Today is the first 36 hour fast of my month long intermittent fasting experiment, using the third day fasting method.
My normal morning weigh-in this morning had me at 159.6 lbs (up from 156.4 yesterday). That was actually less of a gain than I expected, considering yesterday was my first 3,000 calorie day in months and my glycogen stores had to be nearly depleted from the low-carb diet I’ve been on.
It’s currently just after 8pm and I’ve not struggled with hunger at all today. I just made my kids a toasted ham and cheese. It looked good. I could have definitely felt some satisfaction from taking a few bites but there was no real temptation.. and I’m in at j24 hours of fasting at the top of the hour.
The Art of Fasting
As anyone who has fasted before can attest, there’s a huge psychological element to it and after learning to separate the feeling of being in a fasted state from perceived hunger, it gets far easier.
“Perceived” hunger.. doesn’t that mean I’m hungry?
I understand the question as well as anyone. I spent the first few months of the year engaged in the Lean Gains approach to intermittent fasting, fasting 16 hours of every day.
A few months later, I later completed several 24 hour fasts and even a couple 36 hour fasts.
My first experience in fasting was one of uncertainty. Like many, I went from eating six small meals a day to eating all my food in an eight-hour window.
The first experience of fasting is one that plays tricks on the mind, so ease into it. If you’ve never tried fasting at all, and you have always ate several small meals through the day, do a few 16 hour fasts before venturing into longer fasts.
Nutrition expert, Brad Pilon, explains it best in saying that hunger (as society typically refers to it) is most likely “a learned response to a combination of metabolic, social and environmental cues to eat.”
How can any of us really be hungry when we’re all so full of food? It’s a learned, habitual pattern of having eaten this way all of our life.
Need some proof? Try fasting. What happens is the “hunger” response gets dulled quickly. Not eating for several hours becomes easier. The “24-hour fast” you once thought impossible, becomes relatively easy.
As you fast more and more and increase the fasting window, you’ll notice it gets easier. It’s this way for everyone I’ve ever spoke with.
Fasting is best reserved for those that have control of their diet. Trying to jump into fasting from a diet of sugary no-nos and a huge calorie surplus of high-carb foods is setting yourself up for failure.
Fasting means the body is switching from being glucose-driven to fat-driven. If you still struggle with sugar crashes and sugar cravings, you’re likely not ready to fast.
Making the body adapt to functioning well with low-insulin levels (by eating low carb for a while) means your sugar cravings will be largely controlled before your fast.. and that makes the world a happier place for a first-time faster.
Delving into many numerous advantages of fasting is not something I’ll do in this article but know that there are many. The list is long. Just know that better insulin control and accelerated fat burning are a couple of fantastic fasting by-products.
Ease into it, extend the window slowly and see if fasting is for you.