At first, I thought something was wrong with me. I had been fasting for about 3 months when I started to notice when the time to eat came I wasn’t all that hungry.
Even with longer fasts, I would experience bouts of hunger but then the pangs would wear off. At times, it felt like I didn’t need to eat during my eating window. My experience has taught me this phenomenon is perfectly normal.
1. You Start to Overcome External Influences That Condition Hunger
There are signs everywhere prompting us to eat. Turn on the tv or walk outside and in a few minutes, you’ll see a trigger that’ll encourage food consumption.
To make matters worse humans bond best over food. Every social event usually has a food component. So if you’re trying to lose weight this is extremely difficult.
Fortunately, the longer you stick to a fasting protocol these external triggers become less of an issue. You teach your body to eat when it’s necessary. You stop being mindlessly controlled by outside influences.
Fasting gives you strict parameters. It’s super hard to want to snack on Doritos mid-day if you’ve been skipping lunch for months.
In fact, those Doritos are probably a turn-off.
You’ve removed yourself from being conditioned to being hungry like the famous Pavlov dog experiment.
Instead, you experience unconditioned hunger. That means you only get hungry when you see, smell, and taste good food during your eating window.
Random tv food ads during your fasting window (conditioned responded) no longer have any power over you.
2. Your Diet Has More Fats and Protein Rather Than Carbs
One study explored the effects of a high-carb diet in obese Chinese men.
In the study:
- 9 lean insulin-sensitive men and 9 obese insulin-resistant men were given HF (high-fat meals), HP (high-protein meals), and HC (high-carb meals).
- The study measured fasting glucose and insulin.
- It was found that regardless of the men being lean or obese the HF/HP meals suppressed ghrelin (the hormone that signals hunger).
HF/HP meals create more satiety and allow you to feel fuller longer. A diet of high carb intake makes it harder for one to feel satisfied if your lean or overweight.
While carbs should not be demonized in your diet it’s best to keep an eye on consumption especially if you’re trying to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass. Carbs have their place and give you necessary energy. But overconsumption can lead to insulin spikes even if you practice fasting daily.
Personally, I’ve noticed that if my diet is high in carbs my fasting periods are harder. I’m more hungry and irritable. It’s harder to stay lean and my energy levels are lower. While I don’t follow a strict low carb diet I do have awareness of how many carbs I consume daily.
If you’re vegetarian or pescatarian this can be more of a challenge but it’s not impossible. The more fat and protein you have the more satiety you’ll experience while fasting.
3. You’ve Been Fasting Long Enough to Allow Your Body to Burn Fat for Longer Periods of Time
The body is an amazing machine. The more you fast and eat low carb the quicker your body will turn to burn its fat stores.
This is commonly known as becoming fat adapted.
Essentially this means that your body burns fat more efficiently after being in ketosis for long periods of time.
Being in ketosis means that you consume no more than 50 grams of carbs daily. 20 grams is usually the preferred amount.
Over time fasting and a low-carb diet allows you to not rely on the quick bursts of energy that a high carb diet provides.
This regulates your hunger and causes longer periods of satiation.
Studies on fat-adaption are pretty scant and most information available is anecdotal. But the most common signs of being fat-adapted reported are reduced hunger and cravings.
Not feeling hungry during feeding times while on a fasting protocol is nothing to worry about.
This is actually a good sign. It means that your body is adjusting well to fasting.
The benefits of fasting are beginning to manifest and will continue for years to come.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Give You Ideas on How to Eat Low Carb
Download the Ultimate Keto Checklist. Implement the tips suggested. You’ll be able to get to a fat-adapted state faster.