Sounds weird, right? But the phenomenon is well documented.
“The act of reducing the amount of calories that you consume for a sustained period of time (more than 21 consecutive days) causes a number of damaging changes to your metabolism, hormones and thyroid systems. The result is what most people have come to know as starvation mode.”
The study linked below found that more than 90% of the “Biggest Loser” contestants who were tracked over time gained back all of the weight they lost during the competition. And this was despite the fact that they had continued to eat fewer calories.
- Why? Because their bodies continued to burn, on average, 700 calories LESS per DAY than before the competition!
And the reason is common sense simple. Our metabolisms don’t know we have ready access to grocery stores year round. They adapt to a reduction in calories as if it were due to a bad harvest or an extra long winter. They go into starvation mode in order to help us survive until food is plentiful again.
Some of the symptoms of starvation mode include a body temperature 1-2 degrees below normal; cold hands, cold feet, or cold intolerance; constant fatigue; changes to hair texture or thickness; hair loss; irritability; depression; food cravings; dizziness or lightheadedness; trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
If your metabolism has been damaged by low calorie dieting, the article linked below offers guidance.
- Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition.
- Symptoms of Not Eating Enough Calories