Weight Loss
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How long until body goes in starvation mode


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I understand that eating less than 500-800 per day from the cal. you burn is not healthy. Ex. I am 199 and burn 2300 calories per day. I've been eating 1500-1600 cal per day for 3 weeks but for the last few days, I've eating less than 1000. I am not very hungry because I am going through some personal issues and when I am sad/mad, I can't eat. I know things will get better but how long does it take for your body to go to a starvation mode? I really don't want this to hurt my weight loss.

Thanks, Natalie
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You should NEVER eat fewer than 1200 calories per day unless you are bed ridden. It only takes a few days before your body starts to think that it is starving and EVERYTHING you consume it will store and not burn because it thinks you are dying. You should at least try to add 200 or 300 calories per day to your diet.
Interesting you say you should NEVER eat fewer then 1200 calories a day. According to the allowance tool on this site, it recommended I only eat 1200 calories a day. I've been pretty good about hitting that mark, but some days I'm a little under 1200, some days a little over. For the past two weeks I've been right on track loosing 2 pounds a week (with plenty of exercise). So what exactly is considered starvation? How do you know if your body has gone into this mode? I know on at least one day I only ate about 800 calories, and when I was working out I definitely noticed the difference. My heart rate jumped up way higher then normal and I tired out much faster. Since then I have done a good job of keeping the 1200 calorie limit every day.
I believe it's not a problem if you're sometimes under 1,200 as long as it's not for more than a few days in a row. When I exercise, I usually have problems to increase my calorie intake and certainly stay below the 1,200 mark for that day. However, I never do it more than twice a week,  vary my calorie intake throughout the week between 1,200 and 1,300 (without exercise) and have a maintenance day every week. So far, my metabolism hasn't slowed down and I'm still losing steadily between 1 - 2 pounds per week.

My advice - just don't start to eat less and less because you don't feel hungry. At some point, you won't lose and hit a plateau. The biggest mistake then is to eat even less thinking that's how to overcome the plateau.

You have to eat in order to lose. Your body needs food to fire up the fat-burning machine.
the allowance tool on the site allows more aggressive caloric tweaking than is generally advisable (last time I checked, it wouldn't let you go under 1,000, but you need 1200 if you're female and generally around 1500 if you're male, minimum)

The problem with "starvation mode" is you may not necessarily feel hungry, especially if you eat a lot of high-volume-low-calorie foods.  And you don't FEEL the damage to your body, any more than you feel a cavity developing, until it's actually damaged the tooth.  Eating too little, more than VERY rarely (that means once every couple of weeks or so, and you'd still need to eat a little extra right after to make up for it) can set you up for kidney disease, osteoporosis, and all sorts of other happy little surprises that you won't know about for YEARS.  When you eat below 1200 cals, you are depriving at least one major organ of what it needs to function properly.  So when you eat 800 cals, just say to yourself, well, I didn't need to feed my left kidney or my liver today, they'll be fine, I'm sure.

Give your organs the basic consideration you'd give your dog or cat, feed them at least 1200-1500 cals.  ESPECIALLY if you're working out.  You need a 1200 cal REMAINDER, not start (if you normally would need 1300 for safe weight loss, but you burn 200 extra cals working out, you need to eat 1400 to stay above 1200 available for your body's needs)

Natalie, I'm sorry to hear you're stressed and angry.  Do try to eat something, even if it's difficult.  You'll thank you later, when you're 60 and your hips *aren't* broken because you nourished your bones when they needed it. 

oh yes, my poor oohvanityxx. 400 is definitely too low. I hope you can get control over your ED soon.
Sienna, seriously?  I always feel like I'm shouting into the wind. If you want it, here's the breakdown of calories by organ:

"a 5'2" 19 year old female weighing 100 pounds (which is WAY too small anyways but this is the example given)... needs 1,200 calories to just sit around all day and do nothing. This is how it's broken down (scientifically)

-The heart needs 12% of the calories (144 cals)
-The kidney needs 12% of the calories (144 cals)
-The Liver needs 23% of the calories (276 cals)
-The brain needs 23% of the calories (276 cals)
-The skeletal muscle needs 30% of the calories (360 cals)"

(pasted from this post http://www.calorie-count.com/forums/post/3178 .html) and this one: http://www.calorie-count.com/forums/post/5555 .html

Hope this helps- been dealing with some issues myself and looking at this list reminds me to nourish me.
I would like to append saroful's breakdown

That breakdown is for a very specific type of person.. 19 years old, 5'2" and, most importantly, female.

If you're male (and the men have come out of the woodwork on this forum since I got here last month!), you need to be eating at LEAST 1500 calories. I don't know what the breakdown is, but I imagine it's similar, but with more calories going towards our muscle.

Please make sure that you're eating at least the minimum of 1200 (female) or 1500 (male) UNLESS you are under a doctor's direct supervision.


Hello everyone! Just wanted to give an update: My personal matters have been resolved and cal. intake has been again at around 1500 and I finally was able to drop 2 more lbs. since I began to eat the right amount of cal. This is a good day for me. Thanks for your replies.

Natalie.
Great news! Glad to hear it! :)
woohoo!
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