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Weight Loss NHS
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Not eating enough?!

Well today I discovered my recent weight plateau was due to me over training and not eating enough...

There really is a fine art to working out your own daily calorie intake! I can safely say I understand it more, but still haven't got it nailed down.

Being told to eat MORE goes against everything I would associate with weight loss, but if you're working hard in the gym, this is exactly what you need to do!

12 Replies

Hey i read about this. It puts your body into starvation mode, which is really detrimental to weight loss. I watch a lot of biggest loser for inspiration and they suffer from it now and then, its all about making sure you are eating enough of the right things to fuel your muscles, but not too much that you gain, definitely a fine art as you say.

Good luck you will get there


Starvation mode is a myth! thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/to...

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There is no clinical data referenced within that article, if I wrote a convincing article telling you if you ate enough Gold Fish you'd poo Golden Nuggets would you believe it?

One of many articles about Starvation Mode with refs medscape.com/viewarticle/56...

From a Layperson's view "Starvation mode" (Adaptive Thermogenesis) affects people in lots of different ways but the idea your body can continue to fully function at 100% on a too smaller fraction of its normal energy by simply magically slowing the metabolism is unfounded, what normally actually happens is that your body puts other functions such as cell repair, bone health on hold which is not noticeable in the short term but in extreme cases can have a long term detrimental effect on your health. Now at this stage some people will be thinking surely you'll just make up the huge energy deficit from fat stores and that's what dieting is all about but in response to extended periods of what your body believes is "Famine" it will try to conserve Fat Stores and is just as likely to burn muscle protein converting it to glucose through a process called Gluconeogenesis.

Remember we not talking about healthy dieting here, this is where people have huge energy deficits achieved either through Very Low Calorie Diets and/or high levels of unfueled exercise.

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Thank you for your reply - that link didn't work as you have to be a member. The link I posted was just one article I picked off the internet. It is such an outmoded idea. Here's another thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/to...

I only fasted two non-consecutive days a week. I remember the old Cambridge Diet which meant very low calories every day. Yes, I lost weight, then piled it all straight back on again!


Your post references the clinical data from a one off 84 hour Fast.


Have you watched Michael Mosley's Horizon programme, "Eat, Fast and Live Longer"? I would think you have by now. tinyurl.com/qzgo7tq or tinyurl.com/a8ppjl7

An 84 hour fast is very extreme.


Yes I saw it years ago when it first came out but that's not what is being discussed here unless I have misread the original posters post. No one, or at least I am not, is challenging the Pro's and Cons of Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent Fasting is unlikely to result in Starvation Mode as you are simply creating a reasonable energy deficit for weight loss but instead of doing it daily you are achieving it weekly via Fast Days.

I was simply responding to your reply stating "Starvation mode is a myth!" nothing to do with IF, I believe from my own personal experience and research that it's not a myth.


See below.

I wish there was a better way of following a thread such as on Facebook! :)


Good luck with your new approach.

For myself, I am still at the stage of 'eating too much', so 'not eating enough' is a foreign concept!


Agree with gingernut, starvation mode is a myth. If you under eat, your metabolism may slow down, but not enough to stop weight loss..


If your body has been deprived of too many calories for too long, it will try to adapt to this by hanging on to what it's got and you will stop losing weight. It's the body's way of trying to prevent the effects of starvation. It explains why people can become "lazy" and hungry, as the body tries to conserve energy and take in more food. It's called 'adaptive thermogenesis'. It's not a myth.



Perhaps stop concentrating on calories and start looking at the kind of food you are eating. Carb loading may not be a good idea.

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tinyurl.com/ofzylj4 explains further.

Many people fear that if they fast they will go into "Starvation mode". This myth seems to be based on the Minnesota starvation experiment, a study carried out during World War Two in which young volunteers lived on extremely low-calorie diets for up to six months. The purpose of the study was to help scientists understand how to treat victims of mass starvation in Europe.

After prolonged starvation there was a drop in body temperature and heart rate, suggesting that their basal metabolic rate (the energy burnt by your body when you are at rest) had fallen. This, however, was an extreme situation.


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