Hunger durability. Have you heard that phrase? To me, it essentially means how much control and calmness you have in response to hunger. Are you immediately reactive or uncomfortable? Does hunger have more influence over your choices than you do?
That certainly used to be me. The slightest twinge of hunger sent me in search of snacks. My lack of hunger durability was a huge barrier to fat loss and also really prevented peace of mind. I was always thinking about food. Cooking it, cleaning up after cooking, eating or planning what to eat next. It kinda sucked. And, because not all hunger means that your body needs fuel yet I was eating when I felt hunger, I really lacked an understanding of my own hunger & satiety signals. No bueno.
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Last year, I agreed to do a 5 day fast with my friend Ella. I was terrified. In fact, I was convinced I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t even sure it was healthy. I didn’t think it was a good idea but I was open to the experiment.
It was amazing. I learned so much about hunger and got to witness the way extreme hunger fades in minutes if you don’t respond to it. It gave me a whole new context for hunger and my body’s need for fuel. Yes, the first few days were pretty tough, but I developed so much confidence over that 5 days. I’m so glad I did it.
I’ve done a few episodes on fasting – one on intermittent fasting and a couple others on longer term fasting and also on my experience last year with a 5 day fast. If you have questions, those episodes are a great place to start.
Another awesome resource on fasting is Jimmy Moore & Dr. Jason Fung’s book The Complete Guide to Fasting.
So why am I doing this again now? And what does a 7 day fast mean to me?
The primary reason I’m doing it is because I like to challenge myself and I see real value in improving my response to hunger.
Here’s how I explained this after last year’s fast.
Have you ever stepped in the shower and felt like the water wasn’t as hot as usual? Maybe you thought, “Yikes! This is cold!!”
But, what if you intentionally turned the water all the way to the right – as cold as it gets. What you thought was cold before really isn’t so cold, is it? In fact, relatively speaking, it probably feels warm compared to your new understanding of cold.
Contrast gives us context.
Contrast informs our perspective. If your only experience of hunger is how you feel it within a couple hours of eating, you just don’t have the power of context due to contrast. Fasting dramatically improves my understanding of and appreciation for hunger.
There’s also an impressive amount of science in support of the cleansing & detox benefits of extended fasting. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I froze my eggs a few months ago.
I’ve decided this will be a joyful fast. This week is launch week for my spring coaching groups and I’m excited for the simplicity of a fast. No meals to plan, prep, or clean up from. I will do it with a great attitude – this isn’t a punishment. I’m not a victim of this choice and hunger isn’t an emergency.
Here’s what it means for me:
Water, himalayan sea salt and black coffee. That’s it.
No kombucha. No bone broth. No fat.
I get the salt from Thrive Market* and I’ll add a pinch to my water. If I feel really hungry, I’ll add a pinch of the salt right under my tongue.
That’s it. I started Monday night and I’ll continue for 7 days.
You can join me for 24 hours, 36 hours or none at all! You can follow along on my Instagram stories where, after a couple days, I’ll share blood ketones. (I’d share blood ketones now but I realized last night I didn’t have any test strips left so I need to wait until they get here on Thursday.)
If you have questions, definitely check out those episodes and of course, feel free to ask any questions in the comments!
In October 2019, our relationship with Thrive Market changed. They decided to put their marketing dollars in avenues outside of podcasting but we still think they’re a good choice if you’re looking to save money on health & personal care products.