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Question
Posted by: Deedee | 2011/02/11

Rigorous excercise &  starvation mode

Hi Doc, is it possible for one''s body to go into starvation mode even if you do rigorous excercise 6 times per week? I have started exercising about 6 weeks ago and I eat healthy, but less than usual (I aim to eat 1200 cals per day), but nothing seems to be happening. I am now wondering if my body has gone into starvation mode and that I am now holding back on everything I eat, even though I burn an average of 400 cals per training session? I have also gained 3kgs since starting the excercise program, which is also very discouraging!! I understand that it can be muscle mass, but at what stage does your weight loss outweigh your muscle gain in order to see if you are moving in the right direction?
Thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Deedee
If you use a very-low-energy diet your body will start conserving energy to try and survive. If you then still stress your body with high energy demands by doing a lot of strenuous exercise, then you will encourage further energy saving. Your 1200 kcal a day diet is, however, not yet a starvation diet, so you should start experiencing weightloss. You don't mention your height in meters or weight in kg so that I can calculate your BMI. If your body weight is already in the normal range and you are forcing weightloss then this would cause a slow down in metabolism. Keep a check on your measurements to see if you are losing cm which would intake fat loss even if your weight is not decreasing.
Hang in there and don't overdo things
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/02/12

Dear Deedee
If you use a very-low-energy diet your body will start conserving energy to try and survive. If you then still stress your body with high energy demands by doing a lot of strenuous exercise, then you will encourage further energy saving. Your 1200 kcal a day diet is, however, not yet a starvation diet, so you should start experiencing weightloss. You don't mention your height in meters or weight in kg so that I can calculate your BMI. If your body weight is already in the normal range and you are forcing weightloss then this would cause a slow down in metabolism. Keep a check on your measurements to see if you are losing cm which would intake fat loss even if your weight is not decreasing.
Hang in there and don't overdo things
DietDoc

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