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Starvation Mode - How Long Does It Take?

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  • 16-07-2012 2:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 364 ✭✭


    I've seen a lot of people in weight loss who seem to consider starvation mode as this big bad wolf and that if you don't eat enough for a few hours, you're body will go into starvation mode. I'm guessing that's not true but how long can you actually eat very low calories before your body goes into starvation mode and starts storing fat?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭Abdul Abulbul Amir


    I've always been skeptical of that, I think it's just about calories in vs. calories out. Maybe there's some small effect from frequent small meals, maybe not, I don't think it's likely to be significant. The only factor from conventional dieting wisdom that I've found effective is eating low glycaemic index foods, and that's just because you're hungry less often.


  • Registered Users Posts: 364 ✭✭Lago


    I've always been skeptical of that, I think it's just about calories in vs. calories out. Maybe there's some small effect from frequent small meals, maybe not, I don't think it's likely to be significant. The only factor from conventional dieting wisdom that I've found effective is eating low glycaemic index foods, and that's just because you're hungry less often.

    O....kay

    And the question I asked?


  • Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭davidlacey


    Taken from another board on the net;

    "As someone who spent a long time in starvation mode without even realizing it, let me see if I can answer some of the questions/issues you guys raised.

    First--one day of fasting isn't going to do it. It happens when your body doesn't get enough nutrition consistently over a period of time. I can't say there's a magic number, but I would guess somewhere between 3-5 days.

    Second--the only way to get out of it is to give your body what it needs to live. When I joined CC, I was at 120 lbs and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I wasn't losing weight when I was eating 700 calories a day. Everything I'd ever heard made it sounds so simple: calories in v. calories out. I thought I was doing everything right. I joined CC, got my body out of starvation mode by upping my calories and I've lost all the weight I wanted to (and then some--at one point I had to actually gain weight!).

    Third--I think the hardest part of starvation mode is that you lose your natural hunger signals so you never actually FEEL hungry. Maybe that's why it never even occurred to me that what I was doing was bad for me. I was eating (albeit not enough) and I wasn't hungry, so how could it be wrong? Hah. While not hungry, I was however, incredibly moody (I could go from crying to pure anger in seconds), light headed and floaty.

    Lastly--getting yourself out of starvation mode is not as hard as you think and it's totally worth it. I upped my calories by 50/day until I reached a normal amount. Yes, I gained a few lbs at first--it was natural because my body was self-regulating. I had trained it to not know when or if it would ever get enough, so it retained EVERYTHING. Once I had it convinced that I planned on feeding it consistently, the weight started falling off. It made no sense to me. At 700 calories I was maintaining at 120--at 1500 calories, I was losing rapidly. I also felt better, looked better, and was a far more pleasant person to be around"
    [/I][/I]


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,189 ✭✭✭drdeadlift


    Lago wrote: »
    O....kay

    And the question I asked?

    Your going to have to experiment with yourself because nobody has a clear cut answer.Everybody is so different from the next.


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭Abdul Abulbul Amir


    Lago wrote: »
    O....kay

    And the question I asked?

    Oh I see, you just like being rude for no reason. Here, let me help you out, I think you'll find this a revelation.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=starvation+dieting


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,919 ✭✭✭✭Gummy Panda


    Lago wrote: »
    I've seen a lot of people in weight loss who seem to consider starvation mode as this big bad wolf and that if you don't eat enough for a few hours, you're body will go into starvation mode. I'm guessing that's not true but how long can you actually eat very low calories before your body goes into starvation mode and starts storing fat?

    72-96 hour body will lower metabolism and start to use muscle as a fuel source.

    Lyle McDonald - Nutrient Metabolism


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,193 ✭✭✭✭MrStuffins


    Lago wrote: »
    O....kay

    And the question I asked?

    I hear people in Starvation Mode tend to get moody and get real rude to people who are trying to help them after they have asked for such help!

    I don't know if this information is any good to you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,829 ✭✭✭TommyKnocker


    72-96 hour body will lower metabolism and start to use muscle as a fuel source.

    Lyle McDonald - Nutrient Metabolism

    Would the body not turn to its fat stores before going after muscle tissue? I always thought that the body stored fat for times of fammine :confused: so why would it canibalise itself if there was fat available?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭Hanley


    Would the body not turn to its fat stores before going after muscle tissue? I always thought that the body stored fat for times of fammine :confused: so why would it canibalise itself if there was fat available?

    Gluconeogenesis I'd imagine - easier to turn stored protein into "fuel" than fat...

    Open to corrections/theories tho.


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭Abdul Abulbul Amir


    If you're literally not eating anything you need to get protein from somewhere, just for maintenance of your body. Epithelial cell turnover, enzymes, neurotransmitters, that kind of stuff. Though most of the discussion of it I've seen online tends to be about your body going into a starvation mode due to calorie restriction, rather than starvation. I'm not sure that I buy that so much, I think it's more likely used as an excuse for people to not reduce their calorie intake by enough.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭Hanley


    If you're literally not eating anything you need to get protein from somewhere, just for maintenance of your body. Epithelial cell turnover, enzymes, neurotransmitters, that kind of stuff. Though most of the discussion of it I've seen online tends to be about your body going into a starvation mode due to calorie restriction, rather than starvation. I'm not sure that I buy that so much, I think it's more likely used as an excuse for people to not reduce their calorie intake by enough.

    It still amazes me at times that people expect to be able to lose significant amounts of weight without feeling hungry from time to time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭Abdul Abulbul Amir


    Hanley wrote: »
    It still amazes me at times that people expect to be able to lose significant amounts of weight without feeling hungry from time to time.

    That's it. My weight has gone up and down over the years, but I've never lost any without feeling hungry from time to time, that's how it works. There are a lot of excuses that people use not to reduce their diets.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,287 ✭✭✭SBWife


    Hunger is the body telling the brain that it needs to eat something, while we shouldn't feel hungry all the time, feeling hungry when your next meal is due should be the norm regardless of whether you are on a weight loss plan or not. Never allowing oneself to be hungry is what's led to the national health disaster that is obesity and it's related diseases.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,919 ✭✭✭✭Gummy Panda


    Hanley wrote: »
    Would the body not turn to its fat stores before going after muscle tissue? I always thought that the body stored fat for times of fammine :confused: so why would it canibalise itself if there was fat available?

    Gluconeogenesis I'd imagine - easier to turn stored protein into "fuel" than fat...

    Open to corrections/theories tho.

    Yep. Certain organs require glucose and won't run on fatty acids. If you are not taking in dietary protein, it will go after the nearest source.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,189 ✭✭✭drdeadlift


    Yep. Certain organs require glucose and won't run on fatty acids. If you are not taking in dietary protein, it will go after the nearest source.

    Creb cycle and all that


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,818 ✭✭✭Inspector Coptoor


    SBWife wrote: »
    Hunger is the body telling the brain that it needs to eat something, while we shouldn't feel hungry all the time, feeling hungry when your next meal is due should be the norm regardless of whether you are on a weight loss plan or not. Never allowing oneself to be hungry is what's led to the national health disaster that is obesity and it's related diseases.


    Not always

    "hunger" as we in the developed world know it begins with your stomach making rumbling noises.

    This is simple due to the stomach being empty of material to churn/turn into chyme (empty vessels make the most noise & all that).

    It is quite easy to ignore those rumblings as you have 20 feet if small intestine that could still be absorbing nutrients from material that was passed into it by the stomach.

    I just thought that distinction needed to be made.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,991 ✭✭✭metamorphosis


    Starvation mode ... the plight of deprived Africans..


    I kid of course, but only to make the point that starvation mode is largely overplayed and given more attention than it needs to


  • Registered Users Posts: 777 ✭✭✭boogle


    That's it. My weight has gone up and down over the years, but I've never lost any without feeling hungry from time to time, that's how it works. There are a lot of excuses that people use not to reduce their diets.

    That's an interesting point. I've been gradually losing weight over the last two years. I've been advised to go for a calorie deficit of 500 and no more. Reason given was that a deficit of more than around 500 cals per day long term would either slow my metabolic rate or cause loss of lean muscle and all that jazz.

    So would you agree with this or advocate cutting calories even further in the long run? Just interested :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭Dermighty


    If someone needs to lose weight for a fight or something then either do the work or admit that they ****ed up by not doing it in time.

    If it's purely to lose weight then they're better off reducing the amount they eat by a moderate amount and upping their exercise regimen.

    Cutting 500 calories isn't really a figure that applies to everyone. I'll (more than likely) burn more calories (excluding exercise) than someone who is 50 pounds lighter and a foot shorter. 500 calories is a small meal (in my opinion), so cutting out a meal a day effectively is what it amounts to, common sense really.

    Using a (terrible) analogy: think of your body as someone who has something you want, you can either ask them nicely (reducing calories option) or by hitting them over the head (starvation). You'll probably get a better reaction by asking them nicely and it'll entreat them to respond in a similar fashion in future.

    As bad as that analogy is, your body responds better (long term) to steady consistent work. You won't lose lots of fat in a week, you can reduce your weight by a lot, a few weeks back I was losing weight for a fight and I lost 9kg in about 12 days (not dehydrating), but it was mostly food in my system, water and a small bit of fat. I did it by controlling what I was eating, and very importantly when I was eating, as well as exercising twice a day.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭Hanley


    The main reason super low kcal restricted diets don't work isn't because of any metabolic shenanigans. It's because you get so f*cking hungry you consume 3,000+kcals in one sitting.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 777 ✭✭✭boogle


    Hanley wrote: »
    The main reason super low kcal restricted diets don't work isn't because of any metabolic shenanigans. It's because you get so f*cking hungry you consume 3,000+kcals in one sitting.

    Understandable! So what about losing muscle then? Will it be an issue on longer term low cal?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,748 ✭✭✭Dermighty


    boogle wrote: »
    Understandable! So what about losing muscle then? Will it be an issue on longer term low cal?

    Not if you have an adequate protein intake it wont.


  • Registered Users Posts: 39,325 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    Would the body not turn to its fat stores before going after muscle tissue? I always thought that the body stored fat for times of fammine :confused: so why would it canibalise itself if there was fat available?
    Hanley wrote: »
    Gluconeogenesis I'd imagine - easier to turn stored protein into "fuel" than fat...

    Open to corrections/theories tho.

    Possibly plays a part.
    Another factors that I can think of would be that by reducing muscle the body will reduce its BMR, making survival easier. And also, apart from fuel needs, the body also needs protein to function on a cellular level. Hair, skin, enzymes, cell regeneration etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 364 ✭✭Lago


    Oh I see, you just like being rude for no reason. Here, let me help you out, I think you'll find this a revelation.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=starvation+dieting

    Apologies. I was only back from a holiday of non-stop drinking when I posted this thread (infact I'm trying to lose fat because of that holiday and that's why I posted this thread)

    I realise now, I just wasn't able to understand your post when I first read it due to tiredness/massive loss of brain cells. Either way, sorry about that and I appreciate the help


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,981 ✭✭✭✭Hanley


    Lago wrote: »
    Apologies. I was only back from a holiday of non-stop drinking when I posted this thread (infact I'm trying to lose fat because of that holiday and that's why I posted this thread)

    I realise now, I just wasn't able to understand your post when I first read it due to tiredness/massive loss of brain cells. Either way, sorry about that and I appreciate the help

    Stop being so f*cking polite. You'll ruin your internet reputation.

    MOAR INSULTS!! :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,242 ✭✭✭iverjohnston


    Bobby sands lasted 66 days!
    Mack in Cavan


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 252 ✭✭viclemronny


    boogle wrote: »
    That's an interesting point. I've been gradually losing weight over the last two years. I've been advised to go for a calorie deficit of 500 and no more. Reason given was that a deficit of more than around 500 cals per day long term would either slow my metabolic rate or cause loss of lean muscle and all that jazz.

    So would you agree with this or advocate cutting calories even further in the long run? Just interested :)

    If you are steadily moving towards a healthy weight and are happy in your day to day life while not becoming weaker or less fit from cardio-vascular point of view, stick with what you are doing. It is working well.


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