I've heard on multiple occasions from less than credible sources that dieting by eating less (usually implemented by skipping meals, not smaller meals) will cause the human body to enter some sort of "starvation" mode where it hoards calories because it thinks it might not get more calories in the future. Most people also mention it can cause an increase in weight. The people I hear it from say it like it's common sense and widely believed so they never have anything to support it. "That's just the way it is" they claim.
There's a lot of variables at play here and I'm no biologist or nutritionist but I'm interested in knowing if there's any research backing this claim. Is there a starvation mode that your body can fall in to? If so, what triggers it? Has there been any research into how the body reacts to fewer feeding times and overall less calories? What are the long term (6+ months?) affects of a diet like this if a person can still ensure proper nutrient intake aside from calories?
I'm not talking about extreme fasting or starvation diets. I'm thinking diets with 1000-1500 calories a day in a consistent fashion (taking in roughly the same amount of calories at roughly the same time of day). Although I would be interested in studies or knowledge outside of these limits.
Even if we ignore starvation as a dietary method, if a person stopped eating would there be a distinct difference in how their body processes fats or expends energy in the starvation process?