• Upgrades have been completed! Including conversations, 😁😎🏀⚾⚽ Emojis and more.. Read more

"Starvation" mode.... wonder if anyone can answer my question



Silver Member
That certainly is a question! Well so long as you're getting a varied diet, I shouldn't see why it would be particularly detrimental to health, however, burning off all your eaten calories probably wouldn't help your weight loss; when you're essentially starved after burning it off, you'll probably start the 'starvation mode'. I'd probably suggest eating a bit more just to make sure your body gets enough calories.

Does that even make sense?!
I often wonder the same thing myself Serenity. I read that we are supposed to eat back what you exercise off but that can be pretty difficult with healthy foods being mostly low cal and all. I find that some weeks I stay the same but lose inches and then in a few weeks the scales do catch up. It's not affected me so far and I like to exercise too.


Silver Member
I definitely don't think anyone should eat everything they've just exercised off, or what's the point! I used to burn off probably more than I ate, well I know I did, but I think that if it's a lifestyle it shouldn't matter; while some people enjoy taking all that time for exercise, mine was excessive and purely for weight loss!
Well I am having a lot of fruit, veg and salad, between 1200 - 1500 cals a day but I am burning around 1000 cals a day with exercise.

Im far from a fitness freak, but Ive only ever lost weight by doing very strict diets, total food replacement etc, I went from 16 stone to 12 stone in 5 months but came off the diet and gained 7lbs so up to 12stone 7lbs now and I've realised that I need to change my mind set and life style, before Ive always shyed away from exercise, always wanted quick win diets that saw me lose lots of weight without having to get off my back side. But this time Im counting calories, cutting down the size of meals, eating until im not hungry instead of eating until I felt full, keeping a diary, made small changes like instead of when I take the dog out just sitting in the park watching him run around, to keeping him on the lead and brisk walking 2 miles, as well as the gym type exerice, instead of sitting on my bum to watch telly.. I sit on the bike and peddle away.

Im not feeling hungry


Silver Member
Well I do think to leave 200 calories in your system may hinder your weight loss. It's good to keep active, of course it is, but to burn off all your energy leaves nothing for your bodily functions to work correctly.
I guess its hard to go from living on 600 cals a day on total food replacement to feeling that Im going to lose anything eating over double that. I think I'll continue doing my food and excerise diary and monitor that and listen to my body, try and stick to the 1500 calories a day side of it more then the 1200, if I feel I need to eat more I'll up my intake


Silver Member
VLC diets aren't a long term thing though, are they? I think it takes 1100 calories for the major organs to function effectively. Did you exercise on 600 calories? Cuz you're now going even lower than on that! Just stay safe, I know too well that not having enough calories in the body can seriously harm you; I had blackouts here, there, and everywhere when I was burning 800 calories on my 1000 calorie diet.


Full Member
I think this is why heavy exercise isn't recommended on vlcd food replacements. Our bodies natural burn calories just from being, so only having 700 Cals and doing hard core exercise might be hard. I talked to a personal trainer and he suggested a few weeks on a vlcd with just very light exercise a few times a week but then suggested when returning to 1300 Cals a day, up the exercise to try and increase metabolism again. Also suggests eating more protein and doing muscle building exercise as well as cardio, so the weight doesn't quickly return..
I definitely don't think anyone should eat everything they've just exercised off, or what's the point! I used to burn off probably more than I ate, well I know I did, but I think that if it's a lifestyle it shouldn't matter; while some people enjoy taking all that time for exercise, mine was excessive and purely for weight loss!
I agree that you shouldn't eat back everything but I did read that people do. I personally try to make sure I eat more on the days that I have exercised HARD because I have found that if I don't then my weight loss does slow down. It's really difficult because I often don't want to. Its a difficult one I find. You need approx 1200 cals just for your body to function (at my height 4ft 11 not sure what it is for a taller person or weight differences) so if you eat say 1500 and then exercise 1000 back off that's putting you in a calorie deficit. If you do this regularly enough your metabolism will slow down as it thinks you are starving. You will then start to burn from muscles when you exercise as opposed to fat and you don't want that. This is all what I have read myself and I have done some epic research on it when I first started out as I was curious to why I was losing inches and not dropping weight (initially, I have caught up now).


Silver Member
I study anatomy and physiology so that's the stuff I've learned along the way. It's really good to see that someone else sees the logic in this! Nothing is not always better in the weight loss sense!
Absolutely! You have to fuel the car and the body too :character00182::8855:whenever I have fasted I keep the exercise light such as walking - mind you no energy to do much else ;)
No I didnt doing any exercise when I was on TFR which is why I want to lose weight in a way which will help me change my whole life style so I can keep the weight off in future.

Im keeping a strict food and exercise diary so I can monitor the effects it has on my weight loss, I read a article which said if you have a different number of cals each day, between a range of 500 cals up and down it helps stop your body from getting stuck into a rut, so I'll see how it goes, I won't make myself ill though, if I feel weak or crappy, then I'll up my calories :)

Thanks all for replies


Les Mills Fitness Freak
when i workout i usually go for 2 hours. i always burn an average of 1000 cals an hour, i try to eat at least 3000 cals a day though


Full Member
There is a lot of talk on My Fitness Pal about how you should never eat under your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - the calories your body needs just to function, as if you were in a coma). So let's say your BMR is 1600, and you eat 1600 that day but you burn off 400, they say you should eat your exercise calories so that your body has enough to function.

Another thing that has been said, is that you should find out what your TDEE is, and eat 15-25% less than that and then not eat your exercise calories back.

It's all rather confusing.


Full Member
The 7lbs you gained back was water and glycogen stored in your liver and is inevitable when you have been on a vlcd If you eat less than your bmr your body desperately tries to hold onto everything it can. It's important to realise its not fat gain and you should have noticed your weight level out if you continue on a decent amount of calories. Try increasing your calories from protein/fibre rich food and avoid the carbs until you are eating a good amount of maintenance calories then slowly introduce the carbs rich foods back. Its important to increase your fluids big time while you do this to stimulate your liver. I had this principle explained to me from a proffessional so it's not my own opinion, but I hope it helps x

Similar threads