I'm studying the feel of hunger today. How do you tell the difference between hunger and just an upset stomach?  Maybe i won't eat for the rest of the day and see if i can figure it out. 

My big thing now is learning how not to be afraid of hunger. 

Hunger is good!

I want to talk about the positive effects of staying hungry and why people use the negative effects of hunger as excuses to eat when it is not necessary.


  1. food
  2. hunger
  3. diet
  4. item 12855


Mark de LA says
Somewhere in my library is a paperback on fasting.  As I recall it suggested that far from bad, it is good for the health if not perverted to the degenerate extremes of anorexia or death from starvation. BTW, I was going for 40 days & 40 nights of fasting but only made it to 19 days.  I was sidetracked by the weakness thingy & a bag of toasted pumpkin seeds. It took quite a while to regain the weight I had lost.  They suggested that breaking a fast is important.  Don't overload the system suddenly with a lot of food. Perhaps a small glass of OJ first (which I did).  My body warmed up suddenly almost like a rush of good drugs. An extreme faster (for God?) is documented in some Youtubes hairing off of Fasting in Wikipedia. BTW, why are you interested in fasting?

Mark de LA says
I once fasted for 19 days without anything of nutritional value only H2O and black coffee. I found the feeling of weakness more compelling than the resuidual stomach contractions. The feelings I have without such a fast of hunger vs disappointment or unhappiness are harder to distinguish for me.

Seth says
source: mr above
... hunger vs disappointment or unhappiness are harder to distinguish ...
A truly interesting comparison.  I can see how disappointment can be similar to hunger - sadness not so very much.

I think that i do frequently confuse other feelings with hunger.  Yesterday my only meal was 5 chicken meatballs served on a bowl of sauteed Napa cabbage and onions.  My stomach was kind of unsettled later in the day.  I wasn't sure whether to interpret that as hunger.  In retrospect now i'm pretty sure it wasn't hunger since i didn't loose any weight on the day.  More likely it was gasses forming from the cabbage.

Seth says
source: mr above
I found the feeling of weakness more compelling than the resuidual stomach contractions.
Well yes the appropriately interpreted stomach feelings of hunger are just feelings.  They have no deleterious effects at all that I know of, except perhaps that you must feel them.  As worst  they are a distraction.  The weakness and other negative effects of not eating can certainly become serious if you don't eat for an extended period of time and certainly 19 days is laudable extended period. 

I think many people, myself perhaps included, use the rumors of negative effects of extended fasting, to justify eating when they are just slightly hungry and no such negative consequences  are even remotely near happening.

Seth says
I'm not that much into long strenuous fasts ... just short ones, like yesterday.  It became hard late in the evening after our two cycles around the mall but i stayed with it.  It does kind of give me a baseline for loosing weight: 2 pounds lost with only eating a bowl of prunes in the morning which i always do.  So if my mid day meal weighs 1 pound, shouldn't i expect to loose one pound on that day?  But i doubt it equates exactly that way.

I am into permanent low calorie eating, with occasional fasts and occasional unrestricted meals.  Recent research indicates that this is good for your health.  That research seems to go against the "common knowledge" that says "always eat a minimum number of calaries and that you might damage your health if you don't".  Denise parroted that "common knowledge" to me when i brought it up with her.  I almost want to record her and publish it.

Yes, fasting to get spiritual visions etc has been around for some time.  Wasn't GW into that when he did his diddy on the mountain?

Seth says
Well after two days of fasting and semi fasting i ate a reasonable meal of veggie burgers ... and gained just exactly as much as i had lost in the previous two days.

Mark de LA says
What have you learned about fasting that others could benefit from?  I learned that after about 5 days the hunger pangs seem dissipated, but I am more sensitive to the food around me or others eating. Sometime around that same time I feel the weakness syndrome.  The busier I am the easier it is to forget about the hunger or eating.  It took me about a year to gain back the weight I lost on a 19 day fast of no calories of any kind & only black coffee & water. I did not exercise during the fast, but that would be an interesting experiment.

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