What Happens When the Human Body Is Starved?

 
What happens when the human body is starved? A common theory is that when the body is consuming restricted calories, it goes into “starvation mode” and starts storing fat. Watch this week’s vlog to find out whether I confirm or debunk this theory.

Comments

  1. Dana

    Susan, I just joined BLE. thought the point of BrightLineEating is that you don’t have to rely on will power but on automaticity. In this entry you talk about the will power needed to establish new habits. I’m afraid because will power is the thing I have trouble mustering past 9:30am…Help!

    Reply ·
    1. Davina

      Dana, automaticity comes from repeating over and over to make new habit—takes bit of time.Just keep watching Susan’s videos and follow the plan and you WILL reach automaticity.

      Reply ·
  2. Paula St Thomas

    good vlog . I have always been told that if I eat less then my body will stay fat. Going to try 1200 cals a day.

    Reply ·
  3. Julianne Rice

    Great post!!!
    I think by mistake at the beginning of your blog you might have said the experiment was in 1994, maybe you meant 1949 or 1944?

    Reply ·
  4. Pam

    I’m guessing the Minnesota Starvation Experiment dates were not actually 1994-95 as you said on the video, but 1944-45. Is that correct?

    Reply ·
    1. Sandy

      Right ! I don’t think 1994 was right after WW2! Ha.

      Reply ·
  5. J Ernst Siegenthaler

    Excellent video. Thanks. I recall that you were going to issue 2 videos: (i) what to eat and ii) what not to eat. Were these in fact issued?

    Thanks again Susan

    Ernst

    Reply ·
  6. Pam

    Here’s what Wikipedia says regarding the dates of the experiment: “The Minnesota Starvation Experiment, also known as the Minnesota Semi-Starvation Experiment, the Minnesota Starvation-Recovery Experiment and the Starvation Study, was a clinical study performed at the University of Minnesota between November 19, 1944 and December 20, 1945.”

    Reply ·
  7. Wayne Clarke

    Hi. I appreciate your video. I do understand all. You have given me more hope and help me understand that I have to really be determined to change my life style. Also. I took you test after watching your first video and never received the answers. I was only able to watch the first two. I need to be able to watch the last video so I will know what I can and can’t do. Thanks

    Reply ·
  8. Amanda

    Susan, you said 1994-95 when you said this study was done just after World War II? I think you meant 1944-45.

    Reply ·
  9. Stefi

    Another great vlog Susan!! I second the thought of : God Bless those men in that research study!!! OMG most DEFINATELY bless them. I wonder how their bodies & lives continued going forward.
    Ultimately it is fascinating what the body dies to survive. Expected responses & moods as well.
    We are smart but the body is smarter isn’t it?
    Back to us, gradual restriction & swapping for good & green foods is the answer ? Perhaps one answer? Thank you again 🙂

    Reply ·
    1. Stefi

      Does – not dies , didn’t catch that before posting!

      Reply ·
  10. Birgit Peet-Bleys

    I’m so curious what happened with these guys in 1946 when they were given the room to eat again to gain weight.
    You did not finish telling us how the experiment ended…
    Birgit

    Reply ·
    1. Oola

      Most of the men gained a little beyond where they had been before the start and basically went back down to the weights they had been before.

      Reply ·
  11. Sherry

    Great video, Thank you .

    Reply ·
  12. Julia Carol

    Hi Susan! As usual, great Vlog! And oy vey… did we wait long enough for science to figure out that a calorie is not a calorie? I always suspected that calories were not equal. And certainly a calorie from pasta is not the same in our bodies as a calorie from spinach! My body knew this long ago…

    I too feel sorry for the men in that study! And I’m also happy that these days, not all research is on men! Our bodies are not exactly the same, either… so I’m glad more studies are done on women’s bodies.

    Thanks to Bright LIne Eating for such sane and do-able advice and plans… I am on Day 257, no longer missing flour or sugar… no food cravings… loving my bright lines and my new body! oxox

    Reply ·
  13. Cheryl

    Great info – thanks Susan, it seems there is always further details and information about studies and rumors. I guess that is why you start to question everything you read or hear. This helps a lot!

    Reply ·
  14. SrinivasaReddy Reddy Kunuthur

    What are the effects of human body starvation on sex drive in men and women? I understand that human population increases in the world with increase in starvation. Thank you Susan.

    Reply ·
    1. Kristi

      I thought that women’s fertility declined during periods of famine.

      Reply ·
  15. Jacob Jaffe

    interesting but would like to know more.

    Reply ·
  16. Katie

    Susan, great vlog I just love listening to you and learning. I’m dying to know how many calories women on ble eat each day. Especially active women. Thank you so much for clearing this up.

    Reply ·
    1. Joseph

      Hi Katie! In BLE it’s not a one size fits all. The amount of calories is assessed for each, individually.

      Reply ·
  17. Jacob Jaffe

    Interesting; would like to learn more.

    Reply ·
  18. Jean br own

    I am finding your answers very useful and. Helpful

    Reply ·
  19. Eriena O'Reilly

    Thank you Susan for you explanation of how hard it would seem to change a person’s eating habits ,and how it ok to feel all those things in the process. I found out about you from a women at work,and believe me it was like finding a beautiful piece of Sea Glass on the beach that you can pick it up anytime and it warms your heart. Thank you for being in our corner.
    Eriena

    Reply ·
  20. Jack Hart

    DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON ED FOR MEN ?

    Reply ·
  21. Annie Crawford

    Great information, now we know. Thanks for sharing

    Reply ·
  22. Sharyl

    Very, very intresting – as soon as it was over it made me wonder what kind of diet these kids are eating that
    start to isolate, get depressed and then go on a shooting rampage? I only wish they knew how to eat like you
    have taught us!!!

    Reply ·
  23. Deborah

    Very enlightening! Thank you!

    Reply ·
  24. Barb

    have you heard of plexus slim? what do you think?

    Reply ·
  25. Barb

    do you think Plexus slim products will help or hinder loosing weight

    Reply ·
    1. Joseph

      Plexus Slim is a gimmick that won’t work long-term. They take extracts from good foods — i.e. alpha lipolic acid from beets, spinach and brussel sprouts — add several other extracts like the sweetener maltodextrin, and grind it all up into a powder. Everyone needs to eat real food, and do it smartly. Follow Dr. Thompson and you’ll learn how to do that, with no gimmicks.

      Reply ·
      1. Haleigh Adams

        I was able to get off of my thyroid meds after 2 months on plexus slim. So I don’t think it’s a gimmick. It has also helped tremendously with my adrenal fatigue. I’ve been on it over 2 years and it’s helped a ton!

        Reply ·
  26. Amber

    Now I understand what they were talking about in that study! Whole foods plant base is what I have now been trying to do. But will power needs building up.

    Thank you for a very informative blog!

    Reply ·
  27. Kristina

    How do I obtIn a ble meal plan? Do I have to join the boot amp first? I’d like to know more before I spend $1k on something I know very little about. Susan keeps talking Nd is a wealth of information, but I feel like I’m missing something.

    Reply ·
    1. Lauren

      Dear Kristina, I thought it was all about the eating plan when I first started thinking about spending the big bucks for this, as well. Susan does a series of three videos as an introduction to her Bright Line Eating program, just before she releases her next bootcamp, that are so generously informative, that even with just making the recommendations that she outlines in those videos, one can be well on their way to weight loss (I was!). But I quickly learned that it is also about so much more. There are peaceful practices that she encourages you to include, she talks about the true nature of will power and how to harness it, she walks you through how to eat in restaurants of all varieties, social situations, holidays and so much more. She is brilliant on the science end but also such a warm, compassionate person. The eating approach hit home to me in a huge way (I am 61 years old and had been chronically overweight my entire life), and I am now a Bright Line eater for life! I have lost 40 pounds since October 1, 2015 and I know it is sustainable. It is THE best money I have ever spent on myself and I could not have done it on my own or just through reading about it. It took a whole community of support and REAL solutions to get the job done. Oh, and I am not an employee or paid endorser of any kind!

      Reply ·
      1. Kristi

        Lauren, I so want to meet you!

        Reply ·
  28. Yvonne White

    Thanks, Susan, for this explanation. I had heard and read the same proclamation. I just want to say…. Your Bright Line eating plan is the ONLY WAY OF EATING THAT REALLY WORKS, in my opinion! Over the years, I have tried so many ways to lose weight, I have lost count. I was so desperate to lose weight in the early 1980’s, that I tried the “Fruit Diet”……and after a week or two, my hair started falling out!!!!! And I could hardly get up from the sofa because I was so tired! I could tell you more stories, but I digress. Before I found Bright Line Eating Plan, I was miserable and overweight to the point of despair…..resigned that I would remain fat….. and I truly hated the thoughts and emotions about my appearance. I felt like a giant failure.
    I don’t know how I found the will power to start the Bright Line eating plan, but once I was on it, and I started losing weight, and joined the “Heart House” during the Boot Camp last year, I was unstoppable. At the end of Boot Camp, I had lost 16 pounds, and I am so, so happy.

    Reply ·
  29. Susan

    Susan, could you please explain how insulin resistance plays into this. I’m insulin resistant, and eat a low calorie diet and cannot lose weight. If I eat even a few extra calories beyond my norm, the pounds pile on overnight. How do I break out of this cycle?!!!

    Reply ·
    1. Kristi

      I joined the October 2015 Bootcamp and lost 25 pounds. I had already lost 30 pounds before starting BLE. I was clearly prediabetic before BLE despite losing weight, exercising and eating mostly healthy. After nine weeks of BLE my doctor was elated to tell me that I was no longer prediabetic and how rarely she sees reversal of high blood sugar indicators. I believe that it is not the calories that matter as much as the food quality, that is no sugar and no flour.

      Reply ·
  30. Deb

    thanks susan – keep the great info coming!

    Reply ·
  31. Gillian

    Love BLE and love you too Susan. You are inpiring beyond words.

    Reply ·
  32. Rita

    thank you so much for this informed post. Knowing the background and the details helps to defuse fears and opinions based on those fears. It makes so much difference in the words we choose. there is a big difference in my attitude and beliefs when I say I am starting a ‘well being lifestyle’ than when I say I am starting a ‘diet’. Just saying the latter I can feel the panic, anger, fear and depression whirling through me. Saying the first statement leaves me feeling calm, happy and empowered. I’m so grateful for all the experiments and studies that have gone before and for your research Susan so that I can stand here in this moment and choose Life and well being. Had to make the choice about 50 times an hour yesterday when I was grocery shopping! Thank you thank you thank you for all the confirmation that good health is possible and that I am not alone in my beliefs about my body. In other areas of my life I am learning that my beliefs are just thoughts I’ve held for a long time and by being aware of them I can change them. goodness knows I have millions of thoughts a day and most of them I let go easily. so when I hear myself thinking how hard this is, or that one ‘- – – – -‘ would taste so good, etc. etc. I tell myself (sometimes out loud) that’s just a thought and I can change my thoughts easily. I can think about how blue the sky is, or what was the last thing I can remember that made me laugh out loud.

    Reply ·
    1. Jd

      I love your thinking. Thanks for sharing that.

      Reply ·
  33. Fred

    Actually the study was around 1946, right after the way.

    Reply ·
    1. janet rosekrans

      thanks for the info. I always believed that theory

      Reply ·
  34. Bonnie

    What happens when you seem to plateau at times. like lately I have been exercising a lot and not seeing the weight loss. I thought maybe I was not eating enough but I don’t seem to be hungry. Your talk was very interesting. Thanks

    Reply ·
  35. Bonnie

    What happens when you have days/weeks with no weight loss. Your talk was very interesting. Thanks

    Reply ·
  36. Lauren

    Brilliant post, Susan. I have heard this concern spoken in different circles for years and never had the historical perspective or the science view brought in. As always, you are a wealth of information and a delight. BTW, I started Bright Line Eating on October 1st and I am now down 40 pounds! I feel amazing and the freedom I feel around my eating is a first for me in my 61 years on the planet! If a chronically overweight, post menopausal woman can do this, anyone can! Love and hugs.

    Reply ·
  37. Marian

    I liked this blog information because I too have heard of the body throwing up a defense to a diet regime. Thank you.

    Reply ·
  38. Ellen

    I am so surprised by this. I thought that the Starvation Response was very real. By Starvation Response |mean that the body’s response to a period of perceived starvation was to become much more efficient with every calorie so that it could immed begin to store fat in preparation for the next period of starvation. I thought this is why we just have harder and harder time to lose weight and why we always go a little higher than last time.

    Reply ·
  39. Stone Jordan

    As always, GREAT content, Susan. Thanks for being a force for good in this world. 🙂

    Reply ·
  40. Jennie Lill

    Most of my life I have suffered from anorexia and Bulimia and I had heard about this study and could relate to the craziness these men felt, that I just thought was food deprivation, never had I heard about what they were feeding them and now realise it was nutrition deprivation that was sending them crazy!. I also certainly didn’t have balanced nutrition throughout my eating disorder. So I can see why bright line eating works as the body and brain are still getting great nutrients fed to it so don’t go crazy and great amounts even on the weight loss plan. So glad I watched this blog loved it!

    Reply ·
  41. Jennie Lill

    Most of my life I have suffered from anorexia and Bulimia and I had heard about this study and could relate to the craziness these men felt, that I just thought was food deprivation, never had I heard about what they were feeding them and now realise it was nutrition deprivation that was sending them crazy. I also certainly didn’t have balanced nutrition throughout my eating disorder. So I can see why bright line eating works as the body and brain are still getting great nutrients fed to it so don’t go crazy and great amounts even on the weight loss plan. So glad I watched this blog loved it!

    Reply ·
  42. Kristi

    Once again, it seems like “hidden” or, at least, non-emphasized study information makes all of the difference! I have worried about the belief that I may be ruining my metabolism on BLE; the Paleo community pounds the message that we need to avoid calorie restriction. On the other hand, my daughter and I have only found success with portion control. Although we don’t gain weight on unlimited Paleo diets, we also never lose more than a handful of pounds eating this way. (We are, however, true-Paleo-diet believers, because we feel so good eating his way.) So, I worried. My experience on BLE is that it works! Thank you so much, Susan, for addressing this fear of mine. I will restart Paleo BLE, and recognize this “fear” as one of my saboteurs!

    Reply ·
  43. JOHN HENRY GARZA

    KOOL DR SUSAN GOOD INFORMATION …. VERY HELPFUL

    Reply ·
View All Comments ▾

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>