Did all this talk about intermittent fasting get you like, "But I'm Hungry!"
Do your hunger pangs signal impending starvation or rather a habituated desire to eat?
Do the math; you don't need to eat.
Fat: Energy Storage
Your body uses calories from food to function.
These calories fuel all processes in your body, from energy to make your heart beat to replicating DNA.
But, what happens when calories consumed exceed calories needed for your body's needs?
Excess energy is stored as fat.
This is an amazing process!
Consider pre-Costco, Neanderthal-you.
Food was scarce.
From time to time a bison would be killed and devoured! Or, the clan would ravage a bushel of berries to the point they thought their tum tums would explode.
Neanderthal-you would eat waaaaaay beyond what his body needed for that day. For, who knew when the next meal would present itself?
The excess energy would be stored as fat for use in the days to come when food again became scarce.
Fast forward to 21st century 'Murica.
Same bodies, unlimited access to food.
Food excess has invited a whopping surplus of stored energy.
Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
So. Many. Stored. Calories.
Your hunger represents a want, not a need.
Although you feel "hungry," you don't need to eat.
Let's take an example.
Tim is a 34 year old real estate broker. He is 5 foot 10 and weighs 200 pounds (BMI 29).
Tim's ideal body weight is 170 pounds (BMI 24).
Tim is carrying 30 pounds of excess energy around his abdomen and hips.
Why would Tim consume new calories if his energy bank already overfloweth?
To illustrate this point, let's do the math:
How many days could Tim go without consuming new calories, surviving on his fat alone?
Each pound of fat contains 3,500 calories.
Multiply this by 30 pounds.
This equals about 100,000 calories.
100,000 calories of energy just waiting to be used.
But why would Tim's body tap into these fat stores if he keeps on eating and eating and eating?
If Tim's body requires 3,000 calories of energy per day to function (that is, his basal metabolic rate plus energy required for physical activity), how many days could he survive off of his fat alone?
100,000 calories divided by 3,000 calories per day
Equals 33 days.
Time could go 33 days without consuming a single new calorie.
Tim's fat stores could power his entire body for over a month.
So, does Tim need to eat?
Drink water certainly, take a multivitamin yes, but eat no.
If Tim is accustomed to eating three to six meals a day, initiating a fasting protocol will disrupt his eating habits. His tummy will growl! He will be hangry in the beginning, no question about it.
Changing routines is never easy, but once a new habit is established, it becomes effortless.
Utilize existing energy reserves rather than consume new calories.
Beyond Weight Control
Nutrition is a strategy to prolong life.
Caloric restriction is the only nutritional intervention which consistently extends life expectancy of animals (Bergamini et. al.)
Intermittent fasting is designed to induce autophagy.
Eat Less Live Longer.
Stay tuned to learn about autophagy, the process of cellular recycling.
Bergamini E, et. al. "The role of macroautophagy in the ageing process, anti-ageing intervention and age-associated diseases" The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology" Volume 36, Issue 12, December 2004, 2392–2404.
Ingraham, Christopher. "The average American woman now weights as much as the average 1960s man" 12 June 2015. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/12/look-at-how-much-weight-weve-gained-since-the-1960s/?utm_term=.c9aee8e8041c>