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Short version: how do you distinguish a craving ("all in your head") versus a real, physiological need (bottomless pit until you've had a certain X food / micronutrient / macronutrient) ?

Long version: long history of intermittent fasting, feel better / best ... for a while... when *not* eating, don't feel hunger signal until

A) it's "too late" (can go 18 hours without food, still not hungry, but will either eat because things start to feel really bad, not because of hunger)

B) I do start eating, but then it's Feast Mode until serotonin / dopamine HIT satisfied: restarting to eat every 3 hours aka moderation just won't do it) . Carbs, especially starches, are requires to get said hit. Then it's usually "food coma" sleep and The Food Beast is ok for another 18 hours. Rinse, repeat. Eat like a snake style.

Based on what I've read and seen from the Minessota Starvation Experiment (Ancel Keyes)  and the MinnieMaud posts, I do believe there's a setpoint that the body just won't tolerate being unmet, and it might take months before "catch up" has been completed.

How do you distinguish this "bottomless pit" (catchup / reconstruction) need from a craving???


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Are you currently intermittent fasting? If so, are you female and if female, are you pre or post menopausal?

That "things start to feel really bad, not because of hunger" is actually another version of hunger. The stomach growling isn't the only way to determine hunger. If you were actively IF'ing then chances are you were well into fat adaptation. When that happens, hunger feels different. An emptiness and need for "something" rather than stomach growls.

For Whole30, we recommend that you eat at least 3 meals per day, spaced 4-5 hours apart. Starchy veggies are meant to be a fist-sized serving at least once per day. Have you been doing this and you're still feeling these "bottomless pit" feelings?

My personal experience: I did IF for months (around 18-20 hours of not eating) and when it all went sideways (because of external stress and the stress of the actual IF'ing), it took many, many months if not years to clear up. I went right from IF to Whole30 and ate very large meals, composed to the template, 3 times/day and often also had a protein + fat snack between lunch and dinner. So yes, it can take a long time to catch up, for sure. That's the hormonal balance that is lost during IF and is regained during Whole30/W30 style eating for a long period of time.

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