It is commonly believed that if we starve ourselves in a weight loss program, our body will switch to the low-energy mode; reducing the basal energy requirement, while storing each and everything we eat. There’s a degree of truth to it.
Many people who undergo a dieting program are frustrated that they are unable to lose weight at a planned rate. During the starvation mode, it is said that our body no longer loses weight at a normal rate, because it tries to conserve food and energy. However, we need to look at multiple weekly results before drawing a definite conclusion. When energy intake is reduced, our body begins to store more of what we eat. However, everything will even out and the rate of metabolism will return to normal. We need to consistently proceed with the dieting program, although at times, we no longer lose as much weight, compared to previous period of dieting.
The real starvation mode happens when we no longer have excess body fat. So, if we give a starving person in Africa a huge cheeseburger; he will defecate much less than normal person; because his body is storing anything that passes through the gastrointestinal system. Real starvation only happens when we completely run out of energy reserves and lean tissue will be broken down to ensure survival.
People who undergo weight loss program typically have large amount of excess fat, so with enough persistence, the normal rate of metabolism will return. A morbidly obese individual could survive for a few months with a little amount of nutritious food.