Kia Ākina

Working towards lifelong recovery from obesity

Persist – By allowing ourselves to become genuinely hungry before eating

Here is a really important persistence exercise to try, which if we can suss will take us a good three steps forward on the long happy journey. 

It’s about learning to withstand the Beast grumbling inside us. When the Beast grumbles we feel hungry. But 99% of the time this feeling of being hungry isn’t physiological hunger at all. It’s “I WANT” hunger. This is in contrast to genuine physiological hunger. 

The exercise is to not eat (or drink any calories) for a period of at least 5 hours, such as not eating anything after breakfast until lunch e.g. 7.30am – 12.30pm or perhaps you’d like to try it in the afternoon and not eat anything from lunch until tea 1 – 6pm, to feel a little bit of real hunger.  

We’re not going to starve to death, even though the grumbling of the Beast might make us feel a little bit like death. We’ve got months of fuel on board in our fat stores! Try calming the beast with herbal tea or just water (warm or cold, depending on the season) if the going gets tough. 

Real hunger is when a bowl of cold plain rice or similar bland food begins to seem like heaven. We can also tell we’ve real hunger when there is a nice feeling of emptiness in our tummy. 

When we finally do eat after five hours, we must be very careful not to make up on all the food we could have eaten as snacks during that time. 

The great thing about allowing ourselves to become genuinely hungry before eating is that we’re allowing our body to use up a little of our fat stores, and lose some weight.  

Final thing: remember hunger tends to go away after about 24 hours of fasting when you begin to primarily live off your fat stores – you should try it sometime. 

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