If there's one thing I've noticed about Eat Stop Eat, it's how it makes me very aware of what does and doesn't make me hungry.
Oddly enough, when I'm fasting, I rarely get hungry, but when I'm eating and I miss a meal, I get hungry (and grumpy).
I've received a number of emails on the topic of intermittent fasting and hunger, and I think I've figured out my own personal theory on the connection.
In fact, I received an email this morning from my friend Justin Owings (www.justinowings.com) about his experiences with Eat Stop Eat, and I think between the two of us our experiences with fasting and hunger have been identical..
I've been implementing about two fasts a week for around a month now and
have managed to lose about 10 pounds of weight and 2 - 3% body fat.
What I'm curious about is how fasting has seemed so easy for me. I don't
get heavy hunger pangs while fasting -- when I do notice my stomach, its
usually for a minute or two and then it completely goes away. Does this
mean that my body has adjusted? I originally just assumed that my body had
switched to fat burning for energy, and since there's still a solid amount
of fat energy to use up, it doesn't send me heavy "hunger" signals.
Just curious if you had any thoughts on this.
Great question and great timing, I was just discussing this exact same
phenomenon with some colleagues.
We believe that it's not as much your body that is adjusting to the fasts
as it is your mind.
For instance, on a non-fasting day, if I was planning to eat at noon, but
got caught in meetings until 2, I would feel like I was "starving". Yet on
fasting days, I absolutely do not notice that I have not eaten. Typically,
I don't get hungry at all, except for a few hungry pangs that may last for
a minute tops.
I've come to the conclusions that this has a lot to do with expectation of
eating, and the biochemical reactions that this expectation causes.
So I think what you are experiencing is a better control over your minds
influence on your body. I think that because fasting allows you to take
breaks from constantly eating, it teaches you better control over the
perceptions of being "hungry".
In the end, even hunger may be a case of "mind over matter".