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Intermittent Fasting 101: The secret behind the hunger

If you’re really interested in serious intermittent fasting, check out my best selling intermittent fasting 101 eBook!
Intermittent Fasting isn’t easy but I’ve listed my favorite products from Amazon that will help keep you on track HERE!

Most people just don’t understand fasting. Fasting is a very powerful tool if used correctly. Learning about intermittent fasting was easily one of the best decisions I’ve EVER made. It helps keep me thin, it makes my life a lot easier, and it’s healthier than you might think!

What is intermittent fasting?

Lots of people say fasting is bad for you. Actually, did you know there was a man who went 382 days without eating anything?(1) He weighed 456 pounds and the doctors decided to have him undergo a clinically supervised fast. They basically gave him daily doses of multivitamins and plenty of water. Aside from going to the bathroom every 40-50 days, he lost about 275 pounds! It was completely safe and effective. To put that in perspective, he lost an average of .72 lbs per day. Fasting is powerful stuff. Intermittent fasting is an easier form of this.

Everyone knows what “fasting” is: not eating. Most of us “break it” every morning by stuffing a doughnut down our gullets and guzzling sugary coffee drinks aka “breakfast.” Most people are told that you need to eat so many times a day to keep the “metabolism fire burning” or to prevent “starvation mode.” Perhaps you’re told breakfast is the most important meal of the day or that you shouldn’t eat anything after 6 pm. (2)

Nope. All Bull s**t!

Did you know there’s two kinds of hunger? Mental and physical hunger. How do you tell them apart? Only physical hunger produces a grumbling noise in your stomach. Mental hunger is all in your head, no physical reactions. Make a note if you have one or the other next time you feel “hungry.” You might be surprised.

Constant hunger is not natural.

First off, a little lesson from my favorite health resource. It’s the primary teacher of my viewpoints on human health and wellness. It’s called nature! Most people know of it, but don’t really understand it very well. I, on the other hand, try to stay as natural as possible when I can.

Here’s how it works:

All creatures in nature have to eat somehow. Everything needs to survive by absorbing some kind of nutrients from the environment within a certain time frame. Everything will experience a lack of food (or famine) in the wild. This goes for plants, animals, even bacteria. There are no such things as daily three square meals a day in the wild. A food supply is highly unpredictable, no matter what life form you’re talking about. As such, all animals have a survival mechanism for getting through these hard periods. These mechanisms have been honed and perfected over billions of years of trial and error.

deer in wild

The wild: where intermittent fasting is not a choice!

 

We as humans have a very distinct and despised survival technique: Fat storage. As I mentioned in previous posts, our food goes through various chemical transformations where it is reduced and compressed into a very stable molecule designed to be stored for longer periods of time when not used for immediate energy. Our bodies are extremely efficient fat storing machines. As a species, our survival depended on storing and holding onto fat reserves as tightly as possible. Whenever an animal was forced to do any kind of intermittent fasting, this is when it was used.

To our bodies and their ancient programming, that stored fat is the difference between life and death and it will not easily give it up. In nature, we’d occasionally have periods where we would have no access to food. Perhaps the hunters didn’t find something to kill or the crops didn’t do so well. We survived because our bodies can deal with it thanks to fat reserves. Today, in our modern society, this is no longer the case.

You can easily find food just about anywhere, ready to eat, no effort required. Stuffed to the brim with calories, adulterated with artificial compounds designed to trick and addict our brains, modern fake foods are causing massive amounts of addiction and obesity. (3)

That’s our current situation: Everyone is hungry all the time and no one knows why.

Did you know that for the some societies, eating breakfast was considered gluttonous and was actively frowned upon?(4) According to biblical accounts: (5)

“The ancient Greeks and Romans were very particular about eating their main meal at night. According to Plutarch and Cicero, only slaves and farm animals were fed breakfast and lunch, as contrary to free men and soldiers who ate one meal per day at night.”

John Harvey Kellogg is the reason why most people eat breakfast today. He basically left some boiled corn out and it went stale, to which he rolled it out and baked it, creating the world’s first corn-flake. From this he made a million dollar industry and convinced people that breakfast was a necessity. Around the time of the industrial revolution, the government was promoting breakfast as the “most important meal of the day,” with a kickback from the agricultural companies of course…

cornflakes stale boiled corn intermittent fasting

As a child, I knew hunger far too well. My mother, despite her well-meaning nature, fed me some of the worst foods too often. For instance, we’d have a weekly round of pasta for dinner. Being the little fatty I was, I’d fill up my plate with pasta and sauce, sit there and scarf it down to get rid of my ravenous hunger that accumulated by that time.

More food = more hunger??

Strangely, I found myself still hungry after having just ate an entire plate of pasta. The pain of hunger was still there. What’s a fat little kid to do? Eat more pasta of course. I was a smart kid though. I tried really hard to slow down my eating or take more time between dishes, but inevitably the hunger always returned in full force. How exactly is it that a plate full of pasta could not get rid of that painful hunger? How is it that eating didn’t satiate my ravenous hunger?? I wondered this for years.

Unfortunately, most of my conventional “health knowledge” came from people who clearly did not know what they were talking about. Otherwise I read it/heard it somewhere and accepted it as truth. How was I to know? Life for young Yossif was not an easy one. This daily debilitating hunger battle was the bane of my existence for many years.

Here’s a summary of how I used to experience hunger:

  • Wake up, feel hungry
  • Desperately look for something to eat to kill the pain of hunger
  • Find whatever I can get my hands on, healthy or not
  • Delusionally think eating something with whole grains is good for me
  • “GOTTA KEEP THAT FURNACE BURNING!” I would think as I stuff my face with a bagel or energy bar
  • If I didn’t eat, my body would sit there and torture me with hunger
  • 9 times out of 10 I would eat only to kill that pain of hunger
  • The hunger felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach, at time was nauseating

I hated having to figure out what to eat for each breakfast and lunch. I hated to have to put together meals every day. I hated having to sit there and try to eat it in time for work or school. I hated having to waste my money on satiating that painful hunger with no alternative. I figured that’s just the way it was and it would never change. Woe was me.

Somewhere along the course of my transformation, I toyed with the Paleolithic way of eating. It seemed to help me control my hunger like never before. It was promising to suddenly no longer feel that intense hunger anymore. The hunger was still there, but not as aggressive. Eventually I tried the low carb lifestyle via ketosis and found that at times it completely took away my appetite. This was nothing short of a miracle. It was liberating to not have to eat like usual.

The discovery of Intermittent fasting:

Eventually I found the concept of Intermittent fasting or “I.F.” I experimented with it for a while and I loved it. It was great to not have to worry about making or buying a daily lunch or breakfast. Over time it just became natural to me. Even when I’m not doing something specific (keto/paleo/leangains), I find that using Intermittent fasting is just simpler and easier.

Intermittent fasting has completely changed the way I experience hunger:

  • Wake up, no hunger.
  • Grab a zero calorie drink: Lifewater, Stevia-sweetened coffee, sometimes diet pop or plain water, drink it on the way to work.
  • When I get to work, have a coffee with a splash of half and half, that’s all I need. (sometimes black)
  • Go entire morning without any single hunger pang.
  • Lunchtime rolls around, I may get a hunger pang, but it literally lasts maybe 5-10 minutes. Mild discomfort, as if someone was sitting there poking me in the stomach. Easily ignored.
  • At worst, I may wince slightly. That’s it. My stomach makes a grumble noise and it’s gone.
  • For the next few hours, I’m perfectly content sipping water, tea, or more coffee.
  • Usually wait until about 4 PM or later to prepare a big delicious meal. Hunger is finally noticeable.
  • Depending on rest or exercise day as well as rough calorie restrictions, I cook up a big delicious meal and feel completely full for rest of the night.

My hunger has gone from a frequent painful, nauseating daily battle to a simple short annoyance. I have hacked my body to no longer respond to hunger. I’ve learned how to control my hunger like most people never could. It feels amazing!

You don’t need 3 square meals a day. I’m living proof.

Beforehand, when hunger hit I would damn near have to drop everything to address it to stop the pain. Now, it’s almost unnoticeable at times. If my mind is concentrating on something and hunger hits, it’s something that I notice for a moment but then go right back to whatever I was doing. I really just don’t care anymore. It’s a very hard thing to explain, but my hunger is like a complete afterthought now.

Check out Part two for more information on how to start using intermittent fasting. It’s not easy, but it will last you a lifetime!

Also check out my favorite stuff for fasting here!

If you’re really interested in serious intermittent fasting, check out my best selling intermittent fasting 101 eBook!

Your friend,

Yossif

intermittent fasting

 

 

 

References:

(1) http://pmj.bmj.com/content/49/569/203.full.pdf

(2) http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debunked.html

(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

(4) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20243692

(5) http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/09/14/intermittent-fasting-benefits.aspx

 

imgs:

http://cdn.morguefile.com/imageData/public/files/g/gracey/preview/fldr_2008_11_15/file000629433822.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cornflakes_in_bowl.jpg

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About Yossif

Hey, I'm Yossif. I get angry about health and food. I think I know what I'm talking about, but I dunno. Most people can't drop 100 lbs by accident, right? I want to try and helps others get healthy and fit. There's a lot of lies and crappy info out there, I'm trying to shovel it out of the way. Sign up for my newsletter here!

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Comments

  1. Very interesting article jammed-packed with tons of information! Thanks for laying it all out for us! I’m glad that you were able to find something that works so well for you!!

  2. Thank you Yosif for this great post. I also needed a good reference for the benefits of fasting to add to one of my posts! :)

  3. Yep, it’s not easy but it was hands down one of the greatest things I’ve discovered. Thanks!
    -Yossif

  4. Well, as cavemen, we wouldn’t have a choice in the wild, right?? It’s the way our bodies are meant to be used! Thanks!
    -Yossif

  5. I think intermittent fasting can certainly be a good thing – but there are lots of people and cases when it’s not, namely in those with any blood sugar dysregulation or adrenal fatigue (and let’s face it most people have some level of both these days). I much prefer to intermittent fast for 16 hours a day and eat within an 8 hour window daily.

    Thanks for the good read and for your story -I think it’s freeing to not have to be a slave to eating all day around the clock!

  6. Very true, it’s not for beginners by any means. That’s why I suggest people try out the Paleo lifestyle and use the low carb options to help train their bodies to be less dependent on glucose for energy before they jump into fasting. It’s not easy, but well worth it. Thanks for the comment!
    -Yossif

  7. Hi Yossif,
    What a fascinating, indepth article on the benefits and how-tos of intermittent fasting!I’m delighted that you shared this valuable hunger control technique with us on the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I am looking forward to trying this.

  8. Valorie Hunter says:

    As a 49 year old woman, I was finding that losing even a couple pounds seemed nearly impossible. Then I found intermittent fasting! That was March of 2013 and by May I had dropped 20 pounds. Now almost a year later, I have maintained the weight loss with an average of one fast a week. I just turned 50 and I plan to be a faster for life (and health)!

  9. It’s some powerful stuff! Even when I’m not “dieting” I still do daily fasting just because it’s so much easier. Glad to hear your success, keep me updated!
    -Yossif

  10. I love the perfect explanation of tightening in the stomach, growling, and goes away in 10 minutes. Generally, around 10:30 am, I used to tap on my belly and look up at Jesus and say “kick in already!”. As soon as I know I hit that state the veins would tingle and pop. I always reference this phenomena as your fat storage feels just as great as a steak dinner. I highly see intermittent fasting only working well with someone who is fat adapted. I love to see others support the same kind of lifestyle without scrutinizing all the defaults without knowing the facts. Good read!

  11. Yep, very true. IF is easiest when you’re fat adapted. Glad to see someone else who knows the cool feeling of hunger disappearing. Thanks for the kind words!

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