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  1. #1
    Registered User ultragymrat's Avatar
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    Angry Eat MORE to lose weight = BULL****

    I have heard this "Starvation Mode" crap all over the internet and bb.com and it is so FALSE! (especially when applied to 250 pound guys who are lifting and doing cardio and eating 2000 calories a day)

    Anyone who states something like, "eat more to lose weight" is just not thinking it through.

    I have yet to see any study that suggests that the metabolism is slowed more than a FEW percentage points at extreme caloric depravation (say below 800 calories) but NEVER to the extent to create a Basil Metabolic Rate of below 800 cals. That is physically impossible. You body would burn more than that if it was in a coma! (unless you are a 4 foot tall 16 year old 85 pound girl...in a coma)

    If you drop your calories below your BMR + exercise caloric expenditure you will lose weight period...can your BMR drop A FEW POINTS at below 800 calories - sure that has been proven. Are you going to go into go into starvation mode going from 2000 to 1500 calories to an extent that your BMR plummets by 600 points - Not possible!

    To put it another way do you think that if you eat an extra 250 calorie snicker bar on top of your 2000 calorie diet your metabolism will be so revved by thinking it is out of danger that it will fire up the metabolic furnace and turn that noughat to ashes as it goes down your throat? - Not possible!

    Bottom line - Your body's ability to reduce it's energy expenditure in response to caloric deprevation is a cool suvival response, but simply not powerful enough to make eat more to lose weight true. No Way.



    ( I know people will have a hernia about my generalizations, but in most cases that the metabolic slowdown concept is mentioned it is being applied and used incorrectly and it is starting to tick me of becasue the last thing these people need to hear is that they should eat more. They need to hear the hard truth which is - To Lose Weight Eat Less - )
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  2. #2
    Sua sponte... scrummie2's Avatar
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    Well yeah, if we want to talk in absolutes starvation is also effective in losing weight.
    "Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure." - Thomas Edison

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  3. #3
    Registered User ultragymrat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by scrummie2 View Post
    Well yeah, if we want to talk in absolutes starvation is also effective in losing weight.
    I feel the sarcasm, but that is really not the scenario that I am talking about...

    I want to talk more in the range of Starvation Mode or (significant BMR decrease) occuring in the 1500-2500 calorie range, which is silly.
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  4. #4
    Gamma-Male Il_Dago's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post
    To put it another way do you think that if you eat an extra 250 calorie snicker bar on top of your 2000 calorie diet your metabolism will be so revved by thinking it is out of danger that it will fire up the metabolic furnace and turn that noughat to ashes as it goes down your throat? - Not possible!
    A statement like this makes it hard for me to take you seriously. Of course no one thinks this. Why would you even say something like that?
    "You show me someone who got fat eating fruit and I'll show you someone with a deep fryer and too much time on their hands."

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  5. #5
    Registered User ultragymrat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Il_Dago View Post
    A statement like this makes it hard for me to take you seriously. Of course no one thinks this. Why would you even say something like that?
    That is in essence what people are saying...
    I am using hyperbole to get people talking, but even if it was 250 extra calories worth of chicken eaten throughout the day, is this hypothetical guy's metabolic system going to respond by ramping up by over 250 BMR points?

    Haven't you heard people just say, :" well, your problem why you are not losing weight anymore is that you should eat more..." ? ?
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  6. #6
    Registered User wesley101's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post
    I feel the sarcasm, but that is really not the scenario that I am talking about...

    I want to talk more in the range of Starvation Mode or (significant BMR decrease) occuring in the 1500-2500 calorie range, which is silly.

    I doubt anyone goes into Starvation Mode at 1500 calories lol.


    When your eating 800-1000 calories per day let's say as a 250lb dude you will lose weight and muscles but your metabolism is going to be shot and that to me is starvation mode because soon as you eat more again you will gain weight more easily.
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  7. #7
    Sua sponte... scrummie2's Avatar
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    Well, the funny thing about this is you've used hyperbole to create an absolute and then gotten angry about it. No one is really saying "eat more to weigh less". They are saying "eat more to lose weight WHILE CONSERVING as much muscle as you can". Clearly, not eating at ALL is the most effective way to drop weight quickly. And some people can hardly eat and still not lose lean mass. But starvation dieting works quickest because it is unhealthiest...and the lost in muscle tissue that accompanies the fat loss makes it easier to gain the weight back (and ironically harder to lose when you do so, because now you've got a slower metabolism). Most people in the "eat more weigh less" camp are also in the "you should only lose 2 lbs a week" camp...if the goal is quick SCALE WEIGHT LOSS there are all kinds of ways that are quicker.
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  8. #8
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    I see what you are saying, but just look at the posts on here with guys at 1800-2000 daily stalling out for weeks on ends after some initial loss. This is why you try 500 to 1000 below maintenance. I FEEL like I am eating more than ever because now I eat things with lower caloric values. So technically someone who was living on fast food (like I was) could eat more (which I do) of the right things and lose weight. If you are focussed on a goal and willing to change your lifestyle forever, why would you want to rush it by eating less than 2000 calories a day? I eat closer to 3000 and the 2 lbs come off every week like clockwork.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Bioteknik's Avatar
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    oh well.. I went from under 2000 a day to 2500-2800 a day and was able to get past that "5 lb hump".

    It worked for me, but I guess it doesn't work for everyone. People usually suggest things to others when it worked for them.
    My log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=112190371
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Il_Dago View Post
    A statement like this makes it hard for me to take you seriously. Of course no one thinks this. Why would you even say something like that?
    Because yes, there ARE people who think exactly this, and they're all over this forum. They think because they've been dieting for a couple weeks that their metabolism has taken a crap and a candy bar or cheat meal/cheat day is what they need to wake it back up.

    Fact is, even if the metabolism does slow down, it takes a while to happen and one single meal or cheat day is not enough to have any impact on it. Even then, the metabolism will NEVER slow down enough to completely negate a calorie deficit. It will slow down the rate of weightloss but the metabolism just can not slow enough to stop it.
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    Any articles on the "your metabolism is going to be shot" statement?

    How does your metabolism actually change and to what extent on a 1,000-1,500 cal a day diet for a 220lb man?

    There is a theory that as you lose weight you need to continue reducing cal intake and the lighter you get the less cals you require to maintain that lower weight.
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  12. #12
    Registered User ultragymrat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by scrummie2 View Post
    Well, the funny thing about this is you've used hyperbole to create an absolute and then gotten angry about it. No one is really saying "eat more to weigh less". They are saying "eat more to lose weight WHILE CONSERVING as much muscle as you can". Clearly, not eating at ALL is the most effective way to drop weight quickly. And some people can hardly eat and still not lose lean mass. But starvation dieting works quickest because it is unhealthiest...and the lost in muscle tissue that accompanies the fat loss makes it easier to gain the weight back (and ironically harder to lose when you do so, because now you've got a slower metabolism). Most people in the "eat more weigh less" camp are also in the "you should only lose 2 lbs a week" camp...if the goal is quick SCALE WEIGHT LOSS there are all kinds of ways that are quicker.
    Not true. I am not creating the statement, I have heard people say "eat more to weigh less" quite a bit without explaination. Some stalling struggling guy is going to hear that and up his calories from 2000 to 2250 and fail. I seriously welcome people's ideas on how that could work, but at least explain your idea of why that illogical concept would work.

    btw - I am not advocating sub 1000 cal dieting, just saying that dropping 2000 down to 1750 makes more sense to me as advice than just saying, "hey you are stalling on weight loss? eat more...
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  13. #13
    Sua sponte... scrummie2's Avatar
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    Well, it is true that this is a message board and there is a lot of one-liner advice that gets shot out there. My least favorite is "try HIIT".

    Real toying with the metabolism is in my mind based not only on the immediate results in weight loss but also with an eye towards maintenance once goals are achieved. If weight can be lost eating closer to maintenance through a deficit created by slight undereating and (in my mind) intense cardio, I think that's better than weight loss through starving. I'm basically a Venuto follower though so if anyone wants citations I'd suggest reading his stuff.
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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post

    btw - I am not advocating sub 1000 cal dieting, just saying that dropping 2000 down to 1750 makes more sense to me as advice than just saying, "hey you are stalling on weight loss? eat more...
    I have personally broken my 2 plateaus by eating more. I don't know what else to tell you. If you are stalled because your body thinks there isn't enough nutrition, then you have to convince it otherwise. It's so simple. Why do you have so much trouble understanding?

    The zigzag method is used by so many people to fight the starvation response because the starvation response is real and it causes lengthy stalls. From your posts, I can only deduct that you don't believe this to be true. If that's the case, you should do some more reading.
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  15. #15
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    Best book on this subject imo is the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook, by Lyle McDonald. It explains exactly how low you can cut cals without losing any significant LBM. Note that part of this diet plan also includes refeeds, the number of refeeds depends on one's weight/bodyfat.
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  16. #16
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    Guys, FYI to support OP:

    Determining the Maximum Dietary Deficit for Fat Loss

    Key source: Alpert SS. A limit on the energy transfer rate from the human fat store in hypophagia. J Theor Biol. 2005 Mar 7;233(1):1-13.

    Now, empirically and based on research, it’s well established that…

    a. fatter individuals lose more fat and less lean body mass (LBM) than leaner individuals; and
    b. bigger individuals lose weight more quickly

    So imagine my surprise when this little theoretical paper (note the journal title) showed up on my Pubcrawler last year (1). Titled, “A limit on the energy transfer rate from the human fat store in hypophagia”, it examined (from a somewhat simplified and theoretical way) exactly the question I gave above: what is the maximum rate at which the body can derive energy from fat stores to cover a diet induced deficit while sparing lean body mass.

    It’s a nasty little paper, filled primarily with equations, explanations of those equations and some more equations to boot. Headache inducing to be sure. I’ll spare you the details. Based on a somewhat simplified analysis of what data exists (including the seminal Minnesota semi-starvation experiment), they conclude that the maximal rate at which fat stores can provide energy to the body is 290 +- 25 kj/kg which is approximately 31 kcal/lb of fat per day.

    So, if you are carrying a mere 10 lbs. of fat, you can sustain a 310 cal/day deficit.
    20 lbs. = 620 calories.
    30 lbs. = 930 calories

    You get the idea and this is not difficult math. Multiply your total fat mass in pounds by 31, that’s how much of a caloric deficit that fat mass can support on a daily basis.

    Say we have a 180 lb male at 15% bodyfat. He has 27 lbs. of fat, and his maintenance calorie intake is 15 cal/lb or 2700 calories. With 27 lbs. of fat, he should be able to sustain a caloric deficit, from diet alone, of 27 lbs. fat * 31 cal/lb = 837 calories/day. So he could reduce his calories to 1863 (ha! 10 cal/lb) and shouldn’t lose any LBM at that level of intake. He should get a weekly fat loss of just over 1.5 lbs./week.

    If the same 180 lb guy was at 10% bodyfat, only 18 lbs. of fat, he could only sustain a 558 calorie/day deficit (2150 cal/day or 12 cal/lb), he’s down to 1 pound per week. By the time he’s at 8%, he’s down to 14.5 lbs. of fat and a total deficit of 446 calories/day and about 2/3 a pound of fat loss/week. Oh yeah, if he were a fat **** at 30% bodyfat, that’s 54 lbs. of fat, he could sustain a deficit of over 1500 cal/day and lose over 3 pounds per week of pure lard; of course he’d only be eating 1300 cal/day. Again, the above all seem to roughly pass the reality check in terms of what we see in human dieters.

    Now, one implication of the above is that, as a diet proceeds and your fat stores shrink, your net deficit has to decrease. Ok, step back, take a breath and read that again. More importantly, note my use of the word ‘net’ in the first sentence of that paragraph.


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    I think people just get confused. For example, a 20 year old 6'1" 225 male exercising 5-6 times a week burns around 3500 calories. To be at the 500 deficit they should be consuming at most 3000. At the end of the week thats 3500 calories.

    Now say that this person forgot to put their activity factor in when they found their bmr. They would have a bmr of 2258.85 so ill say 2260. Now 2260 - 500 = 1760. They think, "O I need to eat 1760 calories a day for me to lose weight." By the end of the week they think they are at a 3500 calorie deficit. But what are they really at? 3500 - 1760 = 1740 per day | 1740*7 = 12180 calories per week. They would be pretty hungry. (some one tell me if i did that wrong)

    When this guy comes on the forum and asks why he is no longer losing weight on his 1760 calorie diet, some people know that is pretty low compared to what he should be getting. Other people assume he is eating 1760 then doing a cardio session burning 600 calories leaving him at 1160.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's all how you interpret the post. Are they eating 1500 then exercising or are they getting 1500 after exercise.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by The_Contrarian View Post
    Guys, FYI to support OP:

    Determining the Maximum Dietary Deficit for Fat Loss

    Key source: Alpert SS. A limit on the energy transfer rate from the human fat store in hypophagia. J Theor Biol. 2005 Mar 7;233(1):1-13.

    Now, empirically and based on research, it?s well established that?

    a. fatter individuals lose more fat and less lean body mass (LBM) than leaner individuals; and
    b. bigger individuals lose weight more quickly

    So imagine my surprise when this little theoretical paper (note the journal title) showed up on my Pubcrawler last year (1). Titled, ?A limit on the energy transfer rate from the human fat store in hypophagia?, it examined (from a somewhat simplified and theoretical way) exactly the question I gave above: what is the maximum rate at which the body can derive energy from fat stores to cover a diet induced deficit while sparing lean body mass.

    It?s a nasty little paper, filled primarily with equations, explanations of those equations and some more equations to boot. Headache inducing to be sure. I?ll spare you the details. Based on a somewhat simplified analysis of what data exists (including the seminal Minnesota semi-starvation experiment), they conclude that the maximal rate at which fat stores can provide energy to the body is 290 +- 25 kj/kg which is approximately 31 kcal/lb of fat per day.

    So, if you are carrying a mere 10 lbs. of fat, you can sustain a 310 cal/day deficit.
    20 lbs. = 620 calories.
    30 lbs. = 930 calories

    You get the idea and this is not difficult math. Multiply your total fat mass in pounds by 31, that?s how much of a caloric deficit that fat mass can support on a daily basis.

    Say we have a 180 lb male at 15% bodyfat. He has 27 lbs. of fat, and his maintenance calorie intake is 15 cal/lb or 2700 calories. With 27 lbs. of fat, he should be able to sustain a caloric deficit, from diet alone, of 27 lbs. fat * 31 cal/lb = 837 calories/day. So he could reduce his calories to 1863 (ha! 10 cal/lb) and shouldn?t lose any LBM at that level of intake. He should get a weekly fat loss of just over 1.5 lbs./week.

    If the same 180 lb guy was at 10% bodyfat, only 18 lbs. of fat, he could only sustain a 558 calorie/day deficit (2150 cal/day or 12 cal/lb), he?s down to 1 pound per week. By the time he?s at 8%, he?s down to 14.5 lbs. of fat and a total deficit of 446 calories/day and about 2/3 a pound of fat loss/week. Oh yeah, if he were a fat **** at 30% bodyfat, that?s 54 lbs. of fat, he could sustain a deficit of over 1500 cal/day and lose over 3 pounds per week of pure lard; of course he?d only be eating 1300 cal/day. Again, the above all seem to roughly pass the reality check in terms of what we see in human dieters.

    Now, one implication of the above is that, as a diet proceeds and your fat stores shrink, your net deficit has to decrease. Ok, step back, take a breath and read that again. More importantly, note my use of the word ?net? in the first sentence of that paragraph.


    Full article: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/weigh...m-dietary.html
    This data supports both points of view being debated on the forum here, depending on how large the initial deficit is when someone is told to "eat more to weigh less".
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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post
    That is in essence what people are saying...
    I am using hyperbole to get people talking, but even if it was 250 extra calories worth of chicken eaten throughout the day, is this hypothetical guy's metabolic system going to respond by ramping up by over 250 BMR points?

    Haven't you heard people just say, :" well, your problem why you are not losing weight anymore is that you should eat more..." ? ?
    I have heard people say that and I think for a small group it is probably true. I agree with you that the statement has spread to far more people than it should have.

    I think it has something to do with physical portion size vs. amount of calories. Take a double-bacon cheeseburger value meal and replace it with its weight in shredded lettuce. You'll likely have 1/4 the calories with the same fullness factor. Too many times doing this and you end up sub-1000 daily calories. People using such practices need to hear the "eat more - lose weight" statement.

    I agree with you 100%, that place is not how it is currently being used. Similar to scrummie2's comment on "one-liner advice," it's used as a catch-all which is all kinds of wrong.
    "You show me someone who got fat eating fruit and I'll show you someone with a deep fryer and too much time on their hands."

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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post
    Not true. I am not creating the statement, I have heard people say "eat more to weigh less" quite a bit without explaination. Some stalling struggling guy is going to hear that and up his calories from 2000 to 2250 and fail. I seriously welcome people's ideas on how that could work, but at least explain your idea of why that illogical concept would work.

    btw - I am not advocating sub 1000 cal dieting, just saying that dropping 2000 down to 1750 makes more sense to me as advice than just saying, "hey you are stalling on weight loss? eat more...

    I honestly don't know how anyone bigger than I could actually have good workouts while eating 2000 cals or less. Here's how the eat more to lose weight thing works.. You eat more calories, giving you more energy, and you in fact are able to burn more (over a 24 hour period) than you're actually consuming.
    My log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=112190371
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    Originally Posted by Bioteknik View Post
    I honestly don't know how anyone bigger than I could actually have good workouts while eating 2000 cals or less. Here's how the eat more to lose weight thing works.. You eat more calories, giving you more energy, and you in fact are able to burn more (over a 24 hour period) than you're actually consuming.
    Yeh but allot of people are able to have good workouts while eating at like 1,500 calories or whatever much less than their BMR. For example, if you are in a state of ketosis you get allot of energy from fats. Your body is highly adaptable in many situations and once you become used to a predetermined lower calorie intake than ussual you feel fine. Plus, exercise is only very small in terms of calorie deficit contribution when compared to diet only.

    There is a thread somewhere, dunno which guy, but he was eating at 1,500 calories for 8 months straight and got krazy ripped. At the end of the day, its about sticking to any diet that provides you with calorie deficit but as the research above I posted, you have to adjust accordingly to ensure you minimize LBM loss. Weight lifting and eating adequate protein helps with this.
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    People can get so caught up in these food trends and theories. Keep it simple:

    1) Keep a food diary
    2) Aim for 500 calories below maintenance
    3) Perform cardio and weight training

    end of story......
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    Originally Posted by Bioteknik View Post
    oh well.. I went from under 2000 a day to 2500-2800 a day and was able to get past that "5 lb hump".
    You lost weight ONLY because you ingested additional 500-800 calories and then your BMR responded by shooting up by 900 cals per day that it burned? nope... that is impossible.

    Originally Posted by pmcgee View Post
    I have personally broken my 2 plateaus by eating more. I don't know what else to tell you. If you are stalled because your body thinks there isn't enough nutrition, then you have to convince it otherwise. It's so simple. Why do you have so much trouble understanding?

    The zigzag method is used by so many people to fight the starvation response because the starvation response is real and it causes lengthy stalls. From your posts, I can only deduct that you don't believe this to be true. If that's the case, you should do some more reading.
    As to your body "stalling becuase because your body thinks there isn't enough nutrition" that is the kind of BS that I am talking about. The response of your body to weight loss is to naturally lower the BMR because you a smaller human, so you obviously DROP your calories to adapt, not increase them. The "starvation response" as you call it does not occur in the way you suggest. You lose weight at 2000 calories and and your BMR drops to 1800 and you respond by eating not 1700 but 2200 and then you lose weight? no way man. Your BMR doesn't work that way. And I would LOVE to do more reading if you would only give me something good.


    BTW are you two coming up with these ubiquitous 2 sandwiches for $3 BK & McD ads that are revving up the American metabolism and making my overeating coworkers so skinny these days?
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    i always thought the "eat more to lose more" was referring to the eating of more frequent meals throughout the day, not so much the total calories. obviously eating snickers bars isnt going to get u cut.
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    Originally Posted by muscleman420 View Post
    i always thought the "eat more to lose more" was referring to the eating of more frequent meals throughout the day, not so much the total calories. obviously eating snickers bars isnt going to get u cut.
    +1 it's not the # of cals (depending on your goal) it's where you get your calories from and how frequent you eat.
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    The OP is right...

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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post
    You lost weight ONLY because you ingested additional 500-800 calories and then your BMR responded by shooting up by 900 cals per day that it burned? nope... that is impossible.


    no.. read my other response as to why it worked for me.
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    First and foremost,

    This debate is truly what this forum is for, intelligent people discussing real issues and real points of view based on both scientific data and what worked for them.

    I think the study provided by The_Contrarian (reps) has merit not only in the "eat more to lose weight" debate but also in the "making gains while at a caloric restriction" arena.

    I know in my short 5+ months of cutting I've stayed -1000 to -1500 under BMR and seen both muscle gain and fat loss. Only when I started a more intense workout did I have to up my calories in order to survive the trauma of my routine. I was eating 1800-2000 now I'm 2000-2300.

    What I really like about that study is when I apply it to a fatty like myself. I have 51lbs of fat, and a adjusted BMR of 3300. I can eat 1700 calories a day (almost half of my BMR) and not lose muscle. For me, the sweet spot (of course this month) is right at -1150 under my BMR, I notice that I am making strength gains and seeing significant muscle hypertrophy while my waist is steady dropping and the scale is rock solid.

    And yes, I did start losing more scale weight when I started eating more but I believe (similar to what scrummie2 said about weight being lost through a deficit and intense cardio), that my weight loss have nothing to do with eating more calories and everything to do with expending more energy (EPOC) starting a new routine.

    ***You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to The_Coltrarian again.
    Last edited by RobbFix; 07-30-2008 at 11:53 AM.
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    Question

    Originally Posted by Bioteknik View Post
    no.. read my other response as to why it worked for me.
    I don't understand it because it is too vague, you are saying that eating more allows you to burn more calories in the gym by working out harder/longer due to having more gas in the tank?
    I hear you and that may well be true, but that is a red herring imo. Slogging through a workout on a big calorie deficit vs. more fuel to a super calorie burning workout is kind of a different debate.

    Bottom line it seems like your phrase would be "eat more to workout harder to lose weight." yes? no?

    Interesting input though, thanks.
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    Originally Posted by ultragymrat View Post
    I don't understand it because it is too vague, you are saying that eating more allows you to burn more calories in the gym by working out harder/longer due to having more gas in the tank?
    I hear you and that may well be true, but that is a red herring imo. Slogging through a workout on a big calorie deficit vs. more fuel to a super calorie burning workout is kind of a different debate.

    Bottom line it seems like your phrase would be "eat more to workout harder to lose weight." yes? no?

    Interesting input though, thanks.
    Also to add, if you are doing low intensity steady state cardio, e.g. for 1 hour, then there isnt much 'effort' required to walk on the treadmill at 3.5mph. Agreed, for HIIT sessions, nutrition before and after is key and nothing wrong with having couple of extra shakes on days you do intense cardio and up your calorie intake to support such sessions. But if you are on a more restricted calorie intake (e.g. 1500 calories as an example), LISS workouts would be a perfect complimentary tool not only in terms of ensuring LBM preservation but also the lower 'effort' required to complete it as its a low intensity workout.
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