your first fast

General fasting discussion. Intermittent or extended fasting should be discussed in the relevant sub-forum.
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your first fast

Post by jpatti »

Whether you choose an intermittent or extended fast to start with, your first fast may be tough, especially the first few days.

For the most part, when you get hungry, if you ignore it, it will fade away. We've all missed a meal now and then when life interfered, the hunger doesn't keep getting worse until we eat. We may be much hungrier at our next meal, but we make it to that meal just fine.

For your first fast, it's best if you can arrange your life to have as few commitments as possible and minimal stress. Ideally, we'd all be able to hibernate for a few days, but few can arrange that! You will need 100% of your willpower at the beginning and may find yourself being rather grumpy.

But unlike every diet I tried in the past, fasting doesn't require me to have my willpower at 100% all the time. I know that's why I usually failed on diets, because life doesn't stop just because I'm on a diet, and I don't always have the focus and energy to continue when life happens.

My first fast was very hard! Especially the second day, when my home health aid was baking a meatloaf and the smell permeated the house. I had to summon all my stubborness and determination to get through that! Luckily, I have a great deal of experience at being stubborn. ;)

But... fasting became my new normal. I usually eat somewhere between 4-7 PM and don't feel any hunger until around then. On days when I am doing an extended fast, I get hungry briefly, ignore it, and it goes away.

My experience changed because one of the hormones we have is called ghrelin and it peaks every day at the times we normally eat, making us hungry. For me before I began fasting, that began around 2 PM and continued until bedtime, even when I was physically full!

But as we transition to a new normal, our ghrelin learns to peak as we train it to. It's a question of who will be in charge, you or your hormones.

I don't wish to minimize anyone's struggles, but do want to let you know that it gets easier as you go along. It will always require some discipline to make this a way of life, it's never easy. But it's much easier once you get in the groove.
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