what is up with starvation mode...

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  • __Di__
    __Di__ Posts: 1,651 Member
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    I think people are just using the phrase wrong.

    When most people say "you are going into starvation mode!!!!" They mean that the person is probably seeing a stall in weightloss from eating too little.

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence (I've experienced this too) that there is a threshold of calories (unique to every person) that if you go below, you will stall out. People are misinterpreting this as 'starvation mode' because they don't really know all the facts.

    I am interested to know exactly what anybody's body uses for energy when there is a deficit in the daily calories.

    There is no scientific evidence regarding eating too little stops weightloss, to do so violates the laws of physics.

    I'm not saying it stops weight loss. I'm saying that, over time, it will lead to a decrease in metabolism (MBR/NEAT) which will make healthy weight loss more difficult to manage because it will reduce the number of calories the individual can eat and still lose weight which can make getting sufficient nutrient more difficult.

    As the weeks and months go by, weightloss slows down, it is the way it works. However, many people think they can lose at exactly the same rate they did at the beginning and when they don't, they automatically think they are in starvation mode.

    That is not starvation mode.
  • __Di__
    __Di__ Posts: 1,651 Member
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    I luv it when someone says to eat certain foods cause they help you burn Fat as they provide “Negative” calories. Negative??? Really???

    lol I remember that, celery and cucumber or something wasn't it.

    When I first heard about negative calories I immediately Googled all over the internet to find out if it were true - alas it wasn't :laugh:
  • Hbazzell
    Hbazzell Posts: 899 Member
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    I just went to see a dietician who said I am putting my body in "starvation mode" when I go from night shift to day shift and only eat 800 calories sometimes because I am only up for 8 hours. Also, she said eating at irregular times puts the body in starvation mode. I didn't know what to say.think.
  • sozisraw
    sozisraw Posts: 418 Member
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    Only those with anorexia in the west are starving, the rest of the west are well fed, though can be undernourished
    on a western diet of over processed, and /or mass produced/ intensively farmed products
  • mayamatlin
    mayamatlin Posts: 1
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    I have never not been
  • __Di__
    __Di__ Posts: 1,651 Member
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    I just went to see a dietician who said I am putting my body in "starvation mode" when I go from night shift to day shift and only eat 800 calories sometimes because I am only up for 8 hours. Also, she said eating at irregular times puts the body in starvation mode. I didn't know what to say.think.

    I work shifts too, I find it nigh on impossible to stick to regular eating times, sometimes I have to get up at 3am other times I go to bed at 5am, I also eat at irregular times, I still say I have never been in any starvation mode lol.

    What credentials does that Dietician have, do you know?
  • sznnn
    sznnn Posts: 46 Member
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    YOU MUST STOKE THE METABOLIC FIRE EAT EVERY 2 HOURS

    i'd like to meet the genius who came up with that one...he has probably made millions on books...

    Had a Pt tell me that you wake up in starvation mode EVERY DAY, so it doesnt matter if it's only a single bite of food, but you MUST eat something within a half hour of waking up to get out of starvation mode.

    Oh the terrible metaphors. What's harder, getting a fire started or keeping it going? Can your car's engine run if there's no gas in the tank?

    1. You were CLEARLY not a pyromaniac as a kid. There is NOTHING easier than starting a fire.

    2. Ok, if we're gonna go with bad car matephors .. my engine runs the same regardless of if I have a full tank or 1/8th of a tank ...

    As far as car metaphors, I always wonder if the car in question is a Suburban or a Prius.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    skipping meals is one thing but starvation mode is another. I was full and satisfied last night and ended up with not using like 400 calrories and they told me when I closed my diary for the day that I was putting myself in starvation mode. It was not intentional. From now on I am going to eat what I am supposed to so I am satisfied until morning. hate waking up ravenous

    ummm that's a joke right?

    You have to eat nothing for three days to be in starvation mode...

    being four hundred cals below your goal is not starvation mode...

    this is what I am talking about people!

    Not what this person was saying, but let's add some assumptions to further the discussion...

    Are you saying that if someone consistently eats 800 calories that it won't affect their metabolism/energy levels/etc.?

    I can get on board occasional under-eating not being a problem...human beings are remarkably resilient...but regardless of what name you give it, I am convinced that chronically eating very low calories has a detrimental effect.

    Long term affect would be that their metabolism would in fact slow down..however, I do not agree that metabolic slow down is starvation mode..

    Starvation mode is when your body actually starts turning on itself for energy...fat stores are exhausted and the body starts using muscle for energy...then you are in true starvation mode...

    or am I just playing "semantics"

    Then I think we have just reconciled what earlier seemed to be two opposing views.

    I agree with this. The problem is, many people use the phrase "starvation mode" when they mean "metabolic slow-down". I have no problem with the position that the phrase is incorrect, as long as we're on the same page that "metabolic slow-down" is still something worth warning/advising people of.

    I agree that long term under eating is a bad thing ...

    I guess two things that frustrate me..

    1. when people say they are netting 1200 calories and someone says you are in "starvation mode" or even netting 800 calories..I am like no you have to eat nothing to do that ..or do a 72 hour fast ..then yes, you are jacking with your metabolism and really are in starvation mode..

    2. the minute someone posts a "help, not losing " thread the TDEE 20 percenters (I came up with that name..pretty catch hugh? LOL) immediately start yapping about you must start eating more now...I do TDEE method myself but that does not mean that it is for everyone...ughhh just frustrating that first thing they say is "eat more" as if that will work for everyone....
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    I just went to see a dietician who said I am putting my body in "starvation mode" when I go from night shift to day shift and only eat 800 calories sometimes because I am only up for 8 hours. Also, she said eating at irregular times puts the body in starvation mode. I didn't know what to say.think.

    get a new dietician...
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,167 Member
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    2. the minute someone posts a "help, not losing " thread the TDEE 20 percenters (I came up with that name..pretty catch hugh? LOL) immediately start yapping about you must start eating more now...I do TDEE method myself but that does not mean that it is for everyone...ughhh just frustrating that first thing they say is "eat more" as if that will work for everyone....

    It always confused me why people automatically suggest not using the MFP method when this is the site we are using. Most of the time the problem is the user, not MFP. If people choose correct goals and log exercise realistically, it works out to be the same.
    Both methods have their advantages. I have recommended TDEE at times.

    As for the "eat more". I am firmly entrenched on the "eat as much as you can and still lose weight" club. However the resounding "you need to eat more" on those questions frustrate me as well. I have seen it many times where people are not logging - how can you say they need to eat more when they don't really know how much. I've seen people who are constantly eating over their calorie goal but don't say that in their post. The other issue is I see crazy high calorie burn logs, eating back those calories and are still being told to eat more.

    Sometimes the answer is eat more, particularly for long term success and I have seen people who break plateaus by upping calories temporarily. But it's not always the right answer.
  • lcfairbairn74
    lcfairbairn74 Posts: 412 Member
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    Nothing to add.....just love this thread! Thanks for the laugh! :laugh:
  • MinnieLou92
    MinnieLou92 Posts: 36 Member
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    I swear if I see one more person say that "because you are only eating 1200 calories a day you are in starvation mode"...

    no no no no no and no ..you can't eat 1200 calories a day and be in starvation mode. You have to eat nothing for 72 hours and even then the effects are minimal...

    sighs, I swear my mission on MFP is to correct this BS ...oh and I used to believe in this crap myself too ....

    whats the lamest starvation mode claim you have seen?

    Broscience
  • Cassea7
    Cassea7 Posts: 181 Member
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    I have been wondering .....???? Now if a person has a lot of extra fat..like me ..then if I eat lets say mmm..1100 cals a day and my body is burning the remainder fat for my fuel..then whats the difference between eating food for fuel and burning fat for fuel? Either way its fuel for the body to run right? Now if you say that i cant get enough nutrition in vlc diet..I beg to differ..as I take natural vitamin powders everyday.

    I tried eating 1200 cals at first when I joined in March ..well I was exhausted..so i upped it and read many posts which said eat more and i didnt lose weight after upping cals..So i lowered my cals now and i am not tired and am losing? I prefer eating less now..

    who knows whats going on?
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,028 Member
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    I have been wondering .....???? Now if a person has a lot of extra fat..like me ..then if I eat lets say mmm..1100 cals a day and my body is burning the remainder fat for my fuel..then whats the difference between eating food for fuel and burning fat for fuel? Either way its fuel for the body to run right? Now if you say that i cant get enough nutrition in vlc diet..I beg to differ..as I take natural vitamin powders everyday.

    I tried eating 1200 cals at first when I joined in March ..well I was exhausted..so i upped it and read many posts which said eat more and i didnt lose weight after upping cals..So i lowered my cals now and i am not tired and am losing? I prefer eating less now..

    who knows whats going on?
    Yes, body fat contributes to the inside of the energy balance equation. It can represent about 30cals per lb of body fat. Basically someone that is obese, lets say they weigh 200 lbs with 35% body fat or about 70lbs that can represent 2100 calories for energy requirements which ultimately will depend on the deficit. Same weight, 200 lbs with 10% body fat can only generate 600 calories and the reason why the depth of the deficit and how much body fat a person has effects a metabolic adaption/slowdown when the body dips into lean mass reserves for any extra energy.......
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    2. the minute someone posts a "help, not losing " thread the TDEE 20 percenters (I came up with that name..pretty catch hugh? LOL) immediately start yapping about you must start eating more now...I do TDEE method myself but that does not mean that it is for everyone...ughhh just frustrating that first thing they say is "eat more" as if that will work for everyone....

    It always confused me why people automatically suggest not using the MFP method when this is the site we are using. Most of the time the problem is the user, not MFP. If people choose correct goals and log exercise realistically, it works out to be the same.
    Both methods have their advantages. I have recommended TDEE at times.

    As for the "eat more". I am firmly entrenched on the "eat as much as you can and still lose weight" club. However the resounding "you need to eat more" on those questions frustrate me as well. I have seen it many times where people are not logging - how can you say they need to eat more when they don't really know how much. I've seen people who are constantly eating over their calorie goal but don't say that in their post. The other issue is I see crazy high calorie burn logs, eating back those calories and are still being told to eat more.

    Sometimes the answer is eat more, particularly for long term success and I have seen people who break plateaus by upping calories temporarily. But it's not always the right answer.

    I am with you three dogs..

    I have somone on my friends list that always is posting like 3000 calorie burns ..and I am like there is no way that can be accurate but she says she uses an HRM....I mean I have a body fit media and my deadlift, leg curl, front squat, clean and press, ab (1.5 total work out) burns about 500 and that is pretty intense....IDK...
  • canoe4you
    canoe4you Posts: 8 Member
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    Thank you so much for this thread. I am very obese but have been working to lose it on my own instead of doing the whole bypass surgery thing. I am at a plateau right now and when I go to the 'motivation and support' boards to look around and read other really overweight people's stories to keep myself going all I see are others telling them they need to 'eat more' or have a 'cheat day' or something....i've been averaging around 900-1100 calories a day and burning about 330 through exercise 7 days a week and my doctor has said 800 calories will be good to see improvement. It blows my mind when I read about others telling us very obese individuals they need to eat more to lose weight when those who went on and had surgery so they physically can't eat more than 800 calories a day drop 100lbs in six months, I don't see the difference. I don't need to eat more and I definitely don't need a cheat day, i've had waaaay too many of those my whole life and I know if i cheat once im very likely to keep doing it.
  • DancingDreams1234
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    Starvation mode is a bunch of B.S in my opinion. Also the whole "Your body will start to burn muscle instead of fat" uh no honey, your fat is stored energy, it's there for when your body needs it, it will only use muscle for energy as it's last resort.
  • jofjltncb6
    jofjltncb6 Posts: 34,415 Member
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    Starvation mode is a bunch of B.S in my opinion. Also the whole "Your body will start to burn muscle instead of fat" uh no honey, your fat is stored energy, it's there for when your body needs it, it will only use muscle for energy as it's last resort.

    So you believe your body uses fat first, and then when that's gone (and only after it's gone), muscle?

    Interesting.

    Wrong, but interesting.
  • jofjltncb6
    jofjltncb6 Posts: 34,415 Member
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    I think people are just using the phrase wrong.

    When most people say "you are going into starvation mode!!!!" They mean that the person is probably seeing a stall in weightloss from eating too little.

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence (I've experienced this too) that there is a threshold of calories (unique to every person) that if you go below, you will stall out. People are misinterpreting this as 'starvation mode' because they don't really know all the facts.

    I am interested to know exactly what anybody's body uses for energy when there is a deficit in the daily calories.

    There is no scientific evidence regarding eating too little stops weightloss, to do so violates the laws of physics.

    I'm not saying it stops weight loss. I'm saying that, over time, it will lead to a decrease in metabolism (MBR/NEAT) which will make healthy weight loss more difficult to manage because it will reduce the number of calories the individual can eat and still lose weight which can make getting sufficient nutrient more difficult.

    As the weeks and months go by, weightloss slows down, it is the way it works. However, many people think they can lose at exactly the same rate they did at the beginning and when they don't, they automatically think they are in starvation mode.

    That is not starvation mode.

    Agreed, it's not "starvation mode". We covered that earlier. It is, however, very possibly a "metabolic slow-down"...and I believe that is significantly impacted calorie consumption (or calorie consumption deficit). Or at least I see a very strong correlation in my own daily weight/net calorie calculation of my own NEAT/TDEE.
  • jofjltncb6
    jofjltncb6 Posts: 34,415 Member
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    2. the minute someone posts a "help, not losing " thread the TDEE 20 percenters (I came up with that name..pretty catch hugh? LOL) immediately start yapping about you must start eating more now...I do TDEE method myself but that does not mean that it is for everyone...ughhh just frustrating that first thing they say is "eat more" as if that will work for everyone....

    It always confused me why people automatically suggest not using the MFP method when this is the site we are using. Most of the time the problem is the user, not MFP. If people choose correct goals and log exercise realistically, it works out to be the same.
    Both methods have their advantages. I have recommended TDEE at times.

    As for the "eat more". I am firmly entrenched on the "eat as much as you can and still lose weight" club. However the resounding "you need to eat more" on those questions frustrate me as well. I have seen it many times where people are not logging - how can you say they need to eat more when they don't really know how much. I've seen people who are constantly eating over their calorie goal but don't say that in their post. The other issue is I see crazy high calorie burn logs, eating back those calories and are still being told to eat more.

    Sometimes the answer is eat more, particularly for long term success and I have seen people who break plateaus by upping calories temporarily. But it's not always the right answer.

    Co-signing ^this.