Starvation Mode, What is it and What Does it Mean to Weight Loss?

StarvationBlogPicWhile “starvation” in today’s modern society is not what it was to our early ancestors, our body tends to respond in a similar way when it detects calorie restriction.

Once a true survival mechanism in times that food was scarce (harsh winters, droughts, famines), early signs of “starvation” prompted the brain to send a warning throughout the body – signaling hormonal and metabolic responses. This slowed bodily functions, conserving energy (burning less calories retained in stored fat) and encouraging rest rather than activity, until the crisis passed and nourishment could again be found.

Rarely today do we find ourselves in such situations. But, when we opt to drastically restrict caloric intake to reach weight loss goals, the body functions in much the same way.  Internal warnings prompt energy-conserving survival responses. Metabolic function is slowed. We find ourselves fatigued.

A slow metabolism not only burns fewer calories (energy), it also leaves us feeling less motivated to be active – both important components in achieving a healthy, sustained weight loss.

While there is ongoing discussion regarding the impact of “starvation mode,” “metabolic damage,” and “weight loss resistance” on weight loss, most would agree they are not ideal states for healthy, long term weight loss.

Successful weight loss and weight management efforts must be sustainable long term.

“The goal of an effective diet strategy is to improve lifelong eating habits and lifestyle choices.  By consuming the right amount of calories from the right kind of energy-boosting foods, we can use our metabolism and energy to work for us – not against us,” said Sam Jaoude, president of Eatfitters and community educator on healthy eating habits.

According to Jaoude, the proper quantity and balance of nutrients enables the body to function optimally, burning excess fat efficiently while providing ample energy to manage day-to-day and extracurricular activities.

The end-result is improved health and overall well-being.  It’s a WIN-WIN!

Making healthy eating his personal mission, Sam Jaoude opened Eatfitters in Houston in 2010 and today has five locations throughout the city.  Featured on Great Day Houston and in local media, he has assembled a team of nutritionists and healthy eating coaches to help Houstonians achieve optimal health.

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