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Obesity and Weight Management

Starvation mode

01/19/2007

Question:

I am 42 years old, and have been starving myself since I was 16 years old. I recently discovered I am in starvetion mode. I am 5`4" and weigh 185 pounds. Of course I hardly eat. I have tried eating three square meals a day, but I just put on too much weight in the first week, so I go back to hardly eating. How do I get out of this starvation mode? Can anyone HELP me!!?

Answer:

You sound like you are really frustrated trying to find the right calorie level to allow you to lose weight.  Ask your physician to refer you to a registered dietitian who can evaluate your current intake and determine your resting metabolic rate.  With that information s/he can help you plan your intake to get enough calories to allow you to lose fat and not muscle mass.  You will probably need to gradually increase your calories by making small changes.

Exercise is another key component in your weight loss.  You will want to begin adding exercise slowly.  Strength training will be especially important to you in trying to replace muscle mass that may have been lost during the period in which your calories were too low.  It will also be important in maintaining the muscle you have.  Aerobic exercise should be included to help you burn calories.

If you have trouble finding a registered dietitian, go to www.eatright.org.  By putting in your zip code, you will be able to access dietitians in your area.  Do not give up!  There is help out there.

For more information:

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Response by:

Shirley A Kindrick, PhD Shirley A Kindrick, PhD
Team Leader of Comprehensive Weight Management
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University