When what? When Hungry Ensues Naturally.
This is one of the Primal ways of eating. We have over ridden our bodies natural hunger signals by eating a ‘high carb every couple of hours’ diet. We’re told that we should be eating breakfast. That as soon as you feel hunger you should eat. Every 2-3 hours you need calories for energy. Skipping a meal is bad for you and your metabolism.
This leaves us in a perpetual state of insulin highs and lows. Because our bodies aren’t used to burning fat (because it’s used to burning all the carbs we give it) we are on the insulin/glucose roller coaster. It’s why we need a mid morning and afternoon snack. We didn’t always eat this way. Our bodies are not wired to eat every 3 hours or to be dependent on only carbs for energy.
When you switch to a lower carb way of eating you naturally start to balance all the hormone signalling in your body (FYI weight gain is actually a hormone imbalance!). This means insulin is lower and your body will be able to tap into your fat stores when it requires energy. You can fuel your body from within (ketones, Gluconeogenisis, Glycogenolysis) and from what you eat – however, most of us are only fueling our bodies with what we eat.
Have you ever thought about how many calories you have stored in your body in the form of fat? Even the most fit people have at least 60,000 calories stored on their bodies at any given time (yes, 60,000 in a fit athletic individual!). Our bodies store fat for a very good reason – not just because we’re getting old and our bodies suck. It’s so we can tap into those stored calories when we need energy without relying on having to eat every 3 hours. It’s a mechanism that we’ve had since our hunter-gatherer days!
Eating lower carb, allowing your hormones to signal properly, and being able to tap into your bodies internal/stored energy, allows you to use up that stored fat. It allows you to eat when hunger ensues naturally. It’s a much more intuitive way of eating.
This week eating felt effortless. My food was delicious, lower carb felt incredibly satisfying, and I enjoyed all my healthy meals. Come Thursday I wasn’t hungry at dinner. I naturally thought about eating at my regular dinner time but why eat when I’m not hungry? My body is not telling me it needs energy so why give it – it’ll just end up as fat if I eat when my body doesn’t need me to give it the external energy.
So I ended up with an incredibly easy, unplanned 22 hour fast. This shocked some people. I know that to many people not eating for so long seems impossible.
This is what our genes know. Our DNA is almost identical to that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They never had the food security we have. Our bodies are wired to store fat so that we can burn it. We are definitely storing fat but we are not using it.
If weight loss, craving carbs, or having to eat every 2-3 hours, is an area you struggle with then plugging what you eat into a food tracker can help you see how much you’re consuming in macros. Maybe you think you’re eating low carb but really aren’t. Or maybe you not eating enough fat or protein! If you have some goals it’s really important to be aware of how you’re feeding yourself. Choosing real ingredients for meals, instead of packaged products, is always going to be a good decision that’ll help you!