Good "Starvation Mode" Article



  • askeates
    askeates Posts: 1,490 Member
    I loved this article! I even went and read part of the other articles he mentioned :wink:
  • debi_f
    debi_f Posts: 330 Member
    Great article! Hard to take, maybe, but good info.

    Guess I have to figure out how to create a bigger deficit.
  • alanlmarshall
    alanlmarshall Posts: 587 Member
    Tagging for the 100 times a day I read "maybe you're not eating enough" on the main forum.
  • Vini9
    Vini9 Posts: 343 Member
  • highervibes
    highervibes Posts: 2,219 Member
    I love that site! There was a great article about fat loss vs lean mass loss that I recently bookmarked!
  • HappyGladGal
    HappyGladGal Posts: 21 Member
    Thank you so much for this post. The article certainly clear up my doubts. I have been fretting for days when I undereat my calories on some days and reading some posts on other threads didn't really help. After reading this, I felt much better. :)
  • SuperCrsa
    SuperCrsa Posts: 790 Member
    Interesting read!
    Actually learned something here..

    Edit to add: This should be posted on the main Thread!
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Glad he spent some time on the negative consequences regarding deficit being too steep.

    Too bad he didn't spend more time on what more current studies are showing is the longer term negatives of sustaining such a diet, and potential amount of adaptive thermogenesis outside expected changes based on lighter weight and lost LBM.

    Because do you keep chasing an adapted metabolism down in order to keep getting results? What's the potential effect once you get to maintenance?

    At least he had strong encouragement to have a reasonable deficit to start with, but he was talking about situations where folks obviously did not, because they are complaining about plateau's, so it might have been nice to discuss how do you recover, or how do you get back to a reasonable deficit when you've had a very unreasonable one for a long time and perhaps already caused some of those effects.

    For 23 hr measured sedentary TDEE in the lab, at 6 month check, the LCD was at maintenance this entire time from 3-6 months...
    25% CalorieRestriction - 209 lower than expected based on current LBM compared to initial sedentary TDEE.
    12.5%CR-EXercise 12.5% - 129 over expected
    LowCalorieDiet - 275

    Even after 3 months maintenance level eating, the initial LCD group still had a TDEE 275 below what was expected for their current LBM and FM and BMR. Perhaps more time at maintenance it would have recovered? But what happens if you kept chasing it down instead of being at maintenance on LCD?
    The CR group slightly recovered, but still 209 lower than expected.
    The CR+EX group actually had an increased sedentary TDEE.
    Now that was Sedentary TDEE in the lab that was compared.

    Measured daily TDEE with all activity was also compared to their measured BMR, with TDEE/BMR for physical activity rate (PAR).
    At month 3, CR and LCD had significant drops in PAR below what would have been expected for their current weight, LBM and FM, by CR 350 and LCD 497, with CR-EX having none. At month 6, CR 215 and LCD 241, so again some recovery.
    So the NEAT part of their day decreased as expected because of lower weight, but even more than expected because of less movement, resulting in lowered figures above. At least that can be recovered during maintenance hopefully.
  • luluinca
    luluinca Posts: 2,899 Member
    I've read this article a couple of times now and found it very helpful. It's so funny because I've actually lost 7-8 lbs a month overall since starting in September, but sometimes will go 4 or 5 days and the scale moves up a pound or two but doesn't go down, and as much as I already know about what I'm doing and that it's right for me, I still turn to the forums occasionally to see if I've missed something. Generally, I don't change a thing and the weight drops off in the next day or two anyway, just like it was supposed to.

    Invariably though I start reading the comments about starvation mode or "you're not eating enough if you're not losing weight" and begin to question myself, even though I know better. Hence, me coming back to this article. I probably should have it memorized by now................hahahaha.

    As a bit of reference I know a little about losing a lot of weight really fast and it does matter to your overall health to prevent yourself from doing that if possible. It really does screw up your body, especially in terms of losing lean body mass, energy, and overall health. I was very ill two years ago and literally could not eat and lost about 35 pounds in 6 or 7 weeks. I had to force myself to eat a spoonful at a time and then hope to keep it down. It was quite scary and my overall health really suffered for it. And then, once I was well again, all the weight I had lost went right back on primarily as fat I think. So even though I gained the weight back (not because I wanted to) I was much less healthy than I was previously at the same weight. I don't know if there's any scientific proof to back that up or not, but that's the way it seemed to me and my bf% and cholesterol both jumped up. Perhaps it was the food I was eating as it may not have been as healthy as I was used to eating before getting sick, not really sure.

    Anyway, the point is, if you starve yourself you do lose weight, but you probably won't feel very good during or afterwards and if I'm any indication, it takes awhile to regain your health.

    I finally got the okay to begin dieting and exercising again from my doc last September and am doing everything I can now to maximize my health, at my age I don't have much time left to make up for losing so much ground. It really pays to be smart about what you eat, how much you eat, and the kind of exercise you do.

    I love reading the posts here as I find in general, they're more helpful than the constant stream of mis-information and flame wars going on in the general forums. There are nuggets of great information there as well, but they're harder to find.

    Thanks Side Steel and Sarah for all you do!