28 June 2016
We carry a few weeks worth of energy in our fat cells, without getting access to it. Fasting might seem scary at first, however it is easier than we realise. I initially recommend to start fasting by skipping meals (intermittent fasting). In my experience, breakfast is the easiest to skip. Some people choose to eat 2 meals, the first around 11am and the second one around 5pm.
In certain cases, I recommend to eat only once a day. This a a bit more difficult, but it is sometimes necessary to get into nutritional ketosis (relying on fat for energy) very quickly.
At the beginning, the feeling of hunger is very strong. In a few simple steps, here is what happens to your body:
On a western diet, the body relies on carbohydrates (glucose) for energy. Every time we eat a high carbohydrate meal, our blood sugar and insulin go up. Insulin sweeps glucose into the cells. As blood glucose and insulin go down, we crave carbohydrates. If we eat a carbohydrate-rich meal, the body, once again, will utilise glucose as energy, and won't be able to dip into the fat stores.
If we don't eat, there will be a few uncomfortable hours until the body understands, that there won't be anything coming. Then, because of the low levels of insulin, fat tissues open up and the body starts to rely on fat stores for energy.
When fatty acids from the fat stores flood our bloodstream, hunger disappears, even if we haven't eaten anything.
The definition of hunger: The feeling of hunger or satiety depends on the amount of available energy in the bloodstream at a given moment. Hunger does not correlate with the amount of food your stomach contains. We can be very hungry with plenty of food in our stomach.
If the bloodstream is full of energy from food or from the fatty acids from the fat cells, then the feeling of hunger subsides.
Usually, as we continue to do intermittent fasting, meals become smaller. We don't really feel hunger, and we also feel satiation more quickly after starting a meal. Slowly, our body gets used to intermittent fasting.
When we rely on fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates, blood glucose goes down and ketone production goes up (ketosis).
The type of food to eat during intermittent fasting is the same as I recommend on a ketogenic diet (high in fat and low in carbohydrates). It is much easier to do intermittent fasting if we eat fat in abundance. If the body receives high density, nutrient rich foods, then cravings are less and less.
In my experience, the highest quality foods are organ meat (my earlier post: Hungarian Food) and shellfish.
For more, please read:
Andreas Eenfeldt's: Intermittent Fasting – Questions & Answers