LA Weight Loss - starvation mode -- getting out and continuing losses

07-29-2007, 04:37 AM
hello! I am new here but would love to get some feedback from anyone. Heres my story:

About a year ago I wanted to loose about 20 lb so I lowered my calories to 800 a day. At the time I didnt know there is such a thing as "too little" calories. I was about 125 at 5'3". I lost weight quickly to about 110, hit a plateau, then dropped my calories to 600 a day to keep loosing. I went down to 105 and stayed there a little while until I started gaining at about 600 cals a day. I weigh about 113 right now and have been at this weight for a few months. I started doing cardio 3-4 times a week to try to get the weight down w/ no result so far. I realize I'm in starvation mode and my body is conserving every calorie it can.

So heres my question -- if I slowly increase my calories to about 1000 a day, will I get out of "starvation mode" and start loosing again? This is what I read but the articles are rerfering to people with lots of weight to loose. Or will it just adjust to spend 1000 a day and I'll maintain? Or will I gain weight because my metabolism is dead? Is the only way for me to get down to 100-105, to eat like 100-200 cals a day? I dont want to do this but I dont know what else to do.

PLEASE dont tell me I'm at a healthy weight and 100-105 is too little, or to accept where I am now!! I fully realize this is on the low side but I am not happy with the way I look right now. I am determined to get there one way or another but would like to do this the healthiest way possible. I really appreciate any input!! :)

07-29-2007, 09:28 AM
I may be in the minority here but I am always confounded by this whole "starvation mode" thing. Lemme tell you why...How come when the calories are cut due to gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery, there's no "plateau" hit as such? Yet, when we restrict our calories we're warned of going into starvation mode...why doesn't the gastric bypass patient's metabolism slow down too?

What kind of cardio are you doing? If running, I suggest doing interval training...I've been loosing weight like crazy on that...15 seconds of running as fast as you can followed by 45 seconds of walking at a fast pace.

I hope you get more answers from other women on this site...

07-29-2007, 09:38 AM
I think the term 'starvation mode' just simply gets mixed up with the term 'metabolic slow down'. Two different animals and both repairable to some degree.

Whatever you call it, it's discouraging for weight loss to slow.

I'm interested in the OP's response to the exercise question too. Guessgirl96?

07-29-2007, 09:47 AM
I may be in the minority here but I am always confounded by this whole "starvation mode" thing. Lemme tell you why...How come when the calories are cut due to gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery, there's no "plateau" hit as such? Yet, when we restrict our calories we're warned of going into starvation mode...why doesn't the gastric bypass patient's metabolism slow down too?
Their metabolism DOES slow down. Because they are eating so little after the surgery, of course they lose a lot of weight. But further down the road, once they've reached their goal, they have to be very careful about very gradually increasing their intake. If they just start eating like "normal" all at once, the weight comes back because their bodies aren't used to taking in so many calories anymore. Typically, they begin introducing additional calories while they are still losing weight. And, yes, some GB patients do hit plateaus--I've seen it happen to the ladies I worked with who had had the surgery. They lose a lot of weight, and then it slows down, and then it stops--but they're still 40, 60, even 75 or more pounds away from their final goal. It's even MORE frustrating, I would think, for them than for those of us who have not invested in the surgery.

07-29-2007, 11:24 AM
OK I won't tell you that you are at a healthy weight at 113 pounds at 5'3".I"ll just ask why you want to be underweight? I"ll bet you look great right now, you just aren' seeing it yet.

07-29-2007, 05:07 PM
I know you said you don't wan't to hear this but sometimes we need to hear the truth. 113 lbs at 5' 3" is very thin. I am 5'4" and I don't even want to THINK about what I would look like at that weight.

I have lost about 50 lbs since the start of the year but when I look in the mirror I still see the "fat" girl. I've gone from a size 18 to a size 8 but I don't see any difference when I look in the mirror. This is a psychological issue that I have to deal with and I think you may have the same issue. I bet all the people around you think you are way skinny. It's this disorder that causes some people to be anorexic so please be careful.

If you want to read more about it you can search for BDD or Body Dysmorphic Disorder

07-29-2007, 06:07 PM

07-29-2007, 06:25 PM
Thank you for all the responses! I appreciate input. I'm still wondering, would it be possible to speed up the metabolism and keep loosing? Or at least speed up up to I can maintain at about 1000 cals? I'm going to try to increase my calories very slowly and let you guys know how it goes incase anyone is going through something similar.

susan and lek -- I change it up once in a while with jogging or jump rope, but I get most of my excersize through DDR (dance dance revolution). Heres a video if anyones curious. I know it looks dumb but it's the only excersize I dont get bored out of my mind doing. Each song is 1.5-2 min and theres about 30 seconds in between so I think it counts as interval? I measured my heart rate after a few songs and it's usually around 180. (skip to about 7:35)

bargoo and trin8ty -- I want to loose more since I'm very small on top but big in my thighs and calves, I look disproportionate. I have a 23" waist, 36" hips and 15.5" around one calf (I know people dont usually measure they're calves but mine are insanely disproportionate). I'm 100% determined to get there one way or another but would like to try the healthier way first.

elmu -- thank you!! I will add strength training to my excersizes and see how it goes.

07-30-2007, 08:56 PM
Have you heard of the Wendy Plan? I just heard about it. It involves changing the amount of caloires you eat everyday, but keeping the same average all week long.

Weight less than 150 pounds:

Day 1- 20 points, 1000 calories
Day 2- 25 points, 1250 calories
Day 3- 21 points, 1050 calories
Day 4- 35 points,1750 calories (Super High Day)
Day 5- 20 points, 1000 calories
Day 6- 24 points, 1200 calories
Day 7- 22 points, 1100 calories

Average calories per day: 1200

I've been having problems with plateauing so I'm going to try this for a while. I hope it works!

I know it's hard when people tell you what they think you should weigh. My goal is 125, but I've started lying to people when they ask, because their reactions upset me. They actually get mad at me and, hey tell me I only need to lose like ten more pounds. I'm thinking they are crazy. I weigh 181 and I'm only 5'5". If they saw me naked they'd realize I still need to lose 50 plus. 125 is within the healthy range for me. What you weigh should be your choice, but I think you should do it in a healthy way. Also I agree with adding muscle, that will make you look better and help you burn more calories! (

07-30-2007, 10:24 PM
I'm sure it's a puzzle to try to deal with a figure you consider disproportionate. For a change-up of exercise sometimes, for muscle confusion and faster trimming results, I'd recommend floor work specifically aimed at the hips and legs. For something free to check out, at the site, there are three demonstrated that I think would make sense for you - Awesome Legs, Diva Derriere and a free video of Pretzel Twist. This is under "Try Before You Buy" at bottom of their homepage.

I think you've left yourself no choice but to increase the calories, since you will lose muscle tone (facial as well) and defeat your purpose of an attractive body if you don't. Sensible exercise should keep your metabolism from being "dead". Other helps will be enough sleep, water. Whatever you do with your caloric intake, be sure you are eating quality foods. In fact, the lower the calories you're restricting yourself to, the more important that none of it be empty calories. Spend a lot of time shopping in the produce section and get in the lean protein.

Best wishes. Hope you'll let us know how it goes.

07-31-2007, 12:02 AM
Starvation mode means your metabolism slows, I've read 15-20%, 30%, depending on who you read. If you eat too little you'll probably burn muscle, which is not good. also in varying amounts, estimates vary. You should eat a little more, sound a bit low. Your BMI is 20 which is still in the normal range. As for your body shape, some people are just shaped that way. A friend of mine is shaped that way heavy on the bottom but small on top. She is 50 years old. She just lost 20 lbs and the weight didn't come from her bottom end. I think you try and accept your body type, than to drastically diet.

07-31-2007, 03:36 AM
thank you for the replies once again! I will try the different amount of calories on each day, it sounds like a good idea.

skinijeni, I'm glad you understand about wanting to be a certain weight even if others dont agree. Good luck getting there!

withlinn, I will get out the sites and try the excersizes