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  • Jen Curtis

"Starvation mode" is not a thing

Let's set the record straight with a really common misconception about nutrition and fat-loss today.

I'm not sure where people get this stuff from. If you each too few calories, your body won't go into "starvation mode" and prevent you from losing weight - let's say if you eat a very low calorie diet (VLCD) of, say 500 calories a day, and your Total Calorie Daily Expenditure (TDEE) is 2000, you will still lose weight.

That's why there are no fat starving people in Africa, or in POW camps.

You don't need to worry about "eating too few calories" and your body "realising" you are on a diet.

What you need to worry about is THIS:

(And if fat-loss is your goal, you do need to worry about these two things)

1. If your calories are too low, let's say 1200 cals a day, you will feel SHIT and EXHAUSTED and you'll stop moving around as much. Your energy expenditure from movement will decrease, so instead of burning 2000 cals a day, you'll now be burning 1800 (this number is totally pulled out of my arse) thereby creating a smaller deficit.

2. If you eat too few calories, YOU WILL BE SO FUCKING HUNGRY AND MISERABLE that you'll end up tits-deep in a binge, you'll overeat, not feel satisfied by larger amounts of food and... drum roll please... then YOU WILL NO LONGER BE IN A CALORIE DEFICIT.

So "not cutting your calories too low" is important because it aids ADHERENCE it allows you to stay on the diet.

I've said many times that you want to be in the BIGGEST deficit THAT YOU CAN TOLERATE - if you can't tolerate it, you won't stay on the "diet", you won't be in a deficit, and you won't lose weight...

Again, it's a case of "if you hear hooves, think HORSES, not unicorns"... or the simplest explanation will usually do.

So if all you can tolerate is a 200 cal deficit, there's no point putting yourself into a 500 cal deficit, or, if you're aiming for 1200 cals a day, what might be a 700 or 1000 calorie deficit.

You're not a robot, and you can't just overide overwhelming feelings of hunger (and grumpiness, cos trust me, on poverty calories you'll be a grumpy bitch and make your life, and the life of everyone around you miserable)

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