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!
I really admire your self dicipline Bob.
All the best for the time to come.
Thank you Axel, I appreciate your kindness. I am doing well and feeling good, so I think I will be fine!
I read on a keto blog that, “Hungry is where the magic happens!” I am feeling some hunger too, with eating food once every 24 hours. But as you said, it’s all good! Many people here in the Philippines believe that it is bad for the body to be hungry, and that not eating will cause ulcers and ‘kabuhi’. This is not true, but it is a firmly held belief. I mention this because I know many Filipinos read your blog who have diabetes, and would love to find the healing you have found. Chicken broth (home made) is an excellent way to deal with hunger!
Hi Luanne. Thanks for your comment, everything you say makes good sense to me. I’ve had chicken broth, but I prefer bone broth made with beef bones, with a little bit of meat on the bones not much though. I find the beef broth to be very good, and it does make me feel full. Really, if I’m hungry any kind of hot drink that I will consume helps my stomach feel full. Even if it’s just coffee or something like that.
When you first started fasting, did you feel faint or not have enough strength to exercise?
Hi Deb, How are you doing? It’s been a long time, hope you are doing well.
No, I did not feel weak or faint at all when I started fasting. The thing, though, that is important and will prevent these kind of problems is that you should first do a ketogenic diet, and get your body into ketosis. Kotosis is what it is called when your body burns fat instead of sugars. If you do that, your body will get plenty of nutrition from your stored fat. I never thought I would be able to fast, but the truth is it is very easy to do for the most part.
To learn about the diet that will put your body into ketosis, I would recommend that you check out the Diet Doctor website: http://dietdoctor.com
It’s important to know the difference between hunger and hypo glycemia. Hunger is no big deal, hypo glycemia is a bigger deal and needs to be dealt with.
Four person who’s not taking diabetes medications, hypoglycemia is not really a big concern, it very rarely ever happens. I know what hypoglycemia is, I have experienced it in the past, but I do not experience hypoglycemia now.
430 To Fit
I’ve had hypoglycemia before when I had diabetus and was taking medications. A person not taking diabetes medications, and especially not using insulin though would really not get hypoglycemia. That’s what the doctor say and that’s also my experience.
I’ve gone hypo when fasting or in my early days of cycling. I would go for a 40 miler with only water and bonk. Oh yeah, also when eating high sugar content breakfasts.
I can assure you.. ha ha.. I am not cycling 40 miles. 🙂 If you are heating a high carb diet, I can see why you would go hypo because blood sugar swings are huge when eating carbs. I don’t eat carbs much at all, only about 5g per day (when not fasting) from veggies.
That’s what was happening, a breakfast with lots of juice, sweet rolls, potatoes, plus the other usual stuff. I very rarely get this anymore as junk sweets are off limits unless I’m cycling.
I had hypo when I had breakfast, skipped lunch, and had supper delayed. While waiting for a table around 8pm, I had a beer at the bar. As those were my first calories since 6am, by body rebelled and out I went. I learned to never go extreme times between at least a light meal.
430 To Fit
I have gone up to 15 days of fasting without any hypoglycemia. My doctor tells me that I should not experience hypoglycemia unless I am taking insulin or some kind of diabetic medication. Are you taking one of those?
Nope. I just passed out after drinking a beer, after 14 hours of nothing. That’s what the doctor who was stitching up my eyebrow told me probably happened. I knew a guy at work that had the same thing happen to him, after going too long without eating. I’ve never had a repeat, never going that many waking hours without at least something to eat. Even a piece of fruit.