Lately I've been experiencing confusing hunger signs. When I am fasting, I don't really get hungry. I sometimes fast for 24 hours and then, at other times, I've just skipped breakfast for the week and done the eating window thing. But, like I said, when I decide to fast I feel fine with no hunger.
But, especially lately, when I am not fasting, I am EXTREMELY hungry and can't seem to eat enough. I'm eating as much fat as I can and lots of protein. I really don't eat many carbs at all (barely any fructose and this comes from fruit), but I also don't worry about it much. I do eat veggies and some sweet potatoes and the like because I'm not trying to lose weight or anything, just trying to be as healthy as possible.
I just don't get it. Is it just a mind over matter thing? Is it biological? And this isn't just the times when I come off a fast. Usually, it's when I haven't fasted for a few days. I just can't get enough food! Has anyone experienced something like this? What helped you through it?
The fasted Steven's brain: "Well ... I guess I'm not going to be gettin' any food for a while ... Meh ... I'll just wait ... what else is there to think about .."
The non-fasted Steven's brain: "OMG!! Foooood!!! Weeee. Oh, food, I have missed ya. Time to catch up, the fast is over!! Yay food!"
Honestly, I don't know ... seems plausible though ...
What helped me through the ravenous hunger was water...cold ice water...at least half your body weight in ounces.
I also found that squeezing a half a lemon in a 16 oz mason jar I used to measure my water intake really helped also. But no stevia or sugar...just plain lemon.
Edit: In thinking about this some more...When you fast, you have told your body that you are in a period of no food available....like winter time. And then when you eat again, your body says, oh boy, here comes some food, and if I get the chance, I am going to tell him I need more and more food...because I need more food to put on fat just in case we get into another condition where we are headed into a time of no food. I want that extra fat that I will pack into my viseral fat stores for saving for later. Lots of hormones at work. NPY, ghrelin, leptin hormones are driving and signalling this response but I can't tell you how.
When I fast I also tend to not be hungry, and when eating normally often get crazy hunger pains all day. I think the body reads the fasting as a signal to use your bodys resources and when not fasting it some how wants to store food, hence the signals to eat and eat and eat.
I tend to lean towards eating snacks high in fat, avocado with olive oil and dijon is always one of my favorites to take the edge off,....I THINK my body is asking for more good fats when it does this....and it usually helps.
I try to maintain a regular fasting schedule and that helps. If I am traveling or pulled out of my routine it reaks havoc on me for some reason. Maybe try adding good fat snacks when not fasting and keep your IF on a schedule that works for you?
water always makes me hungry for some reason, but I drink it for hydration not for hunger.
A few things pop into mind. I would second Dexter's recommendation regarding water. During my routine IF phase, I wasn't thirsty often and as such, wouldn't drink much water. When I made an effort to consume more, I felt a lot better.
It could also be a nutrient deficiency. Your body could be trying to make you consume more foods to get those nutrients.
This has been happening to me lately. Like the other night, I made 1lb ground lamb with a potato non-workout day) About 2 hours later, I was still hungry so I opened a new jar of coconut butter. 30 minutes later the jar was empty and I had gone through a baker's chocolate bar as well to the tune of 3900 calories, mostly fat. I had to force myself not to keep eating. Weird feeling for sure.
I also experience this. It's made me wonder about the hunger signaling hormones and how they work. I don't think you can control Leptin and ghrelin and others so if you have this experience I think it might say something about how sensitive your receptors for those hormones are. It might also be showing resistance to one or more of the hunger signaling hormones. It might also point to having deficiency in the amount of hormones secreted. I am theorizing of course b/c I have been reading about set points, Leptin resistance etc. and am fascinated by this wrinkle of dietary research in weight loss.
When I do a straight water fast, rarely does my body get those hunger urges. It's my mind, screams eat everything.
Three days on water is the best I've ever done. Have lost some pounds. But, Wish I had someone to chat with, on a regular basis. Maybe get in a five or God willing a ten day fast.
Sounds like what Bert Herring of Fast 5 fame calls limbic hunger: http://www.bettersbetter.com/2009/04/fast5-fat-loss-part-2-of-the-bert-herring-interview.html
I think it's just natural animal instinct to continue eating as long as there is food available. We have to use our big brains to remind us that we can eat again when we are really hungry.