As ecosystems undergo changes worldwide, physiological flexibility is likely to be an important adaptive response to increased climate instability. Extreme weather fluctuations impose energetical constraints such as unpredictable food shortage. We tested how grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) could adjust their daily heterothermy and locomotor activity to these 'energetic accidents' with a food restriction experiment. The experimental design consisted of acute calorie restriction (2 weeks, 80% restriction) in the middle of winter, after a fattening season with low (11 weeks, 40% restriction) versus high (ad libitum) food availability. This design aimed at simulating the combined effects of the quality of the fattening season (acclimation effect) and a sudden, severe food shortage during the lean season. Hour of start and duration of torpor were the most flexible components of energy savings, increasing in response to the acute food shortage with facilitation by chronic restriction (acclimation effect). Modulations of locomotor activity did not support the hypothesis of energy savings, as total locomotor activity was not reduced. Nonetheless, acutely restricted individuals modified their temporal pattern of locomotor activity according to former food availability. We provide the first experimental evidence of different temporal levels of flexibility of energy-saving mechanisms in a heterotherm exposed to food shortage. The acclimation effect of past food scarcity suggests that heterothermic organisms are better able to respond to unpredicted food scarcity during the lean season. The flexible control of energy expenditure conferred by heterothermy may facilitate the plastic response of heterothermic species to more frequent climatic hazards.