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  1. #1
    SoulCyster #1 KatCarney's Avatar
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    Default WEIGHT WATCHERS ARTICLE: There is no such thing as starvation mode!

    {kat note: I see 'starvation mode' mentioned a lot. There is no such thing. Here's a great article which explains...}

    The Starvation Myth
    Article By: The Weight Watchers Research Department


    The idea that "not eating enough" causes the body to stop losing weight because it goes into "starvation mode" is a popular myth among dieters.

    Metabolism Slows During Calorie Restriction
    Restricting calories during weight loss lowers metabolism1 because the body becomes more efficient, requiring fewer calories to perform the necessary daily functions for survival. Consequently, this can slow (but not stop) the anticipated rate of weight loss.

    For example, if an individual needs 2,000 calories per day to maintain weight, reducing intake to 1,500 calories, assuming exercise stays the same, should provide a 1 pound per week weight loss (Note: 1 pound of weight is equivalent to about 3,500 calories). Furthermore, reducing to 1,000 calories should result in a weight-loss of 2 pounds per week and going down to 500 calories a day should result in a weight loss of 3 pounds per week. However, if an individual actually reduces their intake to 500 calories, the weight loss would not likely be a steady 3 pounds per week because of the reduced metabolic rate. It would likely be around 2 ¼ to 2 ½ pounds. This "lower than expected" rate of weight loss is a lot different than "no" weight loss as the "starvation mode" notion proposes.

    It is unclear as to whether the relationship between reduced caloric intake and a lower metabolism follows a straight path or becomes more pronounced the greater the caloric reduction. Some studies have found no significant reduction in metabolism until the caloric restriction is quite large (e.g. 800 calories or less per day).2 Others suggest a linear relationship with small reductions in metabolism accompanying small reductions in caloric restriction, with the gap increasing as the caloric deficit is enlarged.

    While there is no biologic evidence to support the "starvation mode" myth, there may be behavioral reasons why weight loss stops when calories are severely reduced. Over-restriction of calorie intake, known as high dietary restraint is linked to periods of overeating, hindering successful weight loss.3 (For more information on dietary restraint, read the Science Center article, The Skill of Flexible Restraint).

    Metabolism after Weight Loss
    The good news is that after the weight-loss goal is achieved and weight has stabilized, it does not appear that the dip in metabolism is permanent. Several rigorous studies done at the University of Alabama in Birmingham showed that metabolism goes back to expected levels with sustained weight loss,4 discounting the theory that a lowered metabolism helps to explain the common phenomenon of weight regain following weight loss.

    Weight Watchers Approach Box
    The POINTS® Weight-Loss System is designed to provide a caloric intake that supports a healthy rate of weight loss, produces a minimal reduction in metabolism and avoids inducing too-high levels of dietary restraint.

    FOOTNOTES


    1 Saltzman E, Roberts SB. The role of energy expenditure in energy regulation: Findings from a decade of research. Nutr Rev. 1995. 53:209-220.

    2 Burgess NS. Effect of a very-low calorie diet on body composition and resting metabolic rate in obese men and women. J Am Diet Assoc. 1991 Apr;91(4):430-4.

    3 Rogers PJ. Eating habits and appetite control: a psychobiological perspective. Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 Feb;58(1):59-67.

    4 Weinsier RL, Nagy TR, Hunter GR, Darnell BE, Hensrud DD, Weiss HL. Do adaptive changes in metabolic rate favor weight regain in weight-reduced individuals? An examination of the set-point theory. Am J Clin Nutr 2000 Nov;72(5):1088-94.

    Source: http://www.weightwatchers.com/templa...Date=7/12/2007

  2. #2
    Registered User lizrey's Avatar
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    Great article- that explains alot. Thanks for posting.

  3. #3
    Island Bound SarahJ's Avatar
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    Very interesting. Those WW people are pretty smart.
    Sarah
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  4. #4
    SoulCyster #1 KatCarney's Avatar
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    Just thought this was worth another read...

  5. #5
    ~ Fluffy Cyster ~ MizzKallie's Avatar
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    hmmm that's really interesting because my dietician is forever warning me about "starvation mode". I think that when I've heard or talked about starvation mode, it's always in a referal to severely reducing calories. I think it would be more beneficial to modify calories and maintain a good or high metabolism to burn the maximum amount of calories possible. Doesn't your metabolism burn calories all day and night to some degree and if you slow that down, you'd burn less cals or you'd just have to work out more maybe? I'm going to ask my dietician about this next time
    Lego Jedi T (Jan 30, 2003) & Thomas Train Lovin' B(Jan 4, 2009)




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    Registered User Alliance's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm......just b/c WW wrote it doesn't mean it's true. I believe in the starvation mode..been through it enough to know it's true also.
    Michelle
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    SoulCyster #1 KatCarney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alliance View Post
    Hmmmmm......just b/c WW wrote it doesn't mean it's true. I believe in the starvation mode..been through it enough to know it's true also.
    It depends on how you're defining 'starvation mode'. Too often people suggest that your body 'holds onto fat and you stop losing weight'. This simply isn't true. There's absolutely no research to support this.

    It IS true, however, that if you dip too low in calories that your body will have a slight dip in metabolism, and it might start using muscle tissue as fuel (which further impairs your metabolism slightly), but you never stop using fat as fuel.

    But when people are literally 'starving' (ie not getting enough calories), the body turns on itself for calories. Over time, it results in 'weight' loss - just not 'healthy' weight loss.

  8. #8
    SoulCyster #1 KatCarney's Avatar
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    And oldy, but goody...

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