starvation mode and losing friends

Yesterday someone unfriended me because i ate under 1200 calories.

I found myself offended, even though I shouldn't care what people do on here. Really, it's no big deal. The truth is that I take painstaking steps to make sure I am getting 100% of every nutrient I need. I have only been doing this for a few weeks and I am eating as cleanly as possible. That means incorporating a lot of raw vegetables, lean protein and foods that are naturally low in calories.

I also work a job with odd, unstable hours and sometimes sleep through a whole day. This effects my appetite, my food diary and my work out schedule.

Going under the 1200 a few days a week, I haven't noticed a lack of energy and my workouts are going well. I am currently still more than 50 pounds overweight, i am not anorexic and i am not starving.

so my question is why, if i'm handling my food intake in a responsible way and i allow myself to consume less than 1200 calories a day does that seem like I am being abusive to my body?

I know how I feel and I feel fine. I am a grown woman and I can make my own choices. I look at food diaries all the time on here and there are plenty of people who consume the holy 1200 calories and it's mostly processed food and often times candy and cookies. Are they healthier? I don't tell people to do things my way, or assume i know what is best for them.

I've lived that life, Ive eaten nothing but sweets and pizza for the last year consuming upwards of 5000-10000 calories per day and i was depressed, sluggish and unhappy.

As I figure out my new healthy diet, it's okay for me to choose how I want to maintain it. If I want to go to 1500 when I have lost 20 pounds then i will. If I don't I wont. That doesn't mean I think you should do it too.

I found myself surprised to feel resentment for being judged by this person, and was saddened to lose a friend in this community for this reason.

here is an interesting article i found when i googled starvation mode, since mfp has got me constantly terrified these days.

http://fattyfightsback.blogspot.com/2009/03/mtyhbusters-starvation-mode.html
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Replies

  • gogonunubean
    gogonunubean Posts: 160 Member
    Who cares?

    So some random person on the internet unfriended you. What you are doing may or may not be healthy. I don't know you, your goals and can't see your diary....so I can't comment. But to get upset because one person did not like the way you choose to live your life is a little um over sensitive? If you hold out for universal approval you will be waiting a very very long time.

    As you say, you make your own choices. So did they. They choose to friend people with a different ethic.

    Case closed

    :happy:
  • Great article, another myth debunked, maybe....lol
  • cgale8
    cgale8 Posts: 34 Member
    I found your post very interesting. I have not been on here a month yet and this disturbs me. I thought the message boards were meant for encouragement and support not critiquing and judgement.

    You are the only person that can understand what works for your body. Congratulations on all your achievements thus far. I think you are awesome for doing the best job under the circumstances you have to work under.

    I hope one day to say that I have 50 pounds left to lose!!!

    Don't worry about the ones that leave, they just leave room for the ones that matter most.
  • elyelyse
    elyelyse Posts: 1,454 Member
    They may have unfriended you not because you somehow offended them by eating too little, or because they are judging you for "doing it wrong" but because of a number of other reasons. Maybe they have suffered from an eating disorder, and seeing you consistently log a number that is unhealthy for them acts as a trigger. Maybe they feel that your plan of action is so different from theirs that they have nothing to offer you, and vice-versa. and yeah, maybe they just think what you are doing is dumb, but then why do you want them around anyway?
  • Helloitsdan
    Helloitsdan Posts: 5,565 Member
    Get with the winners!
    =D
  • birdieaz
    birdieaz Posts: 448 Member
    I've never unfriended someone because of their calorie intake. However it does make it really hard to be supportive of someone who is netting far below their BMR. My solution is to not comment at all. I won't be a hypocrite and say good job if it feels wrong, but it's not my place to tell them what to do either.
  • windycitycupcake
    windycitycupcake Posts: 516 Member
    Maybe they have suffered from an eating disorder, and seeing you consistently log a number that is unhealthy for them acts as a trigger. Maybe they feel that your plan of action is so different from theirs that they have nothing to offer you, and vice-versa.


    yes i can understand that. I don't know why it felt so bad, they just wrote me an odd message like, "you eat too few calories i can't be friends with you" it made me feel like i was harming them in some way, i don't know why. maybe that is why i am feeling overly sensitive.
  • windycitycupcake
    windycitycupcake Posts: 516 Member
    Who cares?

    So some random person on the internet unfriended you. What you are doing may or may not be healthy. I don't know you, your goals and can't see your diary....so I can't comment. But to get upset because one person did not like the way you choose to live your life is a little um over sensitive? If you hold out for universal approval you will be waiting a very very long time.

    As you say, you make your own choices. So did they. They choose to friend people with a different ethic.

    Case closed

    :happy:

    yes, i closed my diary because i felt embarrassed for not eating enough calories. i know, so dumb.
  • windycitycupcake
    windycitycupcake Posts: 516 Member
    I've never unfriended someone because of their calorie intake. However it does make it really hard to be supportive of someone who is netting far below their BMR. My solution is to not comment at all. I won't be a hypocrite and say good job if it feels wrong, but it's not my place to tell them what to do either.

    this ^
  • I've been sort of wondering some thing myself. With my workouts now MFP is saying I should be eating 3800 calories to maintain my 2 pound per week loss, but unless I start eating junk there is just no way in hell I'm getting to 3800 calories, I topped out today at 2161 and ate a lot of food. I realize this is far from starvation mode but the reality is with this much of a difference between intake and output I should see huge losses over the next few weeks. Has anybody else experienced anything like this? Did you notice any adverse effects?
  • geekyjock76
    geekyjock76 Posts: 2,720 Member
    "Starvation mode", or adapted thermogenics as its actually called, refers to chronic severe caloric restriction over the long term. Semantics aside, there are plenty of studies out there with findings that suggest maintaining a large caloric deficit, chronically, can have serious repercussions (especially for females): depressed Resting Metabolic Rate, Amenorrhea, hair loss, leptin and cortisol imbalance, disruption in LH pulsatility and ovarian function, reduced bone mass density, etc..

    Here is another study that followed the Minnesota Experiment but dug deeper.
    Autoregulation of body composition during weight recovery in human: the Minnesota Experiment revisited.
    Dulloo AG, Jacquet J, Girardier L.
    Source
    Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
    Abstract
    OBJECTIVES:
    To gain insights into the control systems underlying human variability in the regulation of body composition during weight recovery, as well as the disproportionate recovery of fat relative to lean tissue, the classical Minnesota Experiment conducted on 32 men subjected to long-term semi-starvation and refeeding was revisited with the following objectives: (1) to determine whether the control of energy-partitioning between lean and fat tissues during weight loss and weight recovery is an individual characteristic, and if a predictor can be statistically identified, (2) to determine whether the reduction in thermogenesis during weight loss persists during weight recovery, and underlies the disproportionate recovery of fat tissue and (3) to integrate the control of energy-partitioning and that of thermogenesis in order to explain the pattern of lean and fat tissue mobilisation and deposition during weight loss and weight recovery.
    METHODS:
    Individual data on body weight, body fat, fat-free-mass (FFM), and basal metabolic rate (BMR), assessed during the control baseline period (i.e. prior to weight loss), at the end of 24 weeks of semi-starvation, and at the end of a 12 week period of restricted refeeding, were used to calculate the following parameters: (i) a quantitative index of energy-partitioning, the P-ratio, defined as the proportion of body energy mobilised as protein during weight loss, or as the proportion of body energy deposited as protein during weight recovery, (ii) a quantitative index of changes in thermogenesis, defined as the change in BMR adjusted for FFM (or for both FFM and fat mass) and (iii) the degree of replenishment of fat and FFM compartments, defined as the recovery of body fat and FFM (during refeeding) as a percentage of that lost during semi-starvation.
    RESULTS:
    This re-analysis indicates the following: (i) a large inter-individual variability in P-ratio during both weight loss and weight recovery, but for a given individual, the P-ratio during refeeding is strongly correlated with the P-ratio during semi-starvation, (ii) body composition during the control period is the most important predictor of variability in P-ratio, such that the higher the initial % body fat, the lower the proportion of energy mobilised as protein, and hence the greater the propensity to mobilise fat during semi-starvation and to subsequently deposit fat during refeeding and (iii) at week 12 of refeeding, the change in adjusted BMR is found to be reduced by a magnitude which is inversely proportional to the degree of fat recovery, but is unrelated to the degree of FFM recovery. A quantitative relationship is derived between the P-ratio during refeeding, the % fat recovery, and the P-ratio during semi-starvation.
    CONCLUSIONS:
    Evidence is presented here suggesting that (i) human variability in the pattern of lean and fat tissue deposition during weight recovery is to a large extent determined by individual variations in the control of energy-partitioning, for which the initial % body fat is the most important predictor and (ii) the disproportionate gain in fat relative to lean tissue during weight recovery is contributed by a reduction in thermogenesis (i.e. increased efficiency of food utilization) for accelerating specifically the replenishment of the fat stores. These control systems, operating via energy-partitioning and thermogenesis, have been integrated into a compartmental model for the regulation of body composition during underfeeding/refeeding, and can be used to explain the individual pattern of lean and fat tissue deposition during weight recovery in situations ranging from the rehabilitation after malnutrition to the relapse of obesity.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8696417
  • bradp1979
    bradp1979 Posts: 154 Member
    I've been sort of wondering some thing myself. With my workouts now MFP is saying I should be eating 3800 calories to maintain my 2 pound per week loss, but unless I start eating junk there is just no way in hell I'm getting to 3800 calories, I topped out today at 2161 and ate a lot of food. I realize this is far from starvation mode but the reality is with this much of a difference between intake and output I should see huge losses over the next few weeks. Has anybody else experienced anything like this? Did you notice any adverse effects?

    It's been my experience that when I net around 1500 cal a day, and drink a lot of water, I tend to lose consistently. MFP says that I should net 2040 to lose 2 lbs a week. That is too much. When I actually do net that many calories in a day, I feel bloated and overfull for the vast majority of the day. I think if you just listen to your body, you'll do fine.
  • XxxxDONNA
    XxxxDONNA Posts: 17 Member
    Close your diary. Nothing to do with anyone what u eat x
  • opuntia
    opuntia Posts: 860 Member
    Ah, this seems to a trend on MFP. I see it all the time on the forums - people declaring that they won't add anyone who ever eats less than 1200 calories. There seems to be a general idea that eating less than 1200 calories is an intrinsically Bad Thing, and that those who ever do so have a death wish and may even be recruiting others to their death pact!

    I confess I find it a bit amusing! I mean, realistically, people in life tend to have certain stipulations about the kind of people they will and won't be friends with, and these are often based on very rigid stereotypes, but in real life no one actually speaks these stipulations out loud. Here on MFP, though, people make clear their stipulations right from the start. Which in a way, kind of makes it easier. You can also state your own disclaimers, so that these very rigid-viewed people won't end up on your friends list.

    I've made my profile public and explained in it that people who have a list of stipulations, and who want someone who's just like them, are unlikely to want to be my friend! I let people know what to expect - and what not to expect - if they friend me! I think that works quite well. The people who friend me are more likely to be people who think for themselves and who are open minded and accepting of difference.

    It's a shame you've felt the need to make your food diary private. My food diary is friends only. I enjoy letting my friends see what I eat, and also seeing what they eat. If they were to judge me for it, and not want to be my friend because of what I eat, I'd rather they unfriended me - I wouldn't want to make my diary private just to keep them happy. I want friends I can be open with, rather than having to hide what I do and who I am. There is no point in having friends you have to hide from.
  • Whitezombiegirl
    Whitezombiegirl Posts: 1,042 Member
    Amen. I think its' ridiculous imposing a standard on everyone. I have set my goal at 800 a day- some times I go over, sometimes I go under. I don't have an eating disorder- I'm just petite in hight and stature. I only want to shed a couple of pounds, no big deal. I also fast twice a week at 300 cals or so for health reasons.

    I wonder what people would make of my partner who is an extreamly healthy 46 year old man- very heavy muscled and who does a manual job. He eats nothing till about 9pm and throughout the week he might skip even one nights eating or just have a plain salad. At the weekends he might consume 5000 cals each day (he also eats paleo). It's not an eating pattern I could live with but he has tonnes of energy, his muscle mass remains the same and he never gets sick. Maybe he's a medical marvel- who knows? but I would'nt 'unfreind' him for it.
  • annwyatt69
    annwyatt69 Posts: 727 Member
    I found your post very interesting. I have not been on here a month yet and this disturbs me. I thought the message boards were meant for encouragement and support not critiquing and judgement.

    You are the only person that can understand what works for your body. Congratulations on all your achievements thus far. I think you are awesome for doing the best job under the circumstances you have to work under.

    I hope one day to say that I have 50 pounds left to lose!!!

    Don't worry about the ones that leave, they just leave room for the ones that matter most.

    I agree that you know best what works for your body. If I ate the way most people do here on MFP, and the way they tell me to eat, I would gain weight the way I have the last ten years. I am not a big eater and I never have been. Most days I end up with about 800 or 900 calories and do so under medical supervision. What I eat and what I don't eat is no one's business but mine. If I have to do so on MFP with no friends, I could care less. I am NOT starving, in fact, I am usually so full most days I feel like a can of biscuits about to bust.
  • Alab51
    Alab51 Posts: 1 Member
    Sounds like you are doing really well. I believe that whatever works for you is the right thing.

    Keep going and attack those final pounds!!!
  • meowkapow
    meowkapow Posts: 103 Member
    My diary is closed and I don't add people I don't know in real life as friends. My health and fitness journey is my own and I've had enough of other peoples input in real life to deal with virtual nobodies opinions LOL. Don't let one persons choice to judge and exclude you get you down, we all live with our choices in the end, whether it's with weight loss or how we treat other people. Just do your best!
  • TaylorsGranddad
    TaylorsGranddad Posts: 453 Member
    not only is starvation mode a myth, but there's a diet where you only eat 500 calories a day twice a week, I've put a link below
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/8005-5-2-fasting