7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150
1

# calories to avoid starvation?

by (3280)
Updated October 29, 2014 at 3:34 AM
Created April 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Sorry if this is a stupid question, and having just finished reading Taubes' Why we Get Fat book, I feel like I should understand this better, but:

If I don't eat enough, am I in danger of confusing my body thinking it is starving, which would result in slowing my metabolism?

I'm 5'10" male, 190 pounds. I'd like to lose 15-20 pounds.

I'm totally convinced that carbs & elevated insulin are my enemy, a storage hormone, and will prevent me from burning body fat.

This morning, I had 7 ounces of baby back ribs (45 grams fat, 30 grams protein). It was really satisfying.

It's lunch time now and I'm not really hungry.

I'm debating whether to eat my lunch or save it for dinner.

Was my breakfast enough to convince my body that I'm not starving?

I have the impression that the difference in calories of what I eat, vs. what I expend will be the body fat I burn. Is that right?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks, Mike

0df668399c068fa6a6c78fc1318c97a6
8 · April 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I love Gary Taubes. Believe everything he says. I think you should miss the lunch if not hungry. Lorene Codaine speaks anecdotaly about the fact that he never eats lunch.

45eaf1688c1baf31d687a382b78f451f
502 · April 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM

Totally agree! It only took me 15 years to figure this out... :(

2fdb7a6236b04bdfc3dacaf2bc236515
528 · April 12, 2012 at 11:17 PM

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · April 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

For people who don't know, this is spam.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150
3280 · April 12, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I probably make that mistake toooo frequently, but did I make that mistake in this post? (I did a CTRL-F and only see 'loosing' in your comment. Unless I'm loooosing my mind!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · April 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

There is successful and unsuccessful adaptations to long-term starvation- one is to allow muscle and fat wasting (that emaciated look) and the latter is to not use up all the fat/muscle stores and go into major edema (the swollen bellies seen in small children who can't successfully adapt due to stage of development). The slow metabolism cannot account for such an extreme calorie deficit, and suppresses hunger, immune system etc to just try to hang in there.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM

They don't start out overweight or obese. Also, the starvation response slows metabolism but it cannot adapt completely for a calorie deficit.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 6:00 PM

The only thing that prevents you from burning body fat (net, as in losing fat mass) is being in caloric balance or excess. Taubes is convincing but ...

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Intermittent low calorie days seems to be a better approach than a consistent calorie deficit in terms of tricking the body not to go into "starvation mode" ... Incidentally chronic carb restriction can and has been shown to do the same thing.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Yep ... save the meal until you're hungry for it.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

No dissent here on the lipid hypothesis, but "some haggling" ... HUGE understatement there!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · April 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Problem solved...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · April 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM

That's the third time today that someone posted about 'loosing weight'. Sorry to pick on you, Mike, but it's 'lose weight'. You can 'shake it loose' if you want. Okay, I'll take the grammar stick out of my ass now.

Total Views
1.1K

Recent Activity
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

Last Activity
73D AGO

Followers
0

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

5 Answers

best answer

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106
4
19120 · April 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

If I don't eat enough, am I in danger of confusing my body thinking it is starving, which would result in slowing my metabolism?

This statement has truth to it, but it is repeated so often, and so misunderstood, that it is basically a myth - one you'll even see repeated here.

Not getting enough energy from food for a few, consecutive days will indeed trigger what most call "starvation mode." This is not something that happens suddenly if you miss a meal. In fact, skipping meals is known to increase metabolism! ... just don't not eat for 2-3 days and think you're doing the body good.

You can get to a starvation state by consecutively, and purposefully, not eating enough - even if you are eating everyday. The number thrown around is "eat at least 1200 calories a day". When you're eating that little, that number is a good stopping point. I wouldn't go past that unless your doctor advises you to do so. I'm a 5'10'' male working on "those last 15lbs", and I workout and eat 1900 calories a day which is barely enough, imho.

Skipping meals, but yet getting enough energy during the day (or any time period) is not the same as starving yourself.

Eat well & workout -- you'll reach those goals!

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Intermittent low calorie days seems to be a better approach than a consistent calorie deficit in terms of tricking the body not to go into "starvation mode" ... Incidentally chronic carb restriction can and has been shown to do the same thing.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
8
21405 · April 12, 2012 at 4:56 PM

The best part - eat when hungry.

Save it for dinner, or do as I do and combine dinner and lunch (linner? dunch?)

We've been made to believe over the past 20-30 years you should eat x amount every x hours to control hunger. But honestly, if you simply listen to your body you'll go much farther in your goals.

45eaf1688c1baf31d687a382b78f451f
502 · April 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM

Totally agree! It only took me 15 years to figure this out... :(

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Yep ... save the meal until you're hungry for it.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
3
20411 · April 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

It's 1:35pm here and I haven't had breakfast or lunch and I'm not hungry. I will eat when I am and I have some nice grilled steak and carrots standing by.

Both protein and low carb/ketogenics diets have a tendency to reduce appetite/hunger, so this is not an unusual situation, especially if you just read WWGF.

Although everyone (any dissenters?) here agrees about Gary Taube's demolition of the lipid hypothesis, there is some haggling over the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis of obesity. But whether people get fat because of insulin's effect or not, being low carb is a pretty useful strategy for many who need to lose weight. Appetite suppression for the win!

Just be aware that many here have felt the need to add some carbs (like sweet potato) back in as they approach goal weight. If you start to get cold hands/feet or feel very lethargic/wigged out, you may want to add some starch (and/or fruit).

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM

No dissent here on the lipid hypothesis, but "some haggling" ... HUGE understatement there!

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a
1
2799 · April 12, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I've always wondered why people in famine areas and concentration camps look the way they do if the body is capable of going into a starvation mode that allows it to miraculously maintain its fat.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5
8879 · April 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM

They don't start out overweight or obese. Also, the starvation response slows metabolism but it cannot adapt completely for a calorie deficit.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · April 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM

There is successful and unsuccessful adaptations to long-term starvation- one is to allow muscle and fat wasting (that emaciated look) and the latter is to not use up all the fat/muscle stores and go into major edema (the swollen bellies seen in small children who can't successfully adapt due to stage of development). The slow metabolism cannot account for such an extreme calorie deficit, and suppresses hunger, immune system etc to just try to hang in there.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
0
78422 · April 12, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Like many others have said the best advice is to eat when hungry. Sometimes your body will play tricks on you when you are bored to make you think you are hungry but you just need to ask yourself if you really are hungry.

One resource I have been using was the Paleo Diet Book which has a whole section on meal planning as well as some great recipes. It has really saved me alot of time when deciding what to eat and what I can and cant eat.

Here is a link to a review of the book

Paleo Recipe Book

Hope I could help :)

2fdb7a6236b04bdfc3dacaf2bc236515
528 · April 12, 2012 at 11:17 PM

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · April 12, 2012 at 8:24 PM

For people who don't know, this is spam.

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes