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Starvation Mode - Chris Garrett Fitness | Dream-2-Reality | Team D2R

Starvation Mode

Some of you may have heard the term “Starvation Mode”.   There are a lot of misunderstandings as to what starvation mode is so this post is to help describe what starvation mode really is and how it can affect your weight loss results.  It will help you understand how to safely hold a calorie deficit to lose weight and not plateau.

One misconception people have of starvation mode is that you will stop losing weight or even gain weight while on a calorie deficit.  That is definitely false!  That is just about as ridiculous as saying you will start losing weight if you eat way to much!  So what is starvation mode?  From my research starvation mode has to do with metabolism.  If you do not eat enough calories in a day or in the right frequency, your metabolism will slow down to a crawl which will slow down the rate of losing weight.  It’s your body’s way of keeping it safe from starvation.

How do you hold a calorie deficit and keep your metabolism running at a good pace?

Exercise! Incorporating cardio workouts will help your body’s metabolism run at a good pace as you will continue burning calories so it will look for more fuel.

Make sure you are eating a safe level of calories. I have seen many studies that say you should not go below 900 calories as a woman and not below 1200 calories for men.  If you are doing an intense program like P90X, insanity, or TurboFire, then those minimum levels need to be a little higher.  About 1200 calories for a woman and 1500 calories for a man.  Keep in mind these are MINIMUM levels but may need to be a little higher for you personally.  Very restricted calorie diets (otherwise known as crash diets) do not work because your metabolism will slow way down.  Once you come off these crash diets you will most likely gain the weight right back because your metabolism is running so slowly!

Eat often. I here about so many people that have only one or two meals per day because they want to limit the amount they eat to lose weight.  What is happening is they eat a bunch of food those one or two times but because their metabolism is running so slowly they don’t lose weight very fast.  Eating every 2.5 – 3 hours will help ensure your body is getting the continual food it needs to keep your metabolism running quickly.  It is proven that you will burn more calories through the day by eating like this than if you only ate a couple times per day.

Eat Clean. Eating a balanced diet with nutritious foods will help ensure your body is getting the nutrition it needs.  This is where Shakeology is a perfect example of this.  The reason this 150 calorie shake can be a meal replacement is because it is nutritionally dense and will give you what your body needs.  When you take out the empty calories you used to eat like soda, sweets, treats, processed foods, etc and replace with good nutritious foods, you can eat fewer calories and give you more of what your body needs.

In conclusion:  Starvation mode is when your metabolism slows down.  If your weight loss plateaus it may be because your metabolism has slowed to match your caloric intake.  This might mean you either need to lower or even raise your calorie intake to jump start your metabolism.  If you follow the 4 tips above, and make adjustments when necessary, you will keep your metabolism running at its full potential and maximize your weight loss results.

If you would like to learn more of how Shakeology can help you reach your weight loss, nutrition and health goals CLICK HERE.


I am still having trouble staying out of starvation mode (getting better). But I still workout so being in starvation mode just means that my results may be slower but I still will get them right?


P90x/insanity hybrid.


hey chris, im worried im pretty close to that 1200 minimum mark. i eat about 1300-1400 cals. lemme break it down for you :D Post workout: 1 scoop R/R drink Breakfast: shakeology w/ 1 cup egg whites cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and tons of veggies Snack: banana Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad ( Insanity Recipe) w/ 6 oz chicken, 2 cups spinach, half cucumber, half apple, and 2 tbsp pecans snack: 24 almonds Dinner: 8 oz salmon with 2 cups asparagus My problem is i can no longer buy shakeology or extra protein powder so ill have to soon get all my protein from natural foods but this is very challenging for me.


I needed this info!! Thanks coach!