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Not getting in 1200 calories...questions about "starvation mode"

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Old 03-05-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default Not getting in 1200 calories...questions about "starvation mode"

Hi Everyone,

So the past two weeks I've been doing fairly well with my diet and exercise. I am down 5 lbs and I feel great.

I just have some issues I wanted to ask you all, it seems as if (when I measure and calculate my calories) I'm not even netting 1000 calories anymore. It's quite odd since I'm not hungry at all. I keep lots of fruit, veggies, and protein around. I have thrown away all junk food/processed carbs. I have noticed that if I take out carbs from my diet, I feel a lot better (less bloated, my acne is clearing up) I just feel better, and for that reason I have no desire to eat them anymore.

My menu looks something like this
-spinach and egg omelet for breakfast -270 calories
-1 cup red cabbage plus a cucumber with tuna for lunch-250
-1 cup steamed vegetables with 4 oz chicken breast for dinner- 350
-snacks consist of celery sticks, almonds, cherry tomatoes (nothing over 100 cals per snack)

My problem is, is there anything to worry about if my calorie intake is low? I keep reading about starvation mode, I find it quite hard to believe. I can understand if it slows down metabolism a bit, but in the long run, I would eventually lose right? I also don't feel hungry at all so I'm not depriving myself, is there any need to increase my calories? My heart rate monitor tells me I burn 350 calories in 65 minutes of walking, so overall my net is around 950 a day.

Anyway, I apologize if this is a stupid question. My cousins have told me I will stall in weight loss and not lose because of starvation mode, but I just can't make any sense of that theory, unless I am misunderstanding something? Would love to hear your thoughts, thank you 3fc.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:15 PM   #2
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Where is your fat? Those are great core meals, but I do suggest adding some butter, olive, or coconut oil and choosing slightly less lean cuts of meat. We need fat to build our cells, support our hormones, and for energy, too.

Our metabolisms can indeed down regulate and stalls do happen, but they're not overly common unless you've been in high deficit for an extended period of time. Even then, they tend to break on their own. The more important thing is that you're nourishing your body well. Don't bother counting workout calories, the tallies are notoriously inaccurate and it varies by each individual. But that core menu, with a little coconut oil or a chicken thigh instead of a breast? Great bones to work with, there. Just two or three tbsp servings of fat will get your calories up a smidge and help keep you satisfied long term without being an overly high calorie load (unless you're already extremely petite)
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:26 PM   #3
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Hi Articmama!

I've seen your posts for so long, it's so nice to see you respond to my question

I do have small blocks of cheese now and then, and I use olive oil in my omelet to fry the egg on the pan. I also have the fat from the chicken right? I buy the rotisserie chicken so I eat everything I was trying to keep fat down to be honest, my ldl cholesterol is high and Ive been told to watch my cholesterol, so things I've been looking into that are cholesterol also happen to be fat free. How about nuts, those are good fats, yes?

I'm 5'1 and 170 lbs, short but definitely fat. So this menu plus some fats should be ok? I'm just very comfortable with this menu right now and I don't want to increase unnecessarily if I don't need to.

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:44 PM   #4
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I also think your diet sounds great. The whole 1200 calorie minimum figure is just a number and isn't set in stone. It varies for everyone. If you feel good and have energy, then that's a great sign. I don't want to be a debbie downer, but I want to warn you that I've had these types of situations too. There are times when I can go very low calorie and I feel great. I call it a honeymoon phase because for me, it doesn't last. I hope for you, this is not a phase, but I just wanted to put it out there. I do think having a handful of nuts would be great. Congrats on your progress!
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:57 PM   #5
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Cholesterol in the diet doesn't translate to cholesterol in the arteries. The biggest culprit in a bad cholesterol profile is starch/sugar, along with heredity. Don't avoid eggs/cheese/animal fat/fatty seeds/nuts/veggies unless you have a bad reaction to them

Frying an egg in oil and chicken skin are not bad choices at all. Cheese is great, especially hard aged cheeses like Pecorino Romano and Asiago (lots of K2, and very satiating). If you're not finding yourself hungry then don't force it, but I'd add in more fat before adjusting your protein or carbohydrates. And at your size, 12-1400 calories a day, if they're not junky, is about as low as I would go for losing. Especially if you are active, don't skimp!

I really think your menu is great. Add in a little butter or mayo and call it good if you're comfortable with it as is. And yes, the nuts are an excellent snack too. Almonds and a square of dark chocolate are my go-to afternoon treat if I'm feeling munchy.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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Starvation mode is a myth as most people understand it.

Is your hair falling out in giant clumps? Did you lose your TOM? Are you feeling so lethargic that people are asking what is wrong with you? Those are signs that your body is truly starving. The body can only slow down the metabolism a very small amount.

You didn't ask but looking at your diet I would suggest you supplement with fish oil pills.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Mama View Post
Cholesterol in the diet doesn't translate to cholesterol in the arteries. The biggest culprit in a bad cholesterol profile is starch/sugar, along with heredity. Don't avoid eggs/cheese/animal fat/fatty seeds/nuts/veggies unless you have a bad reaction to them

Frying an egg in oil and chicken skin are not bad choices at all. Cheese is great, especially hard aged cheeses like Pecorino Romano and Asiago (lots of K2, and very satiating). If you're not finding yourself hungry then don't force it, but I'd add in more fat before adjusting your protein or carbohydrates. And at your size, 12-1400 calories a day, if they're not junky, is about as low as I would go for losing. Especially if you are active, don't skimp!

I really think your menu is great. Add in a little butter or mayo and call it good if you're comfortable with it as is. And yes, the nuts are an excellent snack too. Almonds and a square of dark chocolate are my go-to afternoon treat if I'm feeling munchy.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:12 PM   #8
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Hello, I've been researching and mulling this whole "starvation mode" dilemma myself. I Do Medifast/Wonderslim and most of the time find it impossible to even scrape 1127/day. I don't eat a lot of red meat or fat. I do get my protein grams in. I got worried and start reading everything I could find on the internet. After careful consideration, I've decided that too too many people are successful with VLC diets for me to question the process. Not only with Medifast but also bariatric surgeries, Atkins (lack of hunger from ketosis), Nutritarians, Alternate Day Fasters and Heck "The biggest loser even." I've decided I'll just have to take my chances and follow the program. If and when my natural hunger shows up again I'll compensate with more food and more exercise. But for right now my BMI suggest that I have plenty of fat to burn for energy before my natural set point ever shows up. Further, on most reduction programs, the recommendation is to eat until "one is satisfied" and not more. So for me, If I don't top out at 1127 for the day so be it. Eating more than I really needed for a day is what got me into all my trouble in the first place. If I'm hungry, I'll eat more if not I won't. I wish I really understood this 25 years ago.


John your earlier post on "starvation myth" was one of the conversations I read thoroughly while doing research for myself. Thanks!

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:52 AM   #9
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Have to agree on the starvation mode myth ordeal. I have had it told to me countless times (once by a personal trainer) but now that I'm attempting paleo, I get a lot of food for 1200-1400 cals and there are days I fall under.

I think once you get tired/want more flavor, calories might pick up, but my friend lost all her weight on a vlc diet. You got some great advice on here!!
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10/4/12--->41-37-44 (190lbs)
4/09/13--->40-36-42 (180lbs)
5/18/13--->40-34-42 (170lbs)---then the holidays happened
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
Starvation mode is a myth as most people understand it.

Is your hair falling out in giant clumps? Did you lose your TOM? Are you feeling so lethargic that people are asking what is wrong with you? Those are signs that your body is truly starving. The body can only slow down the metabolism a very small amount.

You didn't ask but looking at your diet I would suggest you supplement with fish oil pills.
JohnP- Curious why you suggested fish oil pills?
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Starting measurements
8/23/12--->42-37-45 (200lbs)
10/4/12--->41-37-44 (190lbs)
4/09/13--->40-36-42 (180lbs)
5/18/13--->40-34-42 (170lbs)---then the holidays happened
3/01/14--->40-34-42 (170lbs)

Lowest recorded weight as an adult -->160!
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