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Weight Loss
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How do you know if you are in starvation mode?

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I'm trying to consume 1200 cals everyday, but last night, i was done with my 1200 when I started feeling hungry. Was this because I was starved? But I had already got 1200 cals.

Edited Apr 04 2007 16:14 by Igor
Reason: Post description
26 Replies (last)
It could be as a result of a significant caloric deficit in your diet in which your body requires more calories than you are providing in order to maintain its own weight.  It's fairly normal to feel somewhat hungry between meals when purposely eating a caloric deficit in order to induce weight loss, especially in the initial transition from caloric surplus or maintenance to caloric deficit.

You may be eating too little calories however depending on your current BMR and exercise level.  You want to eat a daily caloric deficit that will allow for 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week.  Any more than this and you can/will experience significant hunger throughout the day which can lead to reduced metabolism. (catabolism, loss of lean muscle mass, extra fat being stored, etc) 

When I get the munchies, I snack on raw brocolli or a similar vegetable.  Fat free italian salad dressing to add some flavor.  Very low calories, but can be pretty filling.
UGH this is NOT true. Lol people need to understand the difference of 'grams' they consume and the amount of 'calories' or nutrition that the body needs.  You just need more fiber and protein in your diet to help you feel satisfied longer.  If your stomach feels hungry, ignore it if you are at your caloric and nutritional requirements.  Your body has no way of understanding it's had all its nutrition for the day, it only understands how many grams it's used to receiving and how many you are giving it.  Rule of thumb is to eat 4-5 small meals/snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism high and blood sugar level.  When your stomach growls it does not necessarily mean you are hungry, it means your stomach is searching for food, hence the noise it makes. :)  So just pat your tummy and say 'there there tummy, we already ate, you can go to bed now' lol.
Also depends what you eat. If you eat high GI food you process it quicker and become hungry. What do you normally eat?

1200 couold be too low. Make sure its 1200 PLUS eating back what you exercise off. 1200 is the MINIMUM females should do for weight loss. The slower you go, the easier it is, and the more permanent weight loss can be (as its not a fad, starvation diet)
Also, the signal to feel 'hungry" isnt nessearily that - it can be thirsty too. You feel parched because your body is used up water thats used for lubrication of the digestive system (mouth/throat) but you're already "de hydrated". So have more water during the day. I find tea quite supressng of the "appetite".

But if you feel starvation mode coming, there's no harm in going back to maintainence for a week, to ward it off, then slowly decreasing cals/increasing exercise, cos its better that screwing up your metabolism.
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I'm vegetarian (don't try to make me change--I don't like meat and won't eat it no matter what). I usually eat 4-5 times a day:
  • 07:20 am -- before catching the bus to school
  • 11:45 am -- during my school lunch hour
  • 3:30 pm -- after school when I reach home
  • 6:00 pm -- half an hour before exercise
  • 8:30 pm -- after exercising 300-400 calories (stationary bike)
FOOD: I have veggies (mostly mushrooms, carrots and cauliflower) and at least 2 fruits a day. Other foods include brown whole-wheat bread, skim milk, fat-free yogurt, crackers, egg whites, salad dressings, olive oil, mixed fruit jam etc. I try and avoid cookies and I don't really like chocolate or chips. I prefer diet Coke to regular Coke (I actually liek the taste) but I'm not a great fan of either. I like rice but I don't eat it much. Should I?

STATS: I'm 15 years old, weigh about 120 pounds (maybe more but not less, for sure) and stand 4'11" (this is normal according to my family; everyone is short; I won't be growing taller than this).

Isn't 1200 a day enough? I sometimes go upto 1350, too.
x17star17x: I'm not sure about the grams-only theory.  I swear my stomach knows when I'm trying to trick it into eating a food that's bulky and low-calorie!  The damned thing is far too smart for its own good.  :-)

Amani: I'm not sure if this is for everyone, but I'd say that if you work some more filling foods into your 1200 calories and you are still feeling hungry, you might want to decrease your deficit a bit.  It will take longer to lose weight but you'll feel so much better getting there, and you're less likely to get discouraged and give up altogether.
Can someone explain what you mean by 'starvation mode'?
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@ katydalt
go here to read about starvation mode.
I hope you are getting protein from multiple sources. I understand that you will find it harder to change your meals but how about adding beans to your diet on regular basis? Tofu is great, steamed beans, beans with rice and oh, I guess your family will know better and do you have aversion to fish as well?

Honestly, for the sake of your bones, don't go on a diet while still growing. Yes, you are still growing and you will want strong bones in your eighties.
to answer the origional question...your hungry because your only eat the minimal amount of calories a day it takes to stay alive (realitivly healthily...i guess). By doing this you are forcing your body to breakdown stored muscle and or fat for extra energy. so of course your body is hungry it is not acustumed to this and it is used to more food. but if you are trying to loose weight all i can say is great things dont come easy.

best of luck
Amani, because you are under 18, your caloric needs are higher than an adults. Why? Because you are still growing. In fact, i grew a whole inch my freshman year in college... from 4'11" to 5'...

Even if you've reached your full adult height, your bones are still reaching their maximum density, and your muscle mass is also peaking. You want to reach adulthood with the maximum lean mass possible, because from then on out you start losing it a little each year, which makes it hard to maintain weight.

What's more, your brain is growing at an absolutely amazing rate that's more rapid than when you were an infant!! All this takes calories.

How many more... ? I can't say as I'm not a registered dietitian, and what surfing I've done on this topic for my own teen girls indicates that the experts aren't really all that sure either.

Suffice to say, you definetly need more than 1200 per day. Use the tools here to learn how to eat a balanced healthy diet, but don't count calories for at least another three years. Your brain, muscles, and bones will thank you!
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Thanks, everyone!!
  • And I know I'm digressing here, but can anyone tell me the calorie content in 100g of boiled rice? I can't find it anywhere.
  • And what are good sources of protein? I'm vegetarian and I don't really like tofu and I also don't like having milk. (I have only the amount my mum says is necessary for me to develop properly). I try cottage cheese sometimes, but no too fond of it either. (Weird, I know)
And yes, I don't have fish as well. Is there no hope for me?
OH I have an awesome article on protein.  Animal protein is not as great for your body anyway if you eat too much of it.  Ask for it if you wanna read it.  If you have burned 300-400 calories on the eliptical, then maybe you are not getting enough food.  You shouldnt go off of 1200 calories after you have burned.  So if you burn 300-400, you dont want to eat less than 1500 - 1600 calories.  Make sense?

 Starvation mode is something I know all too much about.  I had to pull myself out of a mini ED that I had with not allowing myself to consume over 900 calories. It was really hard to mentally break through, but now I'm eating my 1200 on lazy days and more on my exercise ones.

Whats your age? Height? Weight? Gender?  Regardless, 1200 isnt enough if you are exercising ontop of it :)
How long does it take for the starvation mode to kick in and lower you motablism?
"Meat and dairy products were/are thought to be synonymous with protein. This is a myth! For example, the percentage of calories from protein in asparagus is 32%; broccoli, 36%; kale 40%; lean beef, 32%; pork chops 23%." Protein: Americas Mantra

Theres a quote from an article my client wrote.  If you are a vegetarian, I suggest buying some whey protein at a health food store and stirring it into your smoothies, oatmeal, etc to get an extra boost.  If you are okay with eggs, they are a great source (however high in cholesterol).

A great muffin with 5 grams of protein in it, low calories, very very yummy, are VitaTop muffins found at Whole Food stores and can be ordered online.  I love these <3
How long does it take for the starvation mode to kick in and lower you motablism?

That all depends on the person.  For me, it took nearly 7 months.  BUT once you go down into starvation mode, and decide to start eating right again, you gain weight right away.. which will come back off in a few weeks.

It is never good to go into starvation mode.  When you do, your body holds onto everyting you put into it.  Plus your metabolism slows down, and your muscle is eaten away because it burns up more energy than fat, and your body is trying to conserve energy. So just dont :)  Stick within your guidelines and you'll do just fine.

Okay time to go home! I'll check back later :)

7 months!
Thats okay then!
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People, please read previous posts before posting. I DID state my stats and food habits. It's post #4.
Ok, so since you are a vegetarian, I would assume that you are getting most of your calories from carbs because vegetables are quite low in calorie (unless you cook them in oil). It is great that you don't like sweets. I predict that you carry most of your weight in the mid-section and possibly lower section as well, meaning your arms are relatively slimmer compared to your waist and your thighs.

As for rice, don't add white rice to your diet because you are only adding to the carbs you are already consuming. Go for brown rice. There are also sticky red/black rice as well and BEANS! Okay, I understand that not everyone likes tofu but you can still have beans. You mentioned egg whites, eat the yolk as well. Cholesterol consumed in food does not do much to the blood level cholesterol unless you have other medical condition.

Get protein and you know, some people naturally slim out. You may not get taller, but remember you are still growing.
I am looking for some advice...I have gained 50#'s in the past year.  I went to the hospital for a check up.  Checked my blood for everything.  Livers good, no thyroid is good.  I was thinking hormones.  My Aunt states it's stress...but not really stressed...I want to loose weight, but when I watch my calories, I still do not accomplish any weight loss.  I started walking a couple of miles, not yet daily because the weather hasn't been so cooperative...but once it does, I will be doing it daily.
i didn't read much of the replies, so i don't know if this was mentioned, but you should be getting 1200 cals PLUS the 300-400 that you you should eat 1500-1600 calories per day for a net of 1200 cals.
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