How to go from losing weight unhealthily,to healthily! Starvation mode?

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How to go from losing weight unhealthily,to healthily! Starvation mode?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  EllaStone 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • Hi all,

    Not sure if this is the right place to put this but I want to see if first of all anyone can relate to my situation, and then can also help!

    I began taking my weight loss seriously just over a month ago after returning from an all inclusive holiday of continuous eating!

    Opted for intermittent fasting (8:16 hr),next to no sugar and minimal carbs as it fits my lifestyle and seems to have some good health benefits.

    Meal prep was key and I found it fairly easy as I don’t like breakfast.

    However, due to circumstance I have ended up eating next to nothing for the last three weeks. Reasons varied from not having the money to buy the proper food (due to partners speeding ticket!) so opting not to eat anything rather than eat unhealthily, working late for a week and not being bothered to eat, and being in places with friends where nothing healthy was available so just not bothering.

    My average daily intake varied from half an avocado and yoghurt, to max a piece of fruit, a mackeral fillet and a yoghurt and maybe a few nuts. I also exercise for 45 mins 3x a week.

    Ofcourse I lost weight rapidly, 1 stone in a month, (My overall goal was to lose 2 1/2 stone in total) but I am aware that it is not in a healthy way and not sustainable.

    What I want to know is how do I get my diet back to the right amount of calories daily (aiming for 1,600-ish) whilst continuing weight loss, but just at a slower, healthier pace and without just putting the weight already lost back on?

    My train of thought is if my body is in starvation mode (which the poor thing may well be after abusing it for the last month!) then if I increase my calories will I just pile weight back on? Should I be focusing more on macros and if so what ratios?

    Really appreciate any input. Also interested in peoples thoughts on starvation mode as I know its a controversial topic!



    As the name suggests, this is the 5:2 diet website.

    Why don’t you try doing 5:2 properly. Eat a balanced diet on 5 days and 500 calories on 2?

    There is a lot of information available if you click on the tabs at the top of the page which should help you get started and get into a healthier eating pattern.

    Starvation mode is a phrase that is used far too often to describe something different, usually the fact that as we lose weight our bodies need less calories to sustain us and therefore we need to eat less permananently to maintain the loss. Most people return to the old eating habits that made them gain weight in the first place and wonder why it has happened again……….
    Starvation mode doesn’t occur unless you are seriously under nourished ie only have around 4% body fat (I think it’s 4% but if I’m wrong I’m sure it won’t be long before someone corrects me).

    You will lose some weight and your body will go into starvation mode.

    When you go into low calorie diet, you will lose weight regardless but you will lose some muscles, some water weight, some glycogen weight, and some body fat.

    When you use fad diets to help you lose weight, you also disturb your cortisol, your ghrelin, your leptin, your thyroid (metabolic hormone), and other hormones in your body.

    Consider the alternative of eating on a more typical schedule, but just eating less* at each meal than you were before. And, get 30-60 minutes of cardio or other exercise most days.

    “Starvation mode” is when your body runs out of fat and starts to burn muscle. As Amazon pointed out that starts at ~4% body fat which is super lean and not healthy. Very little muscle is burned until you are very lean.

    Long term fasting is usually safe but should be done under a doctors supervision. You also need to supplement to be sure you are getting vitamins and minerals your body requires.

    Contrary to popular belief, it does not screw up your hormones etc. What causes rapid weight gain when you stop is eating way too many calories of inflammatory foods.

    Forget the buzz words like ‘starvation mode’ and just do the 5:2 diet. It works, believe me and it is sustainable and it lets you live your life around it: exercise, go out with friends, do all the things that everybody does, all while you lose weight.
    Watch the video of Eat, Fast, Live then read the Fast Diet Book. If you want to see examples of how to eat on the Fast Diet, click on my name. Then go to the blog you’ll see in my profile. It is all about people like you who want to transition from eating unhealthily to losing weight sensibly.
    Good luck.

    Thanks for clarifying the meaning of “Starvation mode”. @diverdog, what are inflammatory foods. I have heard this term, but would be nice to have a general list.

    Jay_U, almost all of us have foods with proteins that our immune system thinks are invaders. It generates antibodies that attack these proteins and unfortunately they attack tissues in our bodies that are similar to the offending food proteins causing a whole variety of issues.

    Some very common inflammatory foods are cow dairy, eggs, whole wheat (not gluten), oats, soy, legumes and nightshade veggies.

    Some people react to many of these and some not so much. I can eat legumes and nightshades and eggs but cow dairy (the proteins not lactose intolerance) and wheat are no no’s for me.

    You can get tested for inflammation to find out (cyrex labs is a really good test) or just eliminate the above list of common foods for 2-3 weeks and see how you feel. Then add in the other foods one at a time each week and see if you react to it.

    lgeorgiacam – you are probably right to worry about gaining back weight after losing a stone (good work!). 2/3rds of adults in the UK and USA (and other countries) are overweight eating our typical Western diet. 5:2 fasting is great for losing more weight (good choice coming on this forum!) but don’t go back to your old way of eating that caused you to gain in the first place.

    Look at alternate ways of eating that lead to less weight gain long term. For example The Mediterranean Diet, Whole Food Plant Based Diets or The Longevity Diet. These are tasty and healthy and have good research to back them up.

    I started on standard 5:2 fasting and Mediterranean way of eating and its good!

    Go for long term health – good luck.

    No, gastritis to earn starving is very easy. I do not advise you to experiment with health. If you want to reduce the size of the stomach, to eat less, then try a corset diet It seems that it really works. I’ve been on this diet for two weeks already.

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