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ANARIE Posts: 13,200
7/2/13 12:01 P

Coach Dean was working on it. It's *his* intellectual property, so no one else at Spark can just write it. (And if he's smart, Coach Dean will kind of hang onto it and work it into a book.) But do look through the articles; I'm thinking that I saw part of this idea in one of his articles.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
7/2/13 11:57 A

Spark should make Coach Dean's response into an article.

2/28/13 11:15 P

Thanks for the link and the info, its interesting and affirms what I already know. That's a good thing, since we hear so much information daily, and not all the time , still lots more that we hope for we receive misconceptions, false info, and distortions about what is correct what is not. I look for affirmation and today I found it TY for your post.. DRAGONCHILDE

Edited by: DALADYDENEESE at: 2/28/2013 (23:15)
CUSH1932 SparkPoints: (82,541)
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Posts: 1,683
2/26/13 2:58 A

emoticon emoticon

2/17/13 3:54 P

Coach Dean is awesome! Very good info!

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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Posts: 9,717
1/23/13 6:24 P

Giving this a bump, since the question was asked again here:

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
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Posts: 3,171
8/19/12 11:55 A


The study that Coach Dean is citing is the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. On Pubmed,
this link has a free full text that explains the study:

This link below details some of the results:

•The men’s resting metabolic rates declined by 40 percent; their heart volume shrank by 20 percent; their pulses slowed; and their body temperatures dropped.

•After nine months, their body weight plateaued and returned to their pre-study weights.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/19/12 8:43 A

I can't find studies on pubmed that deal with 'starvation mode.' What should I be looking for, when it comes to following the research on that database?

READE2MOVE2012 SparkPoints: (9,014)
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8/18/12 11:13 A

Thank you for the question. I had heard the term but skipped over it. Good excellent response from coach emoticon

VERONICA722 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 346
8/18/12 10:15 A

Thanks so much for this info re: less than 1000 cal a day and the starvation mode issues.

GINABOO1 Posts: 71
8/7/12 6:10 P

I have read all replys and this is really good information. I thought I knew more about eating fewer calories but it can be just as bad if your not getting enough calories and I have started back taling my vitamin D as my Dr. states I was without and gave me pills to take plus the over the counter vitamin D. This was a big help and I will soon adjust where I need too.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/17/12 6:52 A

Sorry for filling this up with "bumps", but Coach Dean has some very good things to say - take the time to scroll down and read.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
6/14/12 1:49 P

I think this thread should be bumped. :)

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
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Posts: 3,171
7/17/11 11:03 P

Whoa, that article from didn't mention anything about loss of muscle.

"When you severely cut calories and lose weight, your metabolism may make a slight adjustment, allowing it to temporarily run on fewer calories."

Also, what credentials does this "nutritional expert" have besides an M.D. This is irresponsible advise: "if you're under 5'4", it's okay to eat 1,000 calories per day."

JSUMMAR SparkPoints: (3,453)
Fitness Minutes: (610)
Posts: 18
4/21/11 3:22 P

Hi, Mrs. Mita!

I agree with most of what Coach Dean had to say on the subject. I am like you, in that I am much shorter than the "average" woman (5'4"). I am only 4'10" (10 1/2 on a windy day ;)).

Since Sept. 1, 2010, I have been wearing the BodyMedia Fit Armband. You may have seen them advertized on SP lately. This device has truly helped take the guesswork out of my weight loss struggles by collecting biometric data that is unique to ME. I wear the armband day and night. The device tells me exactly how many calories I burn (with a 98% accuracy). It has been another tool in my arsenal of wt. loss strategies and has allowed ME to lose 30 lbs. It is a committment though, but what weight loss plan isn't, right?

It may help you to know some of my statistics over the past 8 months:
Initial weight Sept. 1, 2010: 162
Current weight: 132
Average calories burned per day at rest (at start): ~1,800
Average calories burned per day at rest (now): ~1,500
Program to lose ~1.5 lbs. p/wk: 1,828 cals burn/day
1,016 cals consumed/day (=812 cal/day deficit).
Due to the fact that I'm human, I was maintaining ON AVERAGE, a 500 cal/day deficit over the cours of the past 8 months, and therefore, lost an average of 1 lb./week. Not bad, I thought.

I take a multi-vitamin, plus additional Vit. D, which has tremendously cut my appetite. I eat clean and work out 5-7 days a week (cardio + 2 strength days).

I read an article on about the myth of "starvation mode" that many people trying to lose weight buy in to, and it helped me to quit using that as an excuse. Maybe it will help you, too.

Here is the link for reference,

I also recently read an article from a nutrition expert and M.D. that stated the typical calorie intake for the "average" female to lose weight is 1,200 calories per day, but it further stated that if you're under 5'4", it's okay to eat 1,000 calories per day. Never have I seen that in any other publication before. And it helped to justify what I've been doing to lose weight. I wish I could find that article and share.

Would love to chat more with you about how you maintain that petite physique as I'm not much taller than you, over 40, and hovering at 132 lbs.

Health & Happiness!

Edited by: JSUMMAR at: 4/21/2011 (15:24)
8/5/10 11:56 P

Hi Coach Dean:

I am training for my 2nd Marathon in January. I am doing the 1/2 Sat and Full Sunday in Disney.

I am able to lose inches, but not pounds. And my weight has stayed the same for the 2 1/2 years I've been running. I eat a clean diet, vegetarian mainly, I have smoothies with greens and juice vegetables and fruit and take Vegan supplements that are low in cals but HIGH in nutrients.

I do strength and running training. The lowest weight i have been in 150lbs (I'm 5'5") but as soon as i start pouring on the miles again I shoot back up to 160-168.

Should i eat more? My waist is quite small, its all hips, butt and arms, which I try to target with Strength training and Swimming (swimming seems to make me lose weight, but then I am STARVING all the time)....

Answers for me???



LUCYG331 Posts: 52
1/21/10 9:18 P

thank you!! i have not had my thyroid tested - but my fiance has been asking me too. i suffered from anorexia for 4 years and have not completed any panels or bloodwork since i was sick - thanks for the encouragement! i think i will call my dr tomorrow and schedule an apt.

thanks again and best of luck to you too :-)

AILEBBELIA SparkPoints: (13,418)
Fitness Minutes: (4,362)
Posts: 3,171
1/21/10 7:31 P

Hi Lucy,
I don't think it's possible to permantly set your metabolism too low because of an ED. I had anorexia for six years and I am in recovery. I had to go from 90 pounds to 105. Have you gotten your thyroid tested? I get mine tested several times a year and have seen an improvement.

Good Luck!

Edited by: AILEBBELIA at: 2/12/2011 (23:16)
SUKALE Posts: 275
1/21/10 7:12 P

Coach Dean, thanks for that straight forward information. I have heard about starvation mode and now I understand it.

LUCYG331 Posts: 52
1/21/10 6:43 P

I have one more question about this - sorry to keep adding!

If you have struggled w disordered eating in the past (ie anorexia) and your body spent a significant amount of time starving - is it possible that you have permenantly set your metabolism too low?

I struggled several years ago - gained significant weight - but have only had success dropping calories very very low - which is not sustainable - i have since stopped trying and I have been working to build muscle mass . . but could i have caused irreversable damage to my metabolism???


YOOVIE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 15,549
12/16/09 2:06 P

Coach Dean you are awesome.

LAURAKOHORST SparkPoints: (139,802)
Fitness Minutes: (93,274)
Posts: 7,914
10/19/09 2:17 P

emoticon I'm so glad I stopped to read this blog. I have some very important questions answered and now can make some important decisions concerning my goals.

Edited by: LAURAKOHORST at: 10/19/2009 (14:17)
KAT7457 SparkPoints: (73,347)
Fitness Minutes: (56,263)
Posts: 20,233
9/10/09 5:39 P

thanks Coach Dean

SHIV379 Posts: 62
4/1/09 5:27 P

Excellent post! Really helped me :)

1/10/09 5:27 P

Thanks Coach! That fully explains it.

JIMILY Posts: 3
1/10/09 5:09 P

I am a newbie here. Great explanation. I had read the Sugar Buster books 7 years ago and understood the explanations about our metabolisms then. Last year I reread them and just couldn't understand the material and therefore couldn't get the motivation I needed to behave.
I'm four days into SP. Tracking my nutrition and my fitness. No Fast food no beer no wine. Love this tools and the BootCamp.

WAZZU.REN Posts: 3,331
10/29/08 5:42 P


PINKLADY19 Posts: 564
10/25/08 2:51 P

Wow! Coach Dean! I have also been looking for annwers to these questions! THANKS !!!

BZOOTY Posts: 110
10/25/08 12:00 A

That was awesome, Coach Dean. I'm definitely going to use your advice to readjust my plan given that I've been at a plateau for a month now. Great information!


THISTIMES Posts: 468
10/24/08 10:09 P

Great answer Coach Dean _ this is what I love about SP _ its not filled with some diet hype - but honest answers. For myself, I find I have to stay on the very low end of my calories to lose any weight - I figure thats genetics and the many years - way too many - of screwing up my metabolism

JMAYSIE Posts: 495
10/24/08 7:31 P

Thanks for the post Coach Dean.

HOYTKE SparkPoints: (49,872)
Fitness Minutes: (69,559)
Posts: 116
10/24/08 1:16 P

wow, this is awesome! Thanks!!

LIZZY63 Posts: 16,450
10/24/08 1:04 P

Please Please make this into an article so that we can point people in the right direction.

As Coach Dean says there are so many myths/untruths out there and the words "starvation mode" are used way too many times!

NORWAYNANCY Posts: 1,566
10/23/08 3:35 P

Thank you Coach!

ALNESBITT Posts: 128
10/22/08 9:47 P

Your body goes into starvation mode when it does not receive enough calories. Instead of burning calories, your body will automatically begin to store the calories even though you are consuming less. emoticon

RK2004 Posts: 13
10/22/08 9:45 P


LDYRED53 SparkPoints: (17)
Fitness Minutes: (5,946)
Posts: 2,566
10/22/08 9:32 P

Coach Dean,
I just read your starvation mode answer and it was very informative.But here is my problem (we are bombarding you all at once!)I joined SP 8/3/08.I am 5'.I currently weigh 156lbs. My goal is for 140lbs then 130lbs.My cals. are 1,200-1,500.Here is my problem.I have lost only 3lbs.I have muscular dystrophy (SMA) and have no muscle strength to exercise.Since 8/3/08 I have eaten breakfast everyday,stayed at 1,000-1,200 cals.I eat 3-4 fruits plus veggies a day.But I have always watched my white carbs.I eat no white bread,rice,potatoes,or pasta.Even though I do feel good I can't move that scale.The less I can weigh I will be able to walk easier and move easier.Less weight for my muscles to use.I saw a nutritionist 4 yrs ago,who knew my condition,insisted I eat 1,800 cals. aday and I gained 7lbs. in 2 weeks.What could you suggest for me.I am getting very frustrated about my situation.
Thank you for any advise you may have.

LINDS411 Posts: 54
10/22/08 5:54 P

Hi Coach Dean-
Just joined SP last week and have been trying to learn more about this topic. I've exercised for 13 years, make healthy eating choices with indulgences. I didn't exercise for a few months due to surgery. I feel like I actually gained some weight when I resumed exercise while I maintained my nomal weight when I couldn't exercise. I'm 5'4", 120 lbs. 110 is normal for me...I'm shooting for 108 lbs. by 1/11/09 (a lb./wk)/. Spark has given me a range of 1230-1580/day. This is me exercising 4-6x/week burning roughly 2800 cal for the days I exercise. I've been keeping track of calories and heart rate when exercising...I cannot budge an ounce. I tried cutting calories on my won to no avail. Does the above sound right to you? Now do I just stay the course and see what happens over the next several weeks -month? How do I know I'm eating the right caloric inout/day inorder to lose weight? Your advice/feedback are GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thank you-

CHOC0LATE SparkPoints: (46)
Fitness Minutes: (30,524)
Posts: 3,070
10/8/08 7:03 P

Very well said Coach Dean! Thanks! I needed to read that as well! You answered many of my questions. Thanks again! emoticon

TAMOSQUITO Posts: 1,090
8/1/08 3:44 P

Wow, Coach Dean.

Any possibility of making that an article?

MRS.MITA Posts: 888
8/1/08 1:05 P

Thank you soooooo much, Coach Dean!

This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for!


AASLP___ Posts: 9,650
8/1/08 12:27 P

Nevermind--as I posted you got an awesome response :)

Edited by: AASLP___ at: 8/1/2008 (12:25)
SP_COACH_DEAN SparkPoints: (116,630)
Fitness Minutes: (245,387)
Posts: 15,290
8/1/08 12:24 P

Hi, M

I would agree that "starvation mode" is a concept that gets overused and misunderstood very often and easily. Eating too little will not cause you to stop losing weight or gain weight over the long term. It can cause that effect in the short term, if the calorie deficit is not too large, because your body does have mechanisms for slowing down your metabolism to conserve energy, in order to cope with short-term variations or shortages in food supply.

Basically, your body is all about "homeostasis," or maintaining its internal conditions within a small range. This is obvious when you look at something like blood pressure or body temperature--your body has all kinds of little "tricks" it can use to maintain its core temperature, for example, within a narrow range. It can sweat when it gets hot, shiver when it gets cold, divert blood flow away from or towards certain critical areas, etc.

The same is true about energy balance--energy in versus energy out. When there isn't enough energy coming in to meet current needs, there are many tricks your body has for reducing your energy needs to more closely match what's available. From the outside, it can look like your weight loss slows down or even stops for a little while, but that's not your body's "goal," and it's not really trying to "conserve fat." It's simply doing what it can to reduce energy expenditure by slowing down or shutting off certain non-essential operations (like growing and repairing hair and nails) and shifting where it gets the fuel it uses for immediate needs.

Which of these tricks it will use depends on how big the shortage is, how long it's been going on, and other factors, including your own genetic dispositions. And what effect all this has on your weight also depends on these factors. Which means there isn't any simple way to predict in advance what you should expect if you reduce calories or increase exercise by X amount instead of Y amount.

I think that, if there's a general policy you can follow to protect against "starvation mode", it would be that you should not eat less than it would take to maintain good health and nutrition if you were already at your goal weight. Or, to put it another way, you should eat and exercise as if you're already at your goal weight, and let your body take care of eliminating any excess fat you have right now. As always with general rules, there are exceptions--people with some obesity-related health problems, and people who are morbidly obese to the point that their health is in immediate jeopardy, may need to do things differently, as suggested by their doctor.

Since there is so much confusion about the idea of starvation mode here on the message boards, I've been working on a little quiz people can use to sort out some of the common misconceptions. Here are some of the common statements you'll see/hear about starvation mode, and an explanation of whether they are true or false, and why:

1. The larger the deficit between the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you need to maintain a normal weight, the faster your body will take fat out of storage and burn it as energy.


Excessive calorie restriction actually slows down your metabolic rate (the calories you use just to keep all your necessary bodily functions operating)—often by as much as 40%, according to several studies. This can amount to as much as 400-800 fewer calories burned per day, which is definitely enough to make your weight loss go slower than your calorie deficit numbers say it should. But this drop in metabolic rate is not enough to stop weight loss or fat loss completely (otherwise it would be impossible for people to starve). The real problem is that it can and does change where the lost weight comes from. While moderate calorie restriction allows your body to get most of the additional energy it needs from your stored fat, severe calorie restriction forces it to use the energy stored in your muscles and organs to a much greater degree, which can be debilitating and even fatal in cases of true starvation. Since your muscle and lean organ tissues are the real calorie burners in your body, the more of it you lose, the less you can eat without gaining weight and the harder it becomes to lose fat. This also explains why people who lose weight with semi-starvation diets almost inevitably regain all that weight and more when they return to normal eating levels—and it doesn’t come back as muscle or organ tissue, it comes back as fat.

2. If you consistently eat less than 1200 calories per day (1500 for men), your body will go into starvation mode.


Although there are important reasons why people shouldn’t go below these minimum calorie intake levels (see Question 6 below), there is no single level of calorie intake that determines when people will shift into “starvation mode.” What determines this is the difference between your calorie intake and your needs, which varies for everyone depending on factors like size, age, gender, health factors, and activity level. Also, your individual genetics play a large role in how quickly and how strongly your body responds to extreme calorie deprivation. In most cases, a starvation-level diet is one that persistently provides less than 50% of the energy you would need to maintain your ideal weight at your normal activity level. That could be quite a bit more or less than 1200 calories, depending on individual factors, and it will normally take more than an occasional day of going too low on calories to cause problems.

3. Less overweight individuals will lose a larger percentage of lean muscle and organ tissue and less fat than obese individuals, when they restrict calorie intake too severely.


Evidence indicates that people with a Body Mass Index of 30 or less will lose their lean body mass more quickly and easily than people with a BMI over 30 (obese). To a large extent, this is just common sense—people with less fat to lose will lose more of their weight from other sources if they force the issue through excessive calorie restriction. But there also may be biological mechanisms that cause people with less total body fat to rely more on protein stored as lean tissue during excessive calorie deprivation. In any case, it’s clear that the less weight you have to lose, the more important it is to avoid excessive calorie restriction and rapid weight loss.

4. Regular strength training and cardio exercise can prevent the excessive loss of lean body tissue, even when calories are restricted too severely.


It’s true that strength training and other exercise will minimize the loss of lean muscle and maximize the loss of body fat, when individuals restrict calorie intake moderately. The combination of moderate calorie restriction (enough to lose one half to 2 pounds per week, depending on your starting weight) and regular strength training can reduce lean muscle loss from 25% of total weight lost (normal, when exercise is not included) to 3-5%. However, this muscle protecting effect of exercise is mostly lost when calorie deficits become too extreme, because there are not enough resources available to support muscle recovery or, eventually, to fuel the necessary exercise activity.

5. It’s OK to have a very large deficit between calories in and calories out, as long as most of the deficit comes from lots of extra cardio exercise and not from eating too little.


Since the trigger for starvation mode problems is having too much of a difference between what you need and what you take in, it really doesn’t matter how that deficit gets created. In fact, excessive cardio exercise can actually increase the problem of breaking down muscle tissue to obtain needed energy, because your body can’t use much fat as energy when you are working out at higher intensity levels. It must rely mainly on glucose, and if your diet doesn’t provide enough energy to fuel this extra exercise, or replenish your muscle glycogen fuel tanks between bouts of exercise, your body has no choice but to start breaking down the protein in your muscles and organs so it can be converted into glucose to fuel your activity.

6. Which of the following is a likely negative effect of going below 1200 calories per day, for women, or 1500 for men?

“ You probably will not get the right combination of vitamins, minerals, other micronutrients, fiber, and macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) you need to maintain good health and adequate energy levels for your daily activity.
“ You may begin to suffer significant psychological and physical problems, including obsession with food and eating, agitation, stress-related hormonal imbalances, sleep and mood disturbances, difficulties with concentration and attention, and fatigue.
“ You may compromise the functioning of your immune system, making it more likely that you’ll catch colds and flus, be more susceptible to long-term problems associated with inflammatory processes (like atherosclerosis), and experience other avoidable health problems.
“ All of the above.


Although your individual trigger point for starvation mode problems may be above or below SP’s minimum recommended calorie intake level, there’s not much doubt that just about everyone will have problems meeting their nutritional needs if they let their calorie intake drop below these levels consistently. Even at these minimum levels it can be hard to maintain good nutrition without being very strict about limiting empty calories and making well-informed food choices. And remember—“healthy” means more than just keeping your carbs, fat and protein within recommended ranges for weight loss. There are many micronutrients necessary for optimal health and well-being that aren’t shown on food labels—like all the phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, catechins, and other substances found in specific fruits and vegetables, that enhance immunity, defend against the negative effects of stress, promote emotional well being—and keep your body firing on all cylinders so you can efficiently burn that fat you want to lose.

7. The best dieting strategy for avoiding starvation mode problems, maximizing your fat loss, and keeping the weight off permanently is to eat and exercise as if you’ve already reached your goal weight and are trying to maintain that weight with a healthy lifestyle.


If you want to be a success in the permanent weight loss game, this is by far the best strategy to follow. Figure out how much a person your age, gender, and height, who weighs what you want to weigh, would need to eat in order to maintain that weight if s/he is doing the amount of exercise and daily activity you think you can live with on a long term basis. Then start doing all that—right now. Your calculation should include your BMR at your goal weight, plus about 20% of that for regular daily activity, plus whatever additional calories you expect to burn with exercise. You’ll probably need to experiment a little to get the numbers dialed in right for you.

There are a few possible complications that some people may run into with this simple formula. For example, if you have a lot of weight to lose (say, 75 pounds or more), cutting your calorie intake down to the amount you’d need for maintenance at your goal weight may make your calorie deficit at the beginning too large. Ideally, your calorie deficit should not exceed 1000 calories per day by very much, if you’re not under medical supervision, and the difference in calories needed to maintain your goal weight versus your current weight may be more than that. If so, you may need to pick an intermediate goal weight that is higher your final goal, and use that to do your math until you’ve lost some weight.

Likewise, if you’re already very close to your goal weight, you may need to eat a little less than your estimated maintenance level, just to make something happen. There’s just not much difference in the numbers when the difference between current and goal weight is only 5 pounds. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you can try to lose 2 pounds per week. Think in terms of aiming for a deficit of about 250 calories per day.

If you’re the impatient sort, your biggest challenge here may be finding the patience to settle for whatever rate of weight loss this approach lets you achieve. But in the long run, you’ll be glad you did. Honest.

Hope this helps.

Coach Dean

MRS.MITA Posts: 888
8/1/08 12:07 P

I don't want to starve myself. Even if I wanted to, I'd never be able to starve myself. I have a problem with eating too much, which is why I'm overweight. I really want to understand this starvation mode concept becuase there is conflicting information out there and I want to know what is right.

If starvation mode is a real concern for people trying to lose weight, I'd like to know how it works and where the line is so that I can make sure my program is the most effective it can be.

Also, it seems like there is a lot of misinformation out there about starvation mode. I see a lot of posts about people who have hit a brick wall with their weight loss, or even gained a little, and some people respond suggesting it's starvation mode. It seems to me like many of these people are not in starvation mode. Some of them may be eating a couple hundred less calories or something smaller, but I want to know what the truth is. A lot of people post opinions, but don't explain the science behind it, how it works, where the line is between dieting and starvation mode. These are questions I really want answered.

8/1/08 2:10 A

If you starve yourself your body then will panic. This causes it to hold on to what weight or storage it does have. But after a long period of time of starving it has to use something to survive this is when it starts to use the fat storage, then it starts to eat at the muscle tissue this is why people with eating disorders have very little muscle and look like skin and bone. Because they are just skin and bone.

Depending on how much "storage" you have will depend on how long it takes to loss weight by starvation.

But I totally agree with julienunruh. Are you losing weight to be sickly and skinny or are you losing weight to be healthier and keep it off???

Starvation causes vitamin and mineral problems as well as many health problems and system shut down. Is this what you are looking for??

Edited by: IMSIZESEXY at: 8/1/2008 (02:09)
JULIEN* Posts: 5,331
8/1/08 1:50 A

I guess it just depends on what your ultimate goal is. Mine is to be healthy. Generally, starvation is not healthy. I don't think starving is the best way to lose weight (even thought it is a way). I don't even lose very fast if I cut my calories back. Yes, starving will make you lose weight. That is why starving people are skinny. They also have gross, swollen faces and pot bellies. Their teeth fall out and so does their hair and nails. They grow a fine peach fuzz of hair all over their bodies. They can't maintain their body temperature. Eventually, they lose control of their bladder, then their heart and lungs crap out.

I, personally, am trying to lose weight in order to look better and be healthier and starving is not the way to get there. IMO.

MRS.MITA Posts: 888
8/1/08 12:44 A

I've read a lot of posts about starvation mode. I've read some research about starvation mode and what I've read seems to contradict what many people say, that if you eat too little that your metabolism slows and you won't lose weight. A famous study conducted in 1950 called the Minnesota Semistarvation Study took 36 healthy men and cut their calories severly over a 6 month period. Their calories were cut in different phases and eventually their calorie intake was cut to 50% of their normal maitanance calories. Their metabolism did slow down, but not enough for them to stop losing weight. Even at only 50% of their normal calories they continued to lose weight, and not just muscle either, they continued to lose fat too. Basically, their metabolism slowed but not enough to offset their calorie deficit. For example, they cut their calories by 50% but their metabolism only slowed by like 10%, so they were still at a 40% deficit. A lot of nutrition and fitness experts say that if you eat too little you will go into "starvation mode" and your body will hang onto every calorie to protect itself so you won't lose weight.

How can the studies showing people do lose weight on starvation diets and the experts who say you won't lose weight if you eat too little and go into starvation mode both be right? Anorexics are starving and they lost weight while in "starvation mode"? What is the truth?

If starvation mode really does occur how exactly does it work and why would studies show that people on starvation diets or who have severely limited their calorie intake continue to lose weight when "starvation mode" believers say that if you eat too little then you won't lose weight?

How much is too much when it comes to limiting calories (ie. under a certain number of calories, is it a percentage less then what your body requires

About how long does it take to go into "starvation mode" if this starvation mode thing is true? I know it's probably different for each person, but is it like a couple weeks, months, ect.? Does it depend on how much you've restricted your calories? For example, is it like if you eat only 60% of the calories your body needs then does it only take a few weeks for starvation mode to kick in whereas if you eat 85% of the calories your body needs then it takes longer?

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