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Fasting questions

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  • Fasting questions

    So, I've been fasting intermittently this week (not for the first time) and a few questions have popped up in my head which I hope some of you may be able to clarify. (If anyone out there still hasn't tried fasting yet, do it. It's at least as good as eating primally for general well being in my opinion!)

    It started on Monday when lunchtime came along (I don't eat breakfast) and I wasn't hungry at all. Some days I'm ravaging by 11:30, but yesterday the last thing that was on my mind was food. This brings me to my first question: why is it that on a Primal diet our body 'encourages' us to fast? I know this happens to lots of people so it's not just anecdotal. I understand that if you eat more fat your body is good at burning it (stimulating the enzymes, and so on), so it becomes harder to distinguish between stored adipose tissue and dietary fat, but doesn't the body still need nutrients like vitamins and so 'asks' you to eat in order to ingest them?

    So yesterday I only had dinner at 8 pm (still wasn't that hungry) and today it was exactly the same. Went to work on an empty stomach and was feeling really good the whole day. Next question: does fasting induce some sort of euphoric chemical like endorphins to be released?. This has happened before - whenever I fast I tend to feel a sense of relief, well-being and peacefulness.

    I came home today and decided to do work out (weights of very high intensity for 20 minutes), despite the 20 hour fast (I know from reading the forum many people do this) as I felt energetic and good. Great workout. Question: how does the body maintain high levels of glycogen on a primal, fasting diet?. I eat moderate carb; maybe 130g on a normal day, much less while IFing. From what I've read that is barely enough to keep your brain going (I've read it needs 500 calories of glucose a day) so how do people manage to have an intense work out after fasting AND not gorging on glucose. Does the body replenish glycogen via fat?

    That's all I can think of at the moment. Your opinions and answers are greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by mmsantos; 02-14-2012, 03:25 PM.

  • #2
    Bump. Anyone?


    • #3
      I like to take a Heuristics approach to the evolution behind paleo/primal. I notice when I fast I feel like my senses become more keen. I tend to focus and notice more detail and hear the leaves rustling, etc. I imagine this would help me catch my next meal, if it came down to it. This is in stark contrast to the growling hunger pangs and low blood sugar caused by SAD. When you're body is satiated, it's time to digest, recover from "the hunt," if you will, and relax.

      There's your bump mmsantos, I wouldn't mind seeing what the health nerds have to say too.


      • #4
        Looks like the health nerds are all asleep lol. And yeah same here about the's ironic because fasting causes headaches in most people but if you're primed (pun not intended) for it then it has short-term benefits for pretty much everything from mood to strength to motivation.


        • #5
          Fasting increases the neurotransmitter receptors in your brain (forget which ones, maybe all of them). It does this because your body produces less neurotransmitters when you fast, so it needs to be more efficient at receiving the small amount.

          I wonder how many depressed people can find help by simply fasting once in a while...


          • #6
            All I can say is after I eat, I'm done for the day. If I eat in the morning, I spend the rest of the day yawning, no energy~ just dragging. So, if I want to accomplish anything, I eat when I'm done. IF (Fast5) works well for me. Every once in a while I throw in a 24-36 hour fast~ I don't really plan it, it just sort of happens.

            I like knowing that my day doesn't revolve around food/eating.