I have been fasting for about a week now. At the time of publication of this article, I will be more than halfway through day 7 of my current fast.
Usually, when fasting, I rarely feel hunger after Day 2 or so.
Yesterday, Day 6 was a bit tough for me, but I made it through. The tough thing was that I was basically hungry all day long. Well, not really all day, I guess. I started feeling hungry at 12:08 PM, just after noon. I know the time because when I started feeling hungry, I looked at the clock and that was the time. When I saw the time, I knew what it was. It was not real hunger, it was just a mental thing. I find that the times when I think I am hungry are times when we are “supposed to” eat. Lunchtime, dinner time, etc. Our minds are conditioned to expect food at those hours, and our mind tells us that we are hungry. If you stop and really think about it, you will generally realize that your stomach is not really asking for food, your mind is just responding to its conditioning to expect food at that time.
At 1 PM, I decided to take a nap. I was still feeling hungry, but I was quite tired, so I fell asleep quickly, and slept for about an hour and a half. When I woke up I was no longer hungry, but a couple hours later I was hungry again.
During fasts, if I feel I need it, I do allow myself to consume some bone broth. It is very low in calories, and I keep some of it on hand for situations like I had yesterday. I only had a tiny bit left, though, about a half of a coffee cup. I ate/drank that broth, even though it was a tiny amount, I felt very full afterward. I use the bone broth to delivery salts and electrolytes to my body, it is important to maintain those things during fasting.
My strategy with the bone broth is that I don’t like to consume any for the first 4 days of a fast, I will take some on Day 5 or beyond if I feel I need it. Getting through Day 1 and Day 2 are the hardest in fasting, but still not that tough, once you are used to it. As Dr. Fung says, playfully, if you fast you are exercising your “fasting muscle” and my muscle is pretty much fully developed now, and I don’t find much trouble fasting.
From time to time, if I do feel hungry, if you stop and think about it, being hungry is really not that big of a deal. The feeling of hunger usually passes in 30 minutes or an hour anyway, and it is not like you are going to die. There really is nothing wrong with feeling hungry. I mean, if I was like those marathon runners from Kenya who have like 5% body fat, being hungry is a signal that you better eat because your body needs the nutrition. But, when you are obese (but heading in the right direction) hunger is not going to kill you.
I think one of the reasons why we westerners feel hungry fairly often is because we have been conditioned to eat many times each day. I mean, most westerners don’t eat just 3 meals a day. Most will eat 5 or 6 small meals, snacks and such. That is what we were taught was best for us. But, the newest information says that is not correct. Eating so frequently causes our insulin levels to always be elevated, which in turn leads to weight gain or at least the inability to lose weight. Also, having constantly high insulin levels is very bad for diabetics, it only leads to increased insulin resistance.
Well, these are just some thoughts about hunger. I find that, still, I rarely am hungry while fasting. When I do get hungry from time to time, I am able to work through it!
Hope you are doing well!