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Starvation Mode Myth

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Starvation Mode Myth

Postby loveat116 » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:46 pm

Is Starvation Mode A Myth?

According to my doctor it is. This is something that is hyped up with dieters.

If Starvation Mode existed how do you explain Anorexia, Holocaust Victims, Children extremely thin in Africa? They all suffered starvation and have very low body fat. And the Minnesota Starvation Experiment showed that the volunteers in the experiment were still losing fat even though there calories were extremely low.

Im trying to find some evidence on it, but all the results I get are from forums - which cant be quoted for truth.

Lyle McDonald explains it this way: (diet and exercise guru)

In general, it's true that metabolic rate tends to drop more with more excessive caloric deficits (and this is true whether the effect is from eating less or exercising more); as well, people vary in how hard or fast their bodies shut down. Women's bodies tend to shut down harder and faster.

But here's the thing: in no study I've ever seen has the drop in metabolic rate been sufficient to completely offset the caloric deficit. That is, say that cutting your calories by 50% per day leads to a reduction in the metabolic rate of 10%. Starvation mode you say. Well, yes. But you still have a 40% daily deficit.


So is it just something that is blown out of proportion and hyped up? You can say it exists but where is the PROOF that it exists?
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Postby Mandie » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:29 pm

I think you're right. It's silly to say that if you eat 200 calories a day, you won't lose weight. Of COURSE you will.

But anorexia/malnutrition/starvation is VERY unhealthy. Very low calorie diets mean you are not getting appropriate nutrition - that's why people with anorexia get osteoporosis (brittle bones), amenorrhoea (stop menstruating/ovulating - become infertile), and can even develop other malnutrition disorders like scurvy and rickets.

The best way to lose weight and keep it off, AND STAY HEALTHY, is to eat a sensible diet low in fat and simple carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) and do some regular exercise.

Also - if you restrict your calories too much, you are at a much higher risk of blowing it and binging because you are so hungry all the time! ...and on that note, bulimia might lose you weight but it's also pretty unhealthy. :)
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Postby loveat116 » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:28 pm

Thanks for your reply!

In no way I would go on a very low calorie diet, it just annoys me when people throw around this 'starvation diet' terminology but dont have anything to back it up!
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Postby milkyway » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:51 pm

I don't understand the question :? ???
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Postby Playboy_bunny » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:52 pm

yeah I agree...you hear ppl (particularly on TF and the like) saying that they didnt eat one piece of fruit and then went into starvation mode :roll: Its annoying! :shock: I have had the same theory as you and actually had the conversation with my sister the other day ;)
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Postby loveat116 » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:53 pm

Yeah its hard to really trust what you read!

Thats why I generally only believe what is written in books
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Postby golden » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:11 pm

Thanks for posting that Ella, it was something I was wondering about myself :-)
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Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:14 pm

The way I always understood it was that yes you will lose weight if you starve yourself (really starve yourself, not just avoid 1 or 2 things), but because your body realises that it is WAAAAAYYYY under its calorie needs it slows your metabolism and that this effect continues after you come to your senses and start eating like a normal person making it easier for you to put the weight back on.

So kinda like it won't stop you losing weight, it will just make it harder to keep it off and to lose it again in the future due to damage done to your metabolism??

But I am not an expert and I am only going on info I have gained from others.

All I can say for sure is that a balanced healthy diet that is not overly restrictive seemed to work fine for me.
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Postby Mandie » Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:07 pm

That's true Tegan. In fact, it's the reason why so many yo-yo dieters tend to do just that.. yo-yo. When people go on fad diets (which are mostly very restrictive), their metabolism slows down. Sure, they lose weight, but once they finish their diet, the metabolism remains slow.. PARTICULARLY if they don't exercise... and so they put the weight back on really quickly!

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is a healthy diet and exercise... you gotta keep that metabolism pumping along!
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Postby Immortal » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:20 am

I was on a very low calorie diet, and lost a lot of weight... but i don't think my metabolism has slowed down, because I kept it pumping along on the very low calorie diet phase... It wasn't left with much of a choice cause I was out and exercising daily...

Also, Bodybuilders regularly starve themselves coming into a big competition, only eating up to 6 hard boiled eggs, and 2litres of water a day for the week or so before a comp, and even reduicing that in the 12 - 24 hours before the show, but they don't yo-yo then too fat...

In all thing it's about balancing everything out... Start with a VLCD or LCD and start Metosis... but when you finished RESETTING the system as my Doc put it, then start re-training. And this seems to have worked for me.

WARNING: VLCD or LCD shouldn't be attempted without the consult of a good Doctor, as it could be dangerous.
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Postby Lush Gal » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:12 am

Immortal did you mean ketosis?

Yes, I think a low cal diet works, it's all about energy in and energy out. I did TF for 7 weeks and it's a low cal diet - eventually (say the 2 week mark) you stop feeling hungry as your body starts eating it's own @rse for fuel.

If you've got the excess weight / fat, I can't see how it's harmful to get your body to use that as fuel?
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Postby Mandie » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:14 am

I think the biggest problem with it is that it is notoriously difficult to maintain/keep up a very low calorie diet. So more people fail, and stack the weight back on. Whereas with a healthy diet (making small changes) and manageable exercise, people can make this a habit for a lifetime, and keep the weight off forever.
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Postby Lush Gal » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:17 am

Totally agree Mandie, the low cal thing is great for a kick start but after 7 weeks I had certainly had enough!

It does have the advantage of shrinking your stomach though. I went away the very first weekend after I stopped TF - I ate probably a third of what I would've eaten the year before (we atayed at the Vineyards - lots of lush food!).
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Postby Immortal » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:38 pm

Exactly it... I only did it for approx 6 weeks. It was long enough for me to break my addiction's to chocolate, chips, fast food and anything else I ate slightly more than I should have.
It helped to RESET the programming. My meal sizes are smaller, and healthier because I've learnt to appreciate food.
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Postby Bread-Monster » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:34 am

Of course it's a myth, but think about it. Do you want to look like an anorexic? If so, starve away.

Your body is designed to be resistant to weight loss. It's evolution. once you start restricting your calories, your body will go into lock down mode. It'll still burn calories, but in the forms of, say, your brain, your organs, your muscles. Your organs will stop working as hard so they won't need as much fuel to survive. Your body doesn't need muscle, they use up a lot of energy, so they burn those, and after that's delt with they move onto your fat reserves and once it's done, voila! Skin and bones!

Personally, I'd rather not starve myself. You get bad breath, moodswings, and I don't want my body eating up my brain, it's quite important that it stays sane and functional :)
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