Thursday, 17 July 2008

Fasting

I feel I have reached a new phase with my fasting. There is seldom a time where I have to snack - even after a fast. The fasts are truely instinctive. They don't really feel like fasts as I will abstain for a 24 hour period (running from evening meal on day one to evening meal on day two), so I do actually have at least one meal each day.

I have mentioned elsewhere that I get a feeling of slight hunger at some point on a fasting day, but nothing too uncomfortable - especially when compared with my hunger pangs as a refined carb eater. In those days, five hours from eating a low fat, wholemeal, complex-carb lunch would see me getting withdrawal-symptom like hunger. In addition, where as I used to get occasional weakness and shaking with hunger - there is none of that now. On a fasting day I can gladly work-out at lunchtime and in the evening hit a kick-boxing class without a second thought. On my return home I feel ready to eat.

I fasted today. I mentioned to a colleague at work that I couldn't wait for my evening meal. I made a similar comment on leaving work for the day to the same colleague. She claimed I was obviously starving and had been 'talking about food all day'.

This is a classic response from those under the spell of refined carbohydrate. Such people would find it uncomfortable to fast. I however, can fast with ease. My comments (and there WERE only two of them), was actually driven by the appeal and anticipation of food. This wasn't in response to hunger (although I am sure the smell of food at lunchtime might have driven some thoughts of food), it was simply an appreciation for how good my evening meal was going to be (organic roasted chicken with stir fry vegetables). Such quality fare inspires me (and I write this having just eaten).

That is another significant step in my paleo journey. I really do appreciate the flavours of foods now. Carb food can often taste the same - so much of what we eat is artificially sweetend. But eating 'close to the ground' develops a broader palette.

2 comments:

Methuselah said...

I am fasting today, as I type. When I read your post I remembered for the first time today that I am fasting at all - and it's nearly 5pm. Each time I fast it gets easier which I attribute to a consistently low GI diet over the course of several months. I must admit that when I fast I do also normally spend the day looking forward to the evening meal, but only in the same way as one might spend Friday looking forward to the weekend. Looking forward to something is not the same as craving it - this is an important distinction your colleague has obviously failed to grasp!

Asclepius said...

Yeah, as far as I am concerned that is a common experience once you have your sugar craving licked! With down-regulated insulin and upregulated cycling of fat stores, you CAN fast in comfort.

In this state, a hunger pang is reduced to a mild prompt to eat (like a Post-It note - where you only notice it on occasion, such as the smell of food), rather than a debilitating cramp, heralding the onset of the hunger-shakes.

This is why I think refined-carb eaters cannot understand the fast. To them it is an uncomfortable state of denial, with attendant fixation on food.

The accomplished low-carber sees fasting as an extended period between meals.

Mild hunger signals the move to fat cycling and no more (free from both the discomfort and the fixation mentioned above).

The amount you subsequently eat at your next meal will be dicated by your appetite - regulated in response to the amount of your fat reserves burnt to sustain the fast.

Fat is a battery!