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Ep. 29 - The hunger isn't real, Hunger pains and pangs, Fasting digestion | Stress eating, Insulin resistance, Fasting ketosis, Survival mechanisms | Free Intermittent Fasting Plan

In this episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy dive into one of the main reasons why people say they have "tried" fasting, dabbled with it, or had a brief experience with it and the results were just okay. Hunger is a turn-off for most people. It is something that can stop a fast in its tracks. The cephalic phase of digestion is a physiological response that is governed by the nervous system. It starts a cascade of hormones telling your brain that you are hungry. Marketing, mouthwash, and smelling the neighbor's cooking can all stimulate this process that tricks you into thinking you NEED to eat. Listen in to pick up some tips on how to push through! Enjoy!

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Hello, I'm Dr. Scott Watier. And I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast.

This podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health, achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.

Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss and health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.

We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives, and we hope to share the tools that we have learned along the way.

Everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier, and I am here, as always, with my good friend and colleague Tommy Welling. Good day to you, sir. Scott, how are you? Fantastic man. Ready to jump in to the SCIF fallick phase of human digestion. So talk about a one mining opener, right?

Yeah, just getting right to it. I love it.

Yeah. This is something that you and I talk about indirectly, pretty frequently with our clients and the people on the experience. And it's it's just family. Friends like this is one of the biggest underlying things that we see that either scares people off from fasting or TLC doesn't allow people to stay consistent with it over time or even give it really enough of a shot to see whether or not fasting is something that could help them in their life.

Yeah. It's almost like no pun intended, but they get a little taste of the fallick phase and get kind of scared away. They tend to think that it's just going to get worse or, you know, it's going to kind of compound from there. They can't really see themselves getting past it, but it actually gets easier, as we'll talk about. Yeah.

So let's let's frame it a little bit, because now we're getting, you know, six months into having a podcast and not everybody that comes to us knows what the heck we do or who we are or where we came from. Right. So if this is the first time listening or even going down with us for a few episodes, recommend going back. Listen to some of the older episodes, but also going to the Web site. The fasting for life dot com, the the fasting for life dot com download, the fast start guide. And that really gives you the six steps of the free little mini mini masterclass video training. It's about 20 minutes of deep dive, six steps to get and put fasting into your life starting to day. And this is one of the things that would really be good for the people that have done that and kind of fallen off or people that struggle with pushing the envelope or pushing those longer fast, because the fallick phase is related specifically to hunger, pain.

Yeah, absolutely. And no, the longer your fast, the more the more opportunities you're going to have to to feel the effects of this surveillance phase. Right. So you want to go into you know what that means?

Yeah, for sure. So this is like we said, this is one of the things that, like people struggle with and don't realize that they're struggling with it. But this is one of the reasons why it kicks you out of fasting or you don't want to stick with it or it's just you don't enjoy it, especially if you've just started.

Right. So I've been hearing this from my dad lately. Like, man, the hunger, it's it's tough. And I'm like, OK, well, what you eat the day before. We'll talk about that. What would you do that day? What's your stress level? How's your sleep? All those different types things. But really, when it comes down to just you feeling the hunger, people almost get like, man, I need to eat. And when we explain it from a physiological standpoint, not to get too nerdy or science.

But there's three phases of digestion. And the first phase is what's called the fallick phase. And just I'm going to say this really slowly. It's the stomaches response to the sight, smell, taste or thought.

Of food.

Yeah, it's literally the primer to the pump. It's it's literally your brain starts, whether it's its smell or sight of thought, and then it's literally kicking the stomach in sand. Let's get ready. Something's about to happen. We're about to have some food coming in. We need to be ready for this.

And you're your vagus nerve, which is, you know, the the nerve that runs throughout the entire body. Right. It controls a lot of the autonomic things. You don't think about heart rate, digestive processes, immune function. There's a sympathetic and parasympathetic part to it or an autonomic division. There's all these different subsets. Right. But when we're talking about specifically for this, the fallick phase, that that nerve stimulates the motility and secretion of the primal cells in the gastric cells. So it's literally telling your stomach. Get ready for food when you either see it, smell it, taste it or think about it. So.

That could be a problem if you're new to this or if you're trying to push the window on a longer fast, yeah, yeah, it could be a big problem because think about think about being new to this. You've never fasted before and you say, OK, I'm going to give it a shot.

And then you go into your first fast and you're you're used to you know, you're still taking the same route home from work. You're still walking into the same smells at home. You're still thinking about walking over to the fridge or grabbing your favorite snack or beverage or whatever it is during a certain time. Well, those cues are going to tell your brain, hey, this is this is what we normally do. Let's get ready. So while these habits are still strong, they're still deep. When you first get started, they're going to trigger very, very dramatically and they're going to get this fallick phase, you know, kicking into high gear really quickly.

Combine this with combine that with not drinking enough water when you first start fasting. Like, I can't tell you how important that is. So typically hunger a lot of times can also be hydration related. It's it's just your body telling you, hey, give me water. Right. Like, I think about that old movie. Feed me Seymour. With the what is I think of it with Rick Moranis. Right. Yeah. Feed me, Seymour. Like I just hear that voice like. Oh yeah. Let me start with some water. Let me start with a little salt or trace minerals in the water. If that doesn't work, that typically will kick you out of that's a valid response. But it's really framing it, knowing that this is coming and that it's not really hungry because people get fear. It kind of like fear comes into the solution, into this problem, to where it's like, man, I need to eat or breakfast is the most important meal of the day or I need to snack in between my needs to boost my motile. All those things of like fearing that you're doing something wrong when you really just need to change the route on the way home. Plan a project during dinner if you're not eating with the family that night or be the chef that doesn't eat right. No chef walks out into the restaurant after he puts down a plate and takes a bite. All right. Right. You know, like be the chef I put on your chef hat or really, you know, think about the fact that this isn't a real thing. That you need food. It's just your body's hormonal response in your visual stimulation. So shut the TV off. You watch sports on Sunday and you're trying to fast you're gonna see all the infomercials for the wings and the food. And that's what marketing is. It's just dissimulate that response and you feel it in the form of gurgling, growling stomachs.

Right. I mean, and we've talked about it a little bit. It can be as simple as like a mouthwash with a little bit of mint in there, or maybe some of them have some stevia to give me a little sweet kick. It can be as little as that. And as soon as those, you know, can hit your tongue, that can initiate the whole cascade here. But, you know, speaking more to your point of, you know, it's not it's like it's false advertising in the body. It's telling you, OK, we're used to the cues. Let's get ready. Here we go. Food should be coming in. But, you know, if you're if you're working on a fast, especially in the beginning, you don't necessarily need those calories. Right then. And let's skip back to the math for a second. If you have 20 pounds of excess fat, that's seventy thousand calories. So that your body. Say that again. How many? If you have 20 pounds of fat. Thirty five hundred calories of of thirty five hundred calories per pound of fat. That's literally seventy thousand calories that that you can tap into. But you're not ready yet if you're just, you know, if you're just between meals right now you haven't started fat burning unless you're in ketosis already. So your your body's using those sugar cubes and it's still on the insulin roller coaster. It's giving you false signals right here. That suits you. I'm sorry. I'm blown away by that.

No, I'm just I'm. Go ahead. I'm just like I'm literally like Florida. I backed away from the microphone.

Right. You tend to to feel this a phallic phase more until you get into ketosis as until your insulin sensitivity starts to come back up and over time. The dramatic effect of this fallick phase gets less and less. That's why it one of the reasons why it's easier to fast over time.

Yeah. Your body, like, reprograms itself, right? Right. Yeah, it's super smart. It knows what it's doing, but it also has built them survival mechanisms that sometimes we have to break down.

So when you said seventy thousand, I thought, OK. Typical standard weight loss program would be 300. Caloric deficit are to 500 caloric deficit per day. So that's another one hundred and forty to two hundred and thirty three days of doing that to lose that 20 pounds. Well, no wonder why people give up, you know, six weeks, eight weeks in. And that doesn't include the mistakes and the fallen off the wagon. Beating yourself up for eating pizza when that you shouldn't be doing that because you eat it. You enjoyed it. Now move on, right? Right. It's that bad psychological kind of framework that's built into it. But that's one hundred and forty two hundred and thirty three days where if you can just no one acknowledged that. So fallick face isn't real that it is. You probably need some water and that you can fight through it. You can get that weight loss with one meal a day in 30 days.

Like it hotel is total, like. That's why when you said 70000 quite a bit, let me do the math on that. Right. And I've done it. I mean, I lived it. That's. That was my.

Eat less. Move more. Calories in. Calories out. We know that that's not true for long term results, especially in people that have any type of metabolic issues when it comes to blood sugar related problems. Insulin resistance that's undiagnosed. The prediabetes, the millions of people that are in that category out there that can't figure out why they can't lose the weight, keep it off, you know. And the worst part is, is that your your emotional side of this is where the particular activating system comes in. And I was just thinking about this when you were talking about numbers, is if you've ever been driving or you get a new car and then you realize that everybody else in your town has the exact same car you do.

Right? You're like, wow, I've never seen a yellow. And then you're like, wait a minute, there's yellow cars everywhere. How is this happening? Right.

So the reticular activating systems is cool part of your brain where it'll tie in like a sight, smell and emotion to to to your experience. So you will remember the emotion and the smell of that time, which will put you back in that exact moment. So if you've done stress eating in the past, your body is going to be more apt when you see those cues or smell those smells to go right back into that habit because you're reticular activating system is going to go, hey, yellow car, yellow car, yellow car, like you're seeing it again. So knowing what your body is doing because the hormones or the master control is just going to give you so much more power in knowing I can get through this.

Yeah, it's it's kicking on because it makes sense. So the body loves having a of a storage of fat and you know, it'll keep storing the fat until it, it, it can eventually kill you. You know, based on comorbidities later on in life, it will just keep doing it because it's saving it for a rainy day. And if it has access to more calories coming in all throughout the day because you're used to eating three meals a day, a couple of snacks in there, too, it's just going to keep piling it on as a survival mechanism. So, you know, it doesn't take that long to bring down the.

The warning bells, bring down this a fallick phase for it to calm down and actually allow, you know, fat burning, which is what happens as you get into ketosis.

And then it it once it taps into those calories, it doesn't have as much of a reason to to fire the alarms at any given side of food.

And there's so when we talk to Fallick face, like it's a real physiological principle, but there's a lot of nuance in gray area in between how fasting works for an individual. So it's really figuring out what works for you. Right. So you just kind of got to try and test and try and test. We've had some conversations recently where it's like I did my first thirty six hour fast and it was awful.

I'm like, yeah, the first one was tough because you've never done it. It's like, OK, let me just go out and run a marathon. Yeah. OK.

And we're not talking just for the, you know the the, the nutritionist slash gym people that like, you know, live in the gym and do the workouts and get the results. We're talking about the people that have struggled with getting the weight off and keeping it off. Right.

Right. So it's like accumulating more and more over time.

Yeah. So it hasn't been working. So it's like. Oh yeah. Well, you've never done this. Everything else you had done hasn't worked.

So yeah, there is gonna be some, you know, some apprehension there. But once you get through it and you do it a few times and after that second week for me I knew that. Oh man. Plus, you know, one meal a day plus twenty four hours plus was what my maintenance life was gonna look like because it just simplified it for me to the point where I knew when I was gonna have my lows and I knew that the phallic phase in my reticular and all these different things were like pushing me back towards that old set point. Those old habits. And I don't know, I know what's happening. And now I can just kind of push through and kind of almost reform that habit in a positive way to then not have to worry about those at all subconscious fears and kind of stumbling blocks in the beginning.

Yeah. You know, at a certain point, you kind of flip it on its head and then you get strategic with it. Right. Like, I know I'm going to feel this way so I can get strategic, you know, like you said, put a project at certain times of the day. Maybe it's right before mealtime or right afterwards or, you know, becoming the chef that, you know, those are all great, actionable things. So. Me and Jen walked into a coffee shop actually this morning. I was fasting. She's she was not. And she was going to get a coffee. I ended up having a black coffee with with just a little bit of creamer in it. But when I walked in there, it was actually a crape and a waffle and coffee place. It smelled amazing in there. And I was not prepared for when this fallick phase actually kicked in. And she looked over at me a few minutes later, we're sat there waiting for the coffee. It took, you know, a few extra minutes for some reason. But she's like, Are you OK? And I was like, Yeah, I've just fighting enough. A little bit of nausea right now. I'll be OK. And it lasted for about ten minutes and then I got my coffee and it got a little bit better. We walked out. And it subsided, but it probably took ten or fifteen minutes. But if that was day one for me, you know, fasting, that that may have been a little frustrating or even concerning. But, you know, to today, I didn't worry about it too much. But she could see it on my face, though, still.

Yeah. I'm thinking. Well, it's taken a little bit longer just to talk to you. Right. You're like, why can I not just get my coffee and get out of this wonderful smelling place?

Yeah. And I almost just walked outside, but, you know, I didn't.

But, you know, those are those are habits we develop or, you know, over time it.

So when I'm so two to one of the things we like to settle in the plane, I'm thinking about, you know, actually like one action step that people can do in regards to this fallick phase in the hunger pain kind of breaking through. And we've talked a lot about, you know, different things that we've done. I'm just thinking about my two thirty two to three o'clock, my two to three, 30 every day is my toughest part. And today we just so we are just happened to be recording this podcast during that time. So normally this would be a time where I struggle with it at some black coffee. Thanks Morter talking to you. Getting fired up about getting people to realize that it's not really hunger and it's kind of gone away. Right. So yes. Just a few minutes in, I'm like, oh yeah, it's gone. And I'm talking about this fallick phase and food and it's not happening. So I'm just thinking, Tommy, one thing that we can kind of put out there in terms of an action step to kind of breakthrough yet, I mean, so refocus refocus that energy.

So it's it was designed to put you into food seeking behavior, was designed to get you ready for food to bring it in. Well, just know that it's coming, whether you're fasting or you're in between meals or, you know, you're in the middle of a window, whatever it is, an eating window that is take that take that energy, that frustration, repurpose it.

It's only temporary. But, you know, use it to to push through to the end of some new project, you know. You know, plan out the rest of your week, do something with that energy and put it to good use. And, you know, by the time you think about it next and ten or fifteen minutes, it's probably going to be gone. You're gonna be better off for it and you're still gonna be, you know, in the middle of that fast. You didn't break it. And you're you're better off than where you work 20 minutes ago.

Perfect. Love it. One last thing I would recommend for everyone listening. Like I said earlier on, if this is the first few times you've listened to us go back, listen to some of the earlier episodes, download the Fast Start guide. We appreciate the conversation of fasting in the community of fasting. So go ahead on the Facebook, like our page. Leave us a five star review. We prefer those. Any questions or comments? You can drop in there to Tommy. As always, I appreciate you kind of diving into these topics with me and just, you know. I cannot every time we talk. I'm always like, man, I can't believe that more people don't know about this. And that's exactly what we plan to do, is to tell and teach more every single day.

Absolutely. Enjoyed it. Thank you, sir. Go. Have a good day. You too. Bye.

So you've heard today's episode and you may be wondering where do I start? Head on over to be fasting for life dot.com and sign up for our newsletter where you'll receive fasting tips and strategies to maximize results and fit fasting in your day to day life.

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