Does the hunger pain rule your life? It used to rule mine.
If I felt hungry and knew it had been more than 3 hours since I last ate, I would go into a “panic” mode. I had to get to some kind of food and FAST.
I wonder if it was a primal instinct to seek out food at the first sign of hunger. It was as if I was afraid of starvation if much more time went by before I got something into my stomach.
I never stopped to explore my thoughts in regard to my panic feeling. I just reacted and got some kind of snack right away. If I couldn’t get to a snack, I would get grumpy – just ask my husband!
My panic would be fueled by my belief that a “hunger headache” would be coming soon. If too many hours went by in between meals, I always got a headache that would persist even after I got some food into my stomach.
So, hunger pains ruled my life. Hunger pain= panic = get food, any kind of food, right away.
I have since been able to break my hunger pain panic and you wouldn’t believe how I did it.
When I set out to try this diet experiment, I had no idea that changing my reaction to hunger would be an added benefit.
What did I do?
I did a three-day fast. The plan I decided to follow was actually billed as a “3 Day Cleanse” but it didn’t feel like a cleanse. It felt like a fast so that is how I will refer to it.
I wanted to do the fast because I was feeling out of control and bloated. I felt that my will power was in the ditch and my waistline was not showing any sign of the daily commitment to working out.
I wanted some kind of positive result and some feeling that I did have the willpower to eat a healthy diet.
So, off I went on my 3-day fast and boy was I surprised. I expected to be miserable for three days. To have pounding headaches and feel tired. With those kind of expectations, you may wonder how I ever convinced myself to even start the fast!
I did have mild headaches but I wasn’t miserable at all. Actually I felt powerful. I was in control of my diet and not giving in to hunger pains.
As each day went by I became very aware of how often I snacked. I would catch myself in the kitchen thinking about grabbing a few crackers. I didn’t have the crackers but I became very aware of how many times I would be hit by the impulse to “just grab a bite.”
I had no idea how many useless calories I was typically adding to my day. I wasn’t even hungry. I was just in the kitchen. Nothing more.
I also became conscious of my hunger cycle panic reaction. I was able to deal with hunger on a rational level. I was not going to die of starvation in a few hours. Yes, I was hungry but so what? I could eat in a hour and I would be just fine in the meantime.
Hunger lost its hold on me. This change lasted with me long after the fast ended and is still with me as I write this months later.
I also became aware of how quickly that “empty” feeling went away after I had even the smallest snack. I didn’t need to load in the food just because it had been a while since I last ate. I would eat a small snack and realize I felt ok. I wasn’t hungry anymore.
In the past I wouldn’t even stop to notice if I still felt hungry. I would just pile in food until I felt “mentally” that I had enough. I didn’t listen to my body at all.
I never thought I would get through the 3 days but it was much easier than I had expected. It went so well for me that my husband tried it himself a few weeks later.
I highly recommend trying something similar yourself and see what kind of impact the fast has on your reaction to hunger. Maybe you too can break your hunger pain panic reaction.
You have nothing to lose – well except for a few pounds. That was another benefit to the three day fast but I caution you to be realistic. This weight loss is not permanent.
It is the result of restricted calories for a few days. The weight will come back once you resume your regular diet. But it is nice to see on the scale and perfect if you have a special occasion that you want to look fantastic for.
So how can you do your own three-day fast?
Follow this simple plan:
* Breakfast – protein shake – just ice or 1/2c frozen fruit and water – no dairy
* Mid Morning – piece of fruit and cup of green tea
* Lunch – green salad with a lean protein
* Afternoon Snack – protein shake but no fruit this time
* Dinner – last protein shake, again no fruit (you can flip the salad and shake between lunch and dinner)
* Evening – green tea
No dairy at all. No coffee or soda.
You can mix up the order of things but stick to these food items for three days. BOLA TANGKAS