myth promoted by people to lazy to dedicate themselves to a true low calorie diet.
gkcfm95

Joined: May 10
Posts: 451

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 20:36
manda, everyone will have different answers to this question. But here's my opinion. I'm sure someone will come along and say something completely different.

Your body's sole purpose is to survive. It will do everything it can to process basic functions...breathing, heartbeat, temperature regulation, etc. And for the sake of survival it will break down muscle tissue, slow digestion or convert whatever it can find for energy.

Some people do the very low cal diet, I don't. I don't understand why anyone would want to eat so little and be hungry all the time. But, to each his own, what works for you may not work for me.

My only advise, are happy with the food you are eating? You don't feel weak or tired? And are you loosing weight at a rate you are happy with? Then keep up the good work! Smile

And if you answer no, then maybe you should re-evaluate what you're doing.
~kelly
MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 20:56
gkcfm95, The thing is, I'm not doing a very low calorie diet on purpose. I'm a vegetarian and I eat vegan a lot of the time, so that automatically cuts out a lot of calories people would usually eat. When you add in that I am monitoring carbs and and not eating unhealthy snacks (No chips, ice cream, candy, etc..) I am left with a diet comprised of items that are pretty low calorie to begin with. I can sit and eat a good amount at a meal and still have it come out to only 3, 4, 5 hundred calories. So I am not starving myself at all, I have plenty of energy, even more than usual now that I'm exercising, and I'm losing a pound a week (which seem pretty healthy to me). I'm just wondering if I should be forcing myself to eat more calories throughout the day, or higher calorie foods to avoid, as you said, the break down of muscle tissue etc?
gkcfm95

Joined: May 10
Posts: 451

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 21:19
I do know your metabolism will adjust to the food you are eating. Typically, the less you eat the slower your metabolism. Maybe once every week or two have a cheat day, where you could try to eat more calories, from healthy sources. But don't feel like you have to do it every day. I know a lot of people do this to keep their metabolism from slowing.

I would say stick with what you are doing. It's working, so don't try to fix it. If your weight loss stalls then change things up.
~kelly
MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 21:29
Oh yeah, i have a cheat day every Saturday, lol. Thats the day I go crazy on pasta and allow myself a dessert. I dont think I could be on any diet otherwise, I'm not made of stone, ha.

Thanks a ton for sharing your advise. I feel a lot better
radiochick

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 303

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 22:13
Sounds like you are doing great manda! If later you run into fatigue, just throw some nuts or avocado in now and then... that will give you a calorie boost no problem.

I'm an endless resource of how to eat lots of calories! Smile
Manzanita106

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 6

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 22:21
If you aren't hungry, its most likely that your metabolism is not burning as many calories as it could be. lots of carbs once a week can even have a slowing effect on your metabolism. Try eating more lean protein, in small amounts-like 2 ounces- every couple hours and see how your hunger changes. I can guarantee you that if you eat 10 ounces of protein ie turkey breast per day plus only fruit and vegetables that your hunger will skyrocket. this will set your body up for healthy metabolism driven weightloss. exercise more too.exercise goes the same way: if you do 3 sessions per day of 30 mins each instead of one 90 minute session, it is said to be better for getting your metabolism going.
You know what tastes way better than anything (even chocolate-mousse cake)??
BEING THIN!!! WE CAN DO IT!
MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 21 Apr 2011, 22:26
oooooh yes! Radiochick, Avocado is a great idea! I love avocado and I never think to buy it. Nuts are a really easy addition too.

Thanks so much for the compliment and the advice!

Manzanita, I really hope its not that I am messing up my metabolism. I do eat a good amount of lean protein every day. I usually have a Lean Body brand protein shake before the gym each morning, I have plenty of mock meats and tofu through out the day which are lower in fat than real meat and I eat spinach with almost every meal (I love spinach!!) And I work out 5 days a week from 1 hr - an hr and a half. breaking it up into sessions isnt really an option for me with my schedule. I really feel like I'm doing the right things. Now, hearing what my day is like, does it still sound like a slow metabolism issue? I really hope thats not it. I've been working so hard
WiiFitFatty

Joined: May 10
Posts: 181

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 07:21
I was about to mention your protein intake but then I saw your last post. I would say as long as you feel healthy and energetic, you have enough fuel for your workouts and you're still losing weight, then you are probably fine.

You could have your body fat composition measured if you're concerned about losing muscle mass. There's a calculator here:
http://www.bmi-calculator.net/body-fat-calculator/
Cheers,

Karen

My site:
http://www.topfastweightloss.com
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MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 08:55
Thank you Karen, And congrats on your 34lbs!
PantherIII

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 282

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 09:00
doyoulovefootball wrote:
Starvation mode is a myth promoted by people to lazy to dedicate themselves to a true low calorie diet.


U sir win the most ridiculous answer to anything ever award. Starvation mode isn't quite as easy as everyone makes it out to be to reach, but you're body does go into starvation mode when it feels that food is becoming sparse.
Logging the Spike Diet w/my journal. Add me as a buddy if you want to see how it goes.
laxstar785

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 38

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 09:04
The secret to weight loss is a calorie deficit, i dont see the need to completely cut out carbs unless your trying to get into single digit body fat percentages. Burn more calories then you take in, whether it is working out a lot or just eating less it can be accomplished either way. But it is very true if you do not eat enough you body with go into starvation mode and it will start using muscle for energy instead of fat.
MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 14:30
LOL, PantherIII, I just decided to leave that comment alone.

laxstar, I'm not completely cutting out carbs, I'm not even sure how possible that is. I'm simple more conscious of how many carbs I am eating during the day now. Being a vegetarian it is very easy to go crazy on carbs because theyre sooo easy to eat and so plentiful. I am watching my carbs now on the advice of my doctor. And on the advice of some of the awesome people above I think I will be able to eat more calories without actually having to eat more meals or feeling like I am gorging myself. Thank you for your knowledge on starvation mode. This is just the type of info I was looking for.
doyoulovefoo...

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 5

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 16:26
PantherIII wrote:
you're body does go into starvation mode when it feels that food is becoming sparse.


If you can find me some literature from a scientific journal (not a pop science blog) that definitively proves causation (not correlation) between sub 1200 caloric intake and "Starvation Mode" I'd be more than happy to read it.
Helewis

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 339

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 17:29
I understand this exactly, Manda. It is kind of something, I think, experienced by a lot of vegetarians watching their carbs. It's harder to get the calories when you're not eating meat.

I got myself totally freaked out over the starvation mode thing on this site, and did everything in my power (including dairy) to get to 1200. I'm mostly at 1000-1200 these days and, like you, never hungry. So I just stopped sweating it. I do what I can do calorie-wise and, if I don't make it, I don't stress over it.

I also use this site for nutrient ratios: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/nutrient_calculator.htm.

Oh and Manda. Rose Elliot. The Low-Carb Vegetarian Diet Cookbook. Recipes to die for. This woman is some cook!
PantherIII

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 282

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 17:42
doyoulovefootball wrote:
PantherIII wrote:
you're body does go into starvation mode when it feels that food is becoming sparse.


If you can find me some literature from a scientific journal (not a pop science blog) that definitively proves causation (not correlation) between sub 1200 caloric intake and "Starvation Mode" I'd be more than happy to read it.


The smoking gun was created so long ago that there wasn't any more "scientific" debate about starvation mode until "certain" individuals found a neat way to make a dollar out of it. Ancel Keys, documented the effects of a starvation diet on a group of healthy young men of normal weight over a period of six months. The study concluded that, when daily calorie intake is reduced to at least half of the normal requirement, base metabolic rate can slow. People operating in starvation mode may generally be expected to continue losing weight, but they will lose weight at a rate somewhat slower than that of a person with a normally functioning metabolism, and they may be expected to experience general lethargy. Not as exciting answer as everyone wants when the big scary phrase "STARVATION MODE" pops out. Bottom line is that there is an "effect". Now please find me a study that "dis"proves starvation mode that that definitively ""dis"proves causation (not correlation) between sub 1200 caloric intake and "Starvation Mode" I'd be more than happy to read it
Logging the Spike Diet w/my journal. Add me as a buddy if you want to see how it goes.
MandaPanda24...

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 23

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 19:46
Helewis, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this. I do need to stop stressing. That cook book looks perfect! I'll be Amazon.com-ing this asap.
warpedlogic

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 16

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 20:07
I actually was looking this up a few days ago and most of the info I said was along these lines:

First, starvation mode takes several days in a row to go into effect. If you are hungry consistently for a few days in a row, then all of a sudden aren't hungry any more, then you're there.

Second, if you eat over 50% of your bmr then you will never have any effects. If you eat lower than 50% of your bmr consistently for several days, then your body will adjust and start burning less cals, something like 10-20% less, which can be overcome by building lean muscle which increases your BMR.
Goals:
285 - Met 5/7/11 - 285.4
265 - Met 6/25/11 - 263
245 - Met 8/13/11 - 243
225 - Met 10/22/11 - 225
205 - 1st Dec weigh-in
185 - 1st Apr weigh-in (Goal Weight)
doyoulovefoo...

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 5

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Posted: 22 Apr 2011, 20:11
PantherIII wrote:
The smoking gun was created so long ago that there wasn't any more "scientific" debate about starvation mode until "certain" individuals found a neat way to make a dollar out of it. Ancel Keys, documented the effects of a starvation diet on a group of healthy young men of normal weight over a period of six months. The study concluded that, when daily calorie intake is reduced to at least half of the normal requirement, base metabolic rate can slow. People operating in starvation mode may generally be expected to continue losing weight, but they will lose weight at a rate somewhat slower than that of a person with a normally functioning metabolism, and they may be expected to experience general lethargy.


I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume you've never actually read the Minnesota Starvation project. This was a 12-month study of which participants cut their caloric intake to an average 1500 calories. Of that twelve months, 3 months were a control period leading up, and another control period for five months after. So subjects ate 1500 calories a day for six months. Here is the important part, out of the 36 subjects 6 were underweight and the other 30 were at normal bodyweights prior to the experiment. They didn’t have any weight to lose, so when they’re bodies used what little nonessential fat they did have, it started breaking down muscle fiber, and eventually essential fat. That was when the researchers found a drop in heart rate and body temperature, indicative of a lowered metabolism. does “Starvation Mode” exist? Yes, if your body starts having to use essential fat for energy, it believes it will die and slows your metabolism with the hopes it will allow you more time to find food. But this is a website called fatsecret, I don’t think too many people on this site are at sub 2% body fat (5% for women) and therefore not at risk of going into “Starvation Mode”.



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