question starvation mode

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Old 09-29-2011, 11:52 PM
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I have heard that if you eat under 1200 calories/ day (female), your body will go into starvation mode and mess up your weight loss efforts. I am getting full quicker... I think because I'm not feeling really well. How many days under 1200 is typically 'allowed' before your body begins to go into starvation mode? I'm not real low... I think was 995 or something last night and I may end up reaching 1200 tonight if I have a bed-time snack. It's REALLY unusual for me to not feel hungry or want to have seconds.... I couldn't think about eating seconds tonight if someone forced me.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jjj3 View Post
I have heard that if you eat under 1200 calories/ day (female), your body will go into starvation mode and mess up your weight loss efforts. I am getting full quicker... I think because I'm not feeling really well. How many days under 1200 is typically 'allowed' before your body begins to go into starvation mode? I'm not real low... I think was 995 or something last night and I may end up reaching 1200 tonight if I have a bed-time snack. It's REALLY unusual for me to not feel hungry or want to have seconds.... I couldn't think about eating seconds tonight if someone forced me.
If you're feeling full quite eating. Don't force yourself. Many people have lost weight with less that 1200 calories a day.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:28 AM
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I don't buy the whole "starvation mode" thing. I've done 30 days on 0 calories and dropped weight really fast. I've done nine months on 1,000 cals and dropped a couple hundred pounds.

If you're full, stop eating.

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Old 09-30-2011, 01:26 AM
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Thanks. I guess I wont worry about going too low. I just don't want to mess up my metabolism (more than it already is).
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:42 AM
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The real question then, is are you losing weight?

And, do you have energy to work out?

Do you work out?
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:15 AM
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I have only been doing this for around a week and have lost a bit over a pound. I do not work out right now but need to start. I do yoga once/ week and I work horses a couple evenings/ week. My first goal is to increase the yoga... it's what my body needs. I work a 'mostly' desk job and I'm a full time grad student (I'm 38 years old), so I am not as active as I would like to be. I know that it's an excuse but it seems like there are not enough hours in the day. My energy is horrible right now but I think that's because I'm not moving... not because I'm not eating.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:58 PM
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It's not the number of calories alone that is considered going 'very low.' You have to take into account your height and age. There are so many online calculators that figure your resting metabolism rate (here on fitday, there's one, I think...) To even consider 'starvation mode,' you have to know the number of calories your body needs to begin with.

That said, I don't believe the 'starvation mode' stuff either. I can't find any studies that mention 'starvation mode' - although it's not hard to find a blog that mentions it. I think that whole thing is kind of sketchy. When you lose weight, your metabolism adjusts downward just because you have fewer pounds on your frame to maintain. But it's so slight an adjustment over time that it's never going to count as 'starvation mode.'
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:17 PM
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I wouldn't worry about starvation mode either, you've eaten and you don't want anymore. Last Fall I had the stomach flu, and could not keep food or liquids down for 10 days straight. During that time I lost 15lbs. However when I could keep food down again those 15 lbs came back within a couple of weeks. I think that's what "starvation mode" really is. Of course that being said I hardly moved during those 10 days, mostly from bed to the bathroom and back again. So it could be argued that I didn't really burn many calories either.

I'm also not of the opinion that a "metabolism" can be screwed up forever. I've lost quite a bit of weight and am in much better shape than when I started and I can tell you for certain that my metabolism has changed, even though I have yo-yo and crazy dieted most of my life.

Last edited by almeeker; 09-30-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:49 PM
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Again, thanks to everyone that has replied. I feel a little silly today as my appetite has returned in full swing. Of course, pretty active day and waiting too long between meals... blah.

I have done quite a bit of dieting but the one that I stuck to the longest in the past was Atkins for a year. I lost 30 lbs. which was about right at that time but OF COURSE ended up gaining about 50. Now I have a much more difficult time losing weight than I used to. It could be argued that I'm older and less 'resilient'. Somehow I feel like that diet did effect my metabolism but maybe it's just age.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:32 AM
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i once went on a diet of about 1000 calories a day and after about the 3rd week i started gaining weight (ended up weighing about 7 pounds more then when i started). of corse everyone is different, my body type is probably drastically different then yours and the type of food i was eating (hign in fat low in nutrition) probably contributed to the eventual gain in weight, and the fact i wasnt exercising. theres no general number of days or calories that trigger the change because everyone is so different, and there are probably differences in how much people gain. one person may gain 10 pounds in a month some people 3, some people it wont effect enough to make them gain any. just like theres no set date for getting bald or getting your growth spurt. biology is inconvenient that way

but it is a fact that its real, despite alot of peoples opinions that since they didnt gain weight while starving it must not exist (normally i dont want to be a poo but when it comes to matters of health its important to know facts)

im real lazy and dont feel like researching it more then i have previously but heres a link that cites a bunch of studies n stuff.

Starvation Mode
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