Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Starving Nutritionally

I read this great book called the Gabriel Method. In it he talks a lot about starving nutritionally. I know it is hard to wrap our brains around but, when we are obese, we are actually starving to death, literally.

A great analogy that he used in his book was to use the example of a baby, what if, every time a baby cried for food we fed it Coca Cola? The baby might stop crying long enough to drink the Coke, but it wouldn't be long before the baby would start screaming again. If we continue giving the baby Coca Cola, the baby would probably get really fat, look like it was really well fed, too well fed even. Yet, the baby would only continue to scream. Why? Because the baby would be starving nutritionally. Starving to death, literally, because a baby cannot live on Coca Cola. It would develop diabetes, or heart disease or cancer and eventually die.

The baby is the same as what we have done to our bodies, we are starving nutritionally and we are literally starving to death! That is why our bodies scream for food constantly, because it isn't screaming for that donut and bag of chips, it is screaming for nutrition.

Now that I have found intermittent fasting, my body has stopped screaming. I have begun to look at hunger in a whole new light. Hunger is not my body needing food but yet my body screaming for more. More junk? No, more nutrition. I used to get the WORST hunger pains. They were physically painful. I never get those anymore. I think they were me starving nutritionally. Hunger is so mild if at all now. I feel like the less I eat, the less hungry I feel.

Fasting allowed my body to understand what it was that it needed and it started to be able to communicate those needs to me in a better way. I started to crave the foods that would be best for me nutritionally. I am not saying I don't ever eat junk...I do, but I also eat lots and lots of veggies and fruit and healthy fats. My body doesn't need to scream anymore.


  1. Hi Jenna,
    I've been doing IF for about 2.5 months. I've lost a good 8 pounds but have been at a solid plateau for a few weeks now. I'm thinking I need to add in a complete fasting day which is difficult with my schedule and maybe break my fast with something good like a salad or greens drink with fiber. I know in your last post you mentioned your long standing plateau but do you think these little changes will help me get over this hump for now?

    1. Yes, there are a few ways to try and shake a plateau. Bert Herring writes about a few suggestions in his book that you can download free from his website. There is a link on the right of my blog: Fast 5 Website.

      He mentions having a day where you eat all day or having a day where you fast all day. Something to shock the system into a change.

      I think my long standing plateau is simply because I am now eating exactly the amount of calories during my eating window that maintains my current weight.

      I really need to now reduce the amount of food I am eating when I eat or implement an exercise routine that I can do as part of my everyday life.

      These two things are proving a challenge for me, and it makes sense because these two things are the reason that I was obese in the first place.

      Intermittent fasting has helped me to control the excess enough to lose a significant amount but I still face the same challenges that got me here in the first place.

      Try the long fasts, once a week or once a month and as long as you do that consistently, it will help.

  2. Jenna - I have the same problems that you do. I lost a bunch of weight with IF (Fast5 specifically) and have kept it off but I tend to binge still during my window. Not every time - but often enough to keep my weight stable. It's mostly sweets in my case.
    Hunger doesn't scare me before my window. But during or after it still frightens me and I eat.
    I also wonder if the binges (in my case) are a reward mechanism since I deprived myself all day.
    Have you any thoughts along these lines?


    1. I can relate to the hunger part you describe. I can fast for three days and not feel hunger, yet when the eating window opens I still get a anxious feeling about getting enough food.

      It could be a result of fasting and feeling deprived, yes, but I think it is probably more than that. If you have struggled with over eating before you found intermittent fasting like I did then it is in the mind. Something that has caused a need to fill some missing part in our lives or to use food as comfort.

      I have no "cure" but being aware is always the first step. I am still working on this myself, but am grateful that intermittent fasting has helped me get control. I used to overeat 24/7, now it is just once a day...

      Intermittent fasting is not a "cure" for the reason we became overweight in the first place, just a tool to help manage it.

  3. People say that Fast 5 doesn't leave you feeling deprived. I say that's nonsense! You feel deprived from fasting all day and there you go every eating window turns into a binge! I decided this lifestyle is not for me. I do Low Carb, thanks to Dr. Atkins! I'm never hungry, have no cravings, I'm totally in control! Why?? My Insulin Levels are stable! My Metabolic Problems are sorted! You cannot fight a metabolic problem with will power. You cannot fight addiction with will power! I'm happy and healthy. My doctor is very happy with my overall health and tells me to continue this way. Good luck!

    1. Low carb has certainly been a successful program for many people. We all have to do what works for us, and so yes, intermittent fasting is not for everyone.

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