Ketosis Can Tame Raging Hunger
I am writing this brief article on my third day of pure water fasting partly to relieve a little boredom and partly to stay focused on fasting. But as I sit here typing I realize I am not really hungry at all and I am wondering why. Ketosis?
I had at least a half dozen false starts in the past few days, one day flops, that ended up with my eating and feeling like I could not get a fast going no matter what. Now all of a sudden I am cruising on my third day, easy peasy.
So what is the difference? Well there is one very important difference and this involves a confession I must make. It each of the several failed attempts I did something I should not have. My son loves watermelon for breakfast and every day when he got up I would cut a piece off the big melon in the fridge and spoon it out into pieces in a bowl to give to him. That left a green rind with a little bit of red stuff still clinging to it. That little bit of red stuff was for me!
Yet once I had that little bit of red stuff my mind could not stop thinking about more. And within an hour or two I had another failed fasting start.
Getting your body off to a good fasting start means “sealing your lips” and getting your body into ketosis. What is ketosis? Ketosis simply refers to when your body uses fat for fuel instead of glucose.
Generally speaking, your body uses two types of energy: fat and sugar. Fat energy comes in the form of “ketones”. Sugar fuel in the form of glucose.
Glucose is the “high octane” fuel. It’s efficient and powerful. Athletes for example need glucose to train and running on fat fuel is slow and torturous.
The majority of glucose fuel comes straight from the carbohydrates you eat. Since all carbohydrates are either simple sugars (e.g. glucose) or starches (which are just long chains of glucose), the amount of carbohydrates in your diet determines how much glucose you are feeding your body.
Ketones come from either dietary fat (e.g. olive oil, steak) or body fat. When glucose supply is high, such as when drinking a lot of fruit juice or eating melons, your body switches off the majority of ketone production.
Technically, your body is always producing ketones. So you’re always “in ketosis”. But the phrase “ketosis” is usually used to refer to extreme cases of glucose deprivation, when your body drastically ramps up its ketone production. When you are fasting ketone production goes through the roof. And if you want to stop thinking about food it is a very good thing to have a lot of ketones around. When you start using ketones for energy you go from eating out of the refrigerator to eating belly fat.
But switching over from glucose to ketones for energy may not be so easy. Part of that feeling you get on the first day of fasting may be your body screaming for glucose. Once your body knows there is no more glucose coming it will hopefully relax and be happy with the ketones.
And that is why I am relaxed right now and not feeling hungry. When before on my failed fasting days I was eating that little bit of watermelon in the morning I was telling my body that I was still on a glucose diet and my body would not let me rest until I found more glucose. And my body would not go into ketosis.
But then I stopped “cleaning the rind” and tossed the rinds into the garbage. And as a result, this morning, my third day of fasting, the ketone strips were clearly pink colored, indicating trace ketones.
I have this fast off to a good start and already I have a better than even chance of going the distance. Stick to pure water, don’t nibble, and the resultant state of ketosis will help tame the hungry beast. You can burn fat like crazy and reach your weight goal by staying away from fruit and other sweet temptations. You do not have to be hungry; ketones are your food while fasting.