Today we’ll discuss starvation mode myth! So, is it really a myth or is it true? Well, first of all, I can strongly assume that you’re here trying to lose weight. You’re not alone my friend, lots of people – including me – are just trying to find the perfect way to lose weight.
We’ll focus on the starvation mode myth and that fact that you’ve tried lots of things and you’re not losing weight. This is probably why you are here. You want to know why the pounds are not dropping and your size is still the same. Maybe you think that the reason is that your body has entered into the “starvation mode” and that’s why you’re not seeing any weight loss results.
Today, I’ll tell you everything including:
- What is starvation mode?
- What Will Happen If You Ate Less Than Recommended Calories?
- Are you in a starvation mode?
- Is there a way to stop gaining weight?
- Why are you not losing weight fast?
- Is your body holding onto fat?
- What’s the real meaning of starvation mode?
- Practical solutions to lose weight if your body stopped.
Now, let’s dive right in..
What Is Starvation Mode?
The first thing you should know is that the definition differs from one to another; you’ll never find a standard definition of starvation with people. In fact, each one has their own definition of starvation (¹).
You’ll find some people saying that starvation is consuming fewer calories every day to lose weight. But, there’s one important thing to have in mind, that if you reduce your calories dramatically, you’re making it harder for your body to lose because you lowered your metabolism.
This is the definition that most people have for starvation mode.
Is this definition for starvation mode a myth?!
Honestly. It’s not real at all. It’s just a myth. You’re just creating a caloric deficit in your body. In simpler words, you’re consuming way fewer calories than what your body asks you to consume to burn or you’re asking your body to burn calories that you’re not consuming.
Regardless of how few calories you’re taking in daily, your body has stopped losing weight because there are not enough calories taken.
What Will Happen If You Ate Less Than Recommended Calories?
According to what people think:
Moreover, if you keep eating that small amount of calories for long, you’re stopping your body from losing weight completely.
The truth is that the longer you keep your body surviving on very few calories, the less weight you lose and there’s a greater possibility of gaining weight instead!
So fundamentally, eating too little calories a day prevents your body from losing pounds. In some circumstances, it might even cause your body to gain more weight. To get out of the state where your body is gaining instead of burning off the pounds, you need to increase your metabolism by eating more.
All that mentioned above is again an MYTH!
Later in this post, I’ll tell what’s the truth behind you not losing weight!
Are You In A Starvation Mode? Or Survival Mode?
No, you’re not and here is some proof for you:
The Minnesota Starvation Experiment:
Minnesota (²) had decided to make one crazy experiment with 36 men who were only consuming 1,570 calories a day (a starvation diet). This is the equivalent amount of calories for women consuming 1,200 calories. Not just that, these 36 men were doing exercise daily by walking more than 3 miles a day.
All of the 36 men in the Minnesota Starvation experiment kept losing weight week after week and they didn’t stop dropping pounds. In fact, they lost so much until they got very skinny (as you can tell in the picture) or until they dropped to 5% body fat.
I don’t mean to scare you off by showing the results of the starvation diet, but just a proof that when you eat fewer calories, you’ll keep on losing weight especially when you add some exercise.
Okay, if these men are eating low calories and burning fat and losing weight, then, why in the world am I not losing weight???
Is There A Way To Stop Gaining Weight?
Let’s say you ate a lot of calories every day and let’s also assume for this example you’re eating 10,000 calories per day (just assuming here).
There’s no such thing as to stop your body from gaining weight after reaching a certain number of pounds (I wish there were, this world could have been a better place and all my clothes will fit!). Sadly, there is no “stop-gaining-weight” mode for our bodies.
Gaining weight was never easier; all you have to do is eat more and more. However, to stop gaining weight, you should never exceed the recommended amount of calories for your body and exercise 4-5 days a week. Not gaining weight is simple, but, it just needs some dedication and calorie watching.
Why Are You Not Losing Weight Fast?
Let’s set an example to understand more the weight loss process.
So, we’ll say you weigh 170 pounds and you did your calorie calculations and found out that you need to eat 2000 calories daily. In other words, it means that your metabolism burns 2000 calories every day to “maintain” and not to “lose” your weight.
You decided that you want to lose weight by going on a 1500 calorie diet. Surprisingly, you can lose 5 pounds each week until you weigh 150 pounds for instance in a month… After that…
You get depressed because instead of losing 5 pounds each week, you only lose 1-to-2 pounds weekly or probably you experience no weight at all!
So, what is going on?
Always keep in mind as you lose weight, the calories you should consume to maintain the weight decreases. So, your body used to recommend 2,000 calories when you were 170 pounds to “maintain” your weight, and the reason why you’re maintaining your weight now is that you’re consuming the calories that maintain your current 150 pounds!
Bottom line: decrease the number of calories you consume daily as your weight drops to keep losing weight instead of maintaining your new weight.
Is Your Body Holding Onto Fat?
The first thing you should know is that the fat stored in your body is basically your body’s energy tank. The concept of getting fat happens when you consume so many calories that your body doesn’t need, so it stores it as fat!
The moment you don’t get enough calories is the same moment when your body starts to go to these stores of fat to burn them up (like when you exercise on an empty stomach, it gets the energy from the fat stored).
What’s The Real Meaning Of Starvation Mode?
After that we’ve said about what people think starvation mode is, the Minnesota Starvation Experiment is the real meaning of starvation where your body keeps on burning all the stores of fat that you have to help you survive!
That’s why these 36 men lost tremendous weight and look skinny because their bodies were trying to survive the calorie intake and provide energy for the 3-mile exercise they were doing.
So, What Are Some Practical Solutions If You’re Not Losing Weight Despite Being On A Diet?
- Exercise even more
- or you make your exercises more intense or harder (because your body gets used to the exercise you keep on repeating).
- Make sure that you’re not eating less than 1,200 calories a day to keep losing weight.
- Be more patient with your diet and weight loss.
- Make new calorie calculations each time you lose pounds to consume calories that will make you lose weight instead of maintaining your weight.
The starvation theory is not what you thought it was, in fact, people who say is starving you by eating less than 1,200 calories is wrong as we previously explained in details.
If you get stuck and not experiencing any weight loss then it’s probably because you’re consuming calories that maintain your weight rather than burning calories.
The real meaning of Starvation mode is when your body keeps on burning your fat stores while eating fewer calories and exercising.
Share this really important post with everyone because we all get stuck at some point during our weight loss journey and we keep on wondering why. Moreover, we could start to think that the diet we are on is ineffective and start seeking unhealthy solutions!
So, spread the word, now that you know what to do next time you find yourself stuck and experiencing no weight loss.