Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

THE BIG STARVATION MODE MYTH.

Options
11516171921

Replies

  • toutmonpossible
    toutmonpossible Posts: 1,580 Member
    Options
    The "muscle burns more calories" almost needs its own page. It's not exactly a myth because that is true. The common myths are how much more it burns, how much muscle you are likely to add, that you can easily maintain the same diet and that it isn't that hard to keep it once you have it.
  • mzmartens
    mzmartens Posts: 3
    Options
    Not true, mine said to eat 2100 cals, but my nutritionis reduced it by another 250, so I am eating 1850 a day....
  • Ottinger13
    Ottinger13 Posts: 55 Member
    Options
    Wear a fit bit, track your calories burned every day and eat less then you burn and you will lose weight. Burn more, eat less
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,477 Member
    Options
    Pretty sure it says 1200 for everyone. Personalized service lol.

    It's the smaller of BMR * activity factor - deficit of 500 cals/day per lb/week target

    and 1200

    so if you put sedentary the multiplier factor is 1.2 and if you put 2 lbs/week you'll get 1200 unless your BMR is more than 1833
  • mzmartens
    mzmartens Posts: 3
    Options
    The reason they lose weight is because they are not putting ANYTHING in there body, so their bodies have to relay on the fat/muscle that they have to keep there bodies going. The people who gain weight are the people that consume little bit of food for their bodies and the bodies hold onto it because they are "starving" and don't know when they will be fed again.
  • 3foldchord
    3foldchord Posts: 2,918 Member
    Options
    Please do everyone a favor and educate yourself. It was painful to read through very poor grammer and spelling to try to make sense of what you were trying to say.
  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,035 Member
    Options
    The reason they lose weight is because they are not putting ANYTHING in there body, so their bodies have to relay on the fat/muscle that they have to keep there bodies going. The people who gain weight are the people that consume little bit of food for their bodies and the bodies hold onto it because they are "starving" and don't know when they will be fed again.
    No, that's not what happens. People that consume too little put on weight because they binge and forget they did.
  • 55in13
    55in13 Posts: 1,091 Member
    Options
    The reason they lose weight is because they are not putting ANYTHING in there body, so their bodies have to relay on the fat/muscle that they have to keep there bodies going. The people who gain weight are the people that consume little bit of food for their bodies and the bodies hold onto it because they are "starving" and don't know when they will be fed again.
    No, that's not what happens. People that consume too little put on weight because they binge and forget they did.

    It is interesting that you almost never see this directed at people who do it. I see those threads all the time. "I ate nothing but lemon peels and half a bean sprout and I gained 5 lbs" - yeah, right! I think a fair number of them don't forget. The reason I dislike this topic so much is that it gives those people some sort of perceived legitimacy. There is also the issue of people with some very obscure medical concerns that really can lose next to nothing on low calories and I do have some concern about slamming them by accident. I have had failed "attempts" at losing in the not too distant past and it was my fault, not some tweaky biological mumbo jumbo.
  • ironanimal
    ironanimal Posts: 5,922 Member
    Options
    Too many people on this thread confuse losing weight and losing body fat. Not the same thing. Anyone can lose weight, make a smaller, just as fat version of you, just smaller.

    There are optimum ways of dieting and maintaining muscle mass and there are suboptimal ways. Both ways will lose weight, some will burn fat more readily than others, over muscle.

    But since you are losing WEIGHT at 1200 calories, who cares where that weight is coming from, huh?
    Get out of here with your sensibiity and logic. The scale knows all.
  • Caseyjones78gbt
    Options
    I’ve just discovered this thread so haven’t read through it yet but wanted to offer my experience on ‘Starvation Mode’.

    I fully believe I am in starvation mode.

    I started my journey in April 2011 at 484 lbs. By September 2012, I had lost approximately 220lbs. Since then, I have struggled to lose anything except when I did a keto diet in February and lost 25lbs in 2 weeks.

    I need to lose another 50-60lbs to get towards a healthy weight but no matter what I do, I cannot shift a pound.

    For the first year, I ate c. 800 cals and just walked for exercise. Once I hit a plateau, I joined a gym and bumped up the calories to 1,400. That took off another 60lbs or so but since then, with the exception of the weight lost on keto I just cannot lose a pound.

    I’ve tried eating more for 12 weeks as per the road map but It didn’t help. I count every calorie so I know there is no creep there. I tried exercising more and exercising less but nothing works.

    Last week I decided to try the 5:2 diet along with 90 minutes in the gym every day (a combination of cardio and weights). I did not lose an ounce. So frustrating.

    So for the first time on my journey, I decided to have a cheat weekend (It was a long weekend where I live). I never ‘cheat’. I eat 99% clean with the only treat an occasional spoon of PB2. The only carbs I eat are a small bowl of oatmeal, a green apple and green vegetables. Apart from that, I eat eggs, meat, cheese, nuts etc.

    In 4 days eating approximately 5,000 calories a day, I put on 18lbs! A lot of that is water weight from the carbs and I have lost 9lbs in the last 3 days (albeit 2 of those days were 500 calories on the 5:2 diet). I’m really hoping the shock to my system will help kick things off but after 9 months of practically no movement, I don’t believe it will.

    Generally, if east a couple of hundred calories extra I put on a couple of pounds.

    I’m just about at the point where I have to accept that I’m going to stay at c. 240lbs and for my own sanity, this mightn’t be a bad thing.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I strongly believe I am a prime example of someone suffering from starvation mode.
  • toutmonpossible
    toutmonpossible Posts: 1,580 Member
    Options
    Too many people on this thread confuse losing weight and losing body fat. Not the same thing. Anyone can lose weight, make a smaller, just as fat version of you, just smaller.

    There are optimum ways of dieting and maintaining muscle mass and there are suboptimal ways. Both ways will lose weight, some will burn fat more readily than others, over muscle.

    But since you are losing WEIGHT at 1200 calories, who cares where that weight is coming from, huh?
    Get out of here with your sensibiity and logic. The scale knows all.

    There are also plenty of people who know their weight, body fat percentage, measurements and eat 1200 or less to lose.
  • Trekmum
    Trekmum Posts: 10 Member
    Options
    Starvation is a myth. It's simple physics and you can't change that law. The body needs 10 to 11 calories per body weight to maintain that weight. You eat less, you lose weight. You exercise and don't eat the exercise calories - you lose more weight. It's not complicated. Read the scientific study and ignore the old wife's tales and rumors. The study is located here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment

    Think about this: if starvation mode kept you from losing weight, there would be no anorexic people in the world, and prisoners of war would not be starved to skin and bone. They would all be FAT or maintain their weight.

    You have to be honest with yourself. If you eat your way through the grocery store on free samples, you have to count those calories; if you "just have a bite" of anything you have to count those calories; if you go to Starbucks - if you sneak food at night - if you drink protein drinks . . . You get the idea. If it goes in the mouth - you have to count it ** because your body counts it even if you try to ignore it!**
  • jwdieter
    jwdieter Posts: 2,582 Member
    Options
    If it goes in the mouth - you have to count it ** because your body counts it even if you try to ignore it!**

    If you don't put it in MFP, it didn't happen.
  • DatMurse
    DatMurse Posts: 1,501 Member
    Options
    The reason they lose weight is because they are not putting ANYTHING in there body, so their bodies have to relay on the fat/muscle that they have to keep there bodies going. The people who gain weight are the people that consume little bit of food for their bodies and the bodies hold onto it because they are "starving" and don't know when they will be fed again.
    No, that's not what happens. People that consume too little put on weight because they binge and forget they did.

    It is interesting that you almost never see this directed at people who do it. I see those threads all the time. "I ate nothing but lemon peels and half a bean sprout and I gained 5 lbs" - yeah, right! I think a fair number of them don't forget. The reason I dislike this topic so much is that it gives those people some sort of perceived legitimacy. There is also the issue of people with some very obscure medical concerns that really can lose next to nothing on low calories and I do have some concern about slamming them by accident. I have had failed "attempts" at losing in the not too distant past and it was my fault, not some tweaky biological mumbo jumbo.

    weight retention is not always fat or muscle retention.

    There are many beliefs such as whooshes or squishy fat. Parts of your fat get super soft and fill up with water. Some people will stall out so long in weight and not see it budge. All of a sudden they drop 4-5 pounds.

    Cortisol levels also increase water retention which is another factor. So... there are many reasons.

    Weight loss=
    fat loss
    muscle loss
    water loss
  • Hexahedra
    Hexahedra Posts: 894 Member
    Options
    When I started MFP the default calculator put me on a 1700 calories diet. It worked for a month, then I hit a plateau regardless of the amount of exercise that I did. Worse, I started feeling weak and was even losing strength. I started reading up about BMR and TDEE then experimented with resetting my metabolism by eating at maintenance (2100 cals) for a couple of weeks. During the maintenance phase I gained a couple of pounds, then promptly lost it. Since the most accurate BMR calculation for me is about 1600, I decided to eat at slightly below maintenance (at 1900) to keep losing fat while not affecting my cardio and lifting too much. I have been losing weight steadily ever since, despite eating 200 cals more than MFP's recommendation.

    I think my body hit starvation mode when it was constantly fed at or below BMR. Starvation mode erased the deficit by slowing down my metabolism, which explained the generally lethargic and weak feeling that I experienced. Because there's no deficit there's no weight to lose, fat or otherwise.

    What people fail to understand is that 'starvation mode' doesn't scale all the way to 0 calories, your body is not going to hold on to fat forever, as it can not slow down your metabolism infinitely. At a certain point (IIRC around 500-800 calories) it can't slow you down anymore and has to begin burning fat and muscle to keep you alive. I don't know about you but I refuse to lose weight by eating that little, it's a miserable existence that I can't sustain for the long term.
  • etoiles_argentees
    etoiles_argentees Posts: 2,827 Member
    Options
    i believe translation is = build lean muscle to assist with calorie burn...
    ...and if I recall the math correctly, a pound of fat burns somewhere around 2 calories per day; a pound of muscle burns 6. So a 20 lb. increase in muscle mass (which is a quite remarkable increase) would increase one's calorie burn by 80 whole calories per day.

    yes. woohoo! 80 extra calories!

    http://weightology.net/?p=192
    http://www.ncsf.org/enew/articles/articles-poundofmuscle.aspx ?
  • ramonafrincu
    ramonafrincu Posts: 160 Member
    Options
    i believe translation is = build lean muscle to assist with calorie burn...
    ...and if I recall the math correctly, a pound of fat burns somewhere around 2 calories per day; a pound of muscle burns 6. So a 20 lb. increase in muscle mass (which is a quite remarkable increase) would increase one's calorie burn by 80 whole calories per day.

    yes. woohoo! 80 extra calories

    http://www.ncsf.org/enew/articles/articles-poundofmuscle.aspx ?
    :indifferent:
  • vkc1978
    vkc1978 Posts: 63 Member
    Options
    To keep your metab up on a low calorie intake is to get at least 8 hours of sleep and eat 6 times a day and i will stand by that but their is no reason why you cant do that. I don't people got obese from eating less no that's not the way it is never was never will be. And the starvation mode is when your metab slows down so go for a walk that should speed it up too. but Regardless you will lose all the weight you need because your in a Calorie Defiant. OMG i just ate lettuce today and that's it that's my new diet I lost weight hey you lose weight HOW from eating less. people you see who actually get success long term their eating less not more. less.

    Translator? Anyone?
    My dear fellow MFPers,

    To keep your metabolism up while you are on a low caloric intake, the best way would be to get at least 8 hours of sleep, and consume at least 6 meals a day, and I will stand by that. However, there is no reason why you can't do so in another way. People in the world did not become obese from eating less calories than what perhaps you feel they should, as that is not the proper way, either now, or ever. The starvation mode is what people call it when your metabolism slows down, so what you should do instead is to partake in a walk, or other brisk exercise that will speed your metabolism back to it's proper speed. Regardless, you shall still lose weight because you are continuing to eat at a calorie deficit. My lord in heaven, I just ate a piece of greenery, in this instance a single leaf of lettuc, and that's my new diet, and I have happened to shed a few pounds. Forsooth, you lose weight from eating less, hence when you see people who have success in a long term standing, it is because of this.

    *note - These are not my views, and are the views of the poster.



    :laugh: Great job!!! Its all clear to me now
  • 55in13
    55in13 Posts: 1,091 Member
    Options
    i believe translation is = build lean muscle to assist with calorie burn...
    ...and if I recall the math correctly, a pound of fat burns somewhere around 2 calories per day; a pound of muscle burns 6. So a 20 lb. increase in muscle mass (which is a quite remarkable increase) would increase one's calorie burn by 80 whole calories per day.

    yes. woohoo! 80 extra calories!

    http://www.ncsf.org/enew/articles/articles-poundofmuscle.aspx ?

    The article has good news with the bad. The resting rate it comes up with is quite low; under 5/lb/day. The good news is how much more is burned while exercising. I think that is the source of confusion with the muscle numbers. If you are willing to do the work to gain muscle, it is probably a reasonable expectation that you would continue to do at least some exercise. Still, I think the idea of adding muscle just to increase burn is overblown. I don't want to significantly alter my physique; just add a little up top.
  • etoiles_argentees
    etoiles_argentees Posts: 2,827 Member
    Options
    i believe translation is = build lean muscle to assist with calorie burn...
    ...and if I recall the math correctly, a pound of fat burns somewhere around 2 calories per day; a pound of muscle burns 6. So a 20 lb. increase in muscle mass (which is a quite remarkable increase) would increase one's calorie burn by 80 whole calories per day.

    yes. woohoo! 80 extra calories!

    http://www.ncsf.org/enew/articles/articles-poundofmuscle.aspx ?

    The article has good news with the bad. The resting rate it comes up with is quite low; under 5/lb/day. The good news is how much more is burned while exercising. I think that is the source of confusion with the muscle numbers. If you are willing to do the work to gain muscle, it is probably a reasonable expectation that you would continue to do at least some exercise. Still, I think the idea of adding muscle just to increase burn is overblown. I don't want to significantly alter my physique; just add a little up top.