Starvation mode -Experiences and thoughts

Discussion in 'Slimming World' started by frankied, 28 February 2011 Social URL.

  1. frankied

    frankied Silver Member

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    I get that starvation mode is your body panicking and thinking there is shortage of food so it hangs on to fat.

    Do people think it's a different level depending on your weight? Or generally the same amount of calories for everyone? (expect difference between men and women)

    It can be really confusing esp with TV shows where the people are eating 1200cals with ALOT of exercise and having amazing losses:confused:

    Does anyone have personal experiences of starvation mode preventing them from loosing weight? or the opposite where they have eaten amounts that could be considered to hit the barrier for starvation mode but had really good losses?
     
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  3. lesley50

    lesley50 Full Member

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    I have heard this starvation mode theory a lot , and sometimes it does seem that if you eat too little you dont lose as much weight ..............But then plenty of people have starved to death , so it cant be entirely true
     
  4. catxx

    catxx Full Member

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    Well personally I do believe we have a starvation mode. Not only does it slow our metabolisms down too much if we are not eating enough but it is likely to set you up for a huge binge.

    As a teenager I could go for a few days existing on hardly anything, then I'd binge for a few days. God I wish I had known now what I did then!

    Obviously the case with anorexia is that they are not eating at all so there is no food or fat for it to hold on to at all.

    Funny thing the human body :)

     
  5. Scanbran

    Scanbran Stupid Member

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    I know the theory behind it, but when I eat less I lose weight.

    If I fast for 24 hours or so, I lose weight too.

    Your body might try to hang onto it's stores by slowing your metabolism down, but it needs something to use for energy, and that is what fat stores are after all.
     
  6. eternity

    eternity Gold Member

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    I read that you have to eat VERY few calories for a considerable length of time before starvation mode sets in, and that while you are eating the very low calories you will lose weight but that when you start eating more calories that's when the starvation mode makes you hold on to the extra calories. That's why very low calorie diets (less that 500 cals a day) work to lose weight quickly, but you have to raise your calories very slowly to maintain after such a diet.

    People die of starvation because they never raise their calories to stop losing weight.
     
  7. Xassy

    Xassy Silver Member

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    You are correct. Starvation mode is fairly common in low weight anorexics but not so common in general.
     
  8. who_la_hoop

    who_la_hoop Silver Member

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    I have never experienced "starvation mode" - if I eat very low cal on a crash diet, I just lose weight. HOWEVER, on diets like that I feel very deprived, constantly hungry... and then I binge like crazy and end up heavier than I started.

    I know it's really tempting sometimes to just cut right down and hope this supercharges your weight-loss - but although I've had great losses in the past with the cabbage soup diet and so on, I've always put the weight I've lost almost straight back on and then some. I think this is the real danger of low-cal diets, rather than worries about slowing your metabolism!
     
  9. Sum

    Sum Hula princess in training

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    I don't think i ever reached "starvation mode" but on SW i did get to a time when i wasn't loosing any weight but instead putting on or STS even though i was following the plan 100%. It turns out i wasn't acutally eating enough, so my C and friend adviced me to start eating more than i was and i've now started to loose weight again (I know its odd but its true lol)
     
  10. frankied

    frankied Silver Member

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    The reason I ask and this topic has come to mind is because my consultant suggested I wasn't eating enough (2 weeks ago) and could be the reason for my slow loss but I reckon I was still eating 1400- 1600cals (my BMR is about 1900) on average and she was saying by eating more I may loose more weight and I rightly so I wasn't convinced.( It made no difference either way at next weigh in) I can't see how when it hasn't caused me to binge or blow it.

    I wanted to know what other people's thoughts were on the whole topic as I'm not the only person she said this too over the weeks and I have heard this reason often on here too.
     
  11. rumbletummy

    rumbletummy Silver Member

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    I personally don't believe in starvation mode unless you're a really low weight and eating about 400 cals a day, if I've reduced my calories to around 1000 I've always lost well, and if I've had around 1400 a day I've always lost slow, but then we're all different and that's just me!

    Are you feeling any better about this week?

    I meant to say that I think the nurse will still be pleased with your weight loss even if it's not the 2 stones as I think you're doing really well! xx
     
  12. frankied

    frankied Silver Member

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    I feel a lot better this week (maybe until weigh in though!)

    Awh thx hun, I hope she will be too :)
     
  13. rumbletummy

    rumbletummy Silver Member

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    I'll keep everything crossed for you!! Even at a rate of half a pound a week it'll easily be a stone by the time you go back to the doctors (and I'm sure it won't be half a pound every week!) xx
     
  14. hollys nan

    hollys nan Gold Member

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    Glad youre feeling better frankied! Hold on in there hun!
     
  15. Loralou

    Loralou Runs with scissors

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    The week I went a bit crazy OCD and wanted to speed up my losses and ate hardly anything for the whole week....I lost 1/2lb. Other weeks was losing 2lbs or more. Go figure.
     
  16. Sparky67

    Sparky67 Full Member

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    Eating too little for you will slow your losses. However, what is too little for one person isn't necessarily the same for another.

    There is a scientific formula for working out your calorie needs which varies according to current weight, age and body composition. Remember your BMR is what your body needs to function assuming it lays in bed all day, and doesn't take into account your normal activity, let alone exercise.

    A woman that currently weighs 140 pounds has a BMR of around 1400 calories. With a sedentary lifestyle that equates to around 1966 cals a day to maintain weight. Therefore the average SW daily food of 1500 would probably be just about right.

    However, if the woman now weight 220 pounds, the BMR rises to 1740 and with sedentary activity you would need 2450 cals per day to maintain weight. Now 1500 cals a day is well under your BMR so you have nothing to fuel your moving about with because all your energy is needed for breathing and maintaining your body. In fact there isn't quite enough, so your body will do what it needs to make sure it can survive and that is start to slow down your metabolic rate and hang on to what energy you do give it.

    If the 220 pound woman adds on 350 cals of exercise a day, you need 2800 cals to maintain weight. If you have only eaten 1500 and 350 was used on the exercise (and I am being simplistic here), that only leaves 1150 - but we have already established the BMR is 1740, so you are now well under that.

    It is too simplistic to say everyone needs to eat 1300 cals a day or whatever, because that will be much too low for some but not others.

    Fasting will make you lose "weight" because you will deplete your glycogen stores which store water. In the long term if you starve yourself of course you will lose weight, it would be ludicrous toi suggest otherwise, but for the best weight loss you need to be eating the right balance between too few and too many calories.
     
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