Why Do I Have No Appetite After Fasting For Weeks And Then Binge Eating?

I’m very much in favor of healthy eating habits and healthy body image. I want to preface my answer with that first. However, I’m less inclined to send you straight to a doctor than the other answers below.

People make fasting more complicated than it needs to be. We believe in keeping it simple and seeing results – you can always experiment after that. If you’re new here make sure and take a look at our free audiobook offer Eat Stop Eat Making Fasting Simple Again (And Seeing Real Results).

Fasting can be physically, psychologically and spiritually healthy. It’s not necessarily a sign of disorder. You should ask yourself why you are fasting. For self-discipline? As a spiritual practice? To explore your body’s reaction and have a better awareness of your body? To lose weight? I’ll even allow the latter as a reasonable justification, provided that fasting, overall, is placed in the proper perspective. Everything in life is an opportunity to improve or to hurt yourself, eating too much and eating too little, both.

During Lent I have, in the past, pursued what some would consider extreme calorie deprivation. The primary reason was for religious observance, but an experiment in self discipline also entered the equation, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope I would lose some weight. I remember specifically one Lent my fasting consisted of eating a very small breakfast, for example one piece of toast, nothing for lunch, and a small dinner Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I was basically constantly hungry on those days, but I considered that feeling to be a nagging reminder of my mortality, my spiritual responsibilities, and the reality that some people less fortunate than I live with this hunger constantly. I probably, like you, averaged around 500 calories a day on those days, and while I ate more on other days, I still ate less than I would have outside of Lent and was at least somewhat hungry. Sunday, I ate to satisfaction.

I often found that on Sunday, my appetite was less than I expected. I might be very hungry, but would be full much quicker than during periods of normal eating. I do believe that your stomach can contract with a moderate amount of deprivation, or maybe it is in your head, but the result is very real. After fasting, you’ll often find that you eat less when you do allow yourself to indulge.

So now on to your three days of binge eating. Can you help us place this in context? Was it a breakdown of your hitherto Spartan self control? Did you eat emotionally and, you might say, irrationally, eating until you threw up? Did you enjoy it, or was it a sort of self-inflicted food torture? Was it binge eating Krispy Kremes, or something more healthy?

No matter what you were binge eating, even if it was chicken breast and salad, your body gets a bit of a shock when you go from deprivation to plenty. I’ve read, maybe someone else can confirm or deny, that Allied soldiers quickly learned at the end of WWII not to give chocolate bars to recently-liberated concentration camp survivors, because many died, presumably from some kind of sugar shock, following their prolonged food deprivation. I’m not in any way comparing your self-inflicted situation to this awful historical moment, just making a biological point. Your body may very well be going “what the hell?” following your deprivation/plenty 180 degree experiment. It’s often the case for me that following a vacation or holiday where I’ve indulged constantly in pasta, wine, desserts for several days, I’ll have a very small appetite for days afterwards. I think this is normal and healthy.

We haven’t always had unlimited quantities of food. Humans lived and evolved for thousands of years under conditions where we swung between feast and famine. The hunt is successful, there is meat for everyone, and we ate what we could to put on fat for the winter. The harvest is bad, we tightened our belts. Only in the last, say, 100 years has constant access to unlimited calories become a reality for a large portion of the world’s population. I’m glad that we live in a world where fewer and fewer people starve to death, I’m in no sense nostalgic for the uncertainty of the past. But it’s worth noting that eating three meals a day to complete satisfaction is not, historically speaking, a necessity for survival and good health.

That’s my philosophical, theological and historical high-minded answer. It’s also possible that you just have an eating disorder. In which case you should see a doctor.

This answer originally appeared on this Quora question on Fasting.

Do You Eat When You Are Not Hungry During Ketosis Or Intermittent Fasting?

Dr. Berg talks about eating when you are not hungry when they are doing intermittent fasting? Our body is not designed to eat at the frequency that people eat. You have social events, social events, birthdays, vacations, holidays, going out to dinner, etc. One the best habits you can implement is

1. Only eat when you are hungry and

2. Don’t eat unless you are hungry.

If you are doing intermittent fasting and not hungry anymore, then do a gradient approach. The main point is keeping your nutrients high, but just eating less frequently. Eating spikes insulin.

Your report will then be sent via email analyzing 104 potential symptoms, giving you a much deeper insight into your body issues. It’s free and very enlightening.

Dr. Berg talks about if you should eat when you are not hungry.

Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:

Dr. Berg, 51 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods. His private practice is located in Alexandria, Virginia. His clients include senior officials in the U.S. government and the Justice Department, ambassadors, medical doctors, high-level executives of prominent corporations, scientists, engineers, professors, and other clients from all walks of life. He is the author of The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, published by KB Publishing in January 2011. Dr. Berg trains chiropractors, physicians and allied healthcare practitioners in his methods, and to date he has trained over 2,500 healthcare professionals. He has been an active member of the Endocrinology Society, and has worked as a past part-time adjunct professor at Howard University.

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Dr. Eric Berg received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988. His use of doctor or Dr. in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Berg is a licensed chiropractor in Virginia, California, and Louisiana, but he no longer practices chiropractic in any state and does not see patients. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Berg and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The Health & Wellness, Dr. Berg Nutritionals and Dr. Eric Berg, D.C. are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

If you prefer text

hi guys I’m back again in this video we’re gonna discuss this subject of ketosis in in a minute fasting and if you should eat when you’re not hungry because the problem is your hunger is gonna go away so if you actually are eating two meals a day or even one meal a day and you’re not hungry do you eat or do you not eat okay now let’s just answer that in a second before I answer that I’m gonna talk to the person who doesn’t even know about ketosis it doesn’t know about intermittent fasting and let’s just you know do you eat when you’re not hungry like for breakfast when you wake up do you automatically go for breakfast when you’re not even hungry do you eat a snack when you’re not hungry at night when you’re not hungry do you still eat just because the food is there that’s the question well let’s talk about that first before I go into intermittent fasting and ketosis so our bodies are just not designed to eat at the frequency that we’re eating wheat way way too much food it’s not even about that calories it’s about the frequency of eating simply because every time you eat you spike insulin okay so we have this massive massive situation where your spike in insulin all day long social events you have other events holidays Halloween kids you know kids are constantly eating around you at night in those food around on your table and the refrigerator your house is stocked with all this food it’s like everywhere you go vacations weekend’s holidays you know friends social things so you just constantly expose to food okay now one of the best habits that you could implement for yourself would be only eat when you are hungry and never eat when you are not hungry if you implemented that habit you’d be extremely healthy because it’s false information that breakfast is the most important meal it’s not true I mean all night long you’re not eating you’re fasting why would you need to breakfast if you’re not hungry your body is burning fat the food that it’s eating is actually on your own body or you need for us three squares right three square meals a day why whoever came up with that or you need to keep up your blood sugar constantly and eating keep bringing it up it’s not true or you need to eat to stimulate your metabolism or by the time you’re hungry is too late these are all false pieces of information that people are spreading out there and we’re accepting it probably generated by the food manufacturing companies okay so that’s one thing now let’s shift gears let’s see you’re already doing ketosis and you’re already doing in a minute fasting and you’re not hungry anymore do you eat well the point about that is that we need to get our nutrients okay from the food so here’s what I recommend I recommend that you do this in a nice structured gradual way right you start with three meals a day okay so if you start with that no snacks you’re gonna find that your hunger is gonna go down especially if you’re eating what I’m recommending you know good amount of vegetables protein and good amount of fat and no sugar okay now what’s gonna happen your hungers gonna go down so you keep pushing the breakfast forward and forward and forward until you completely drop out the breakfast and this can happen very fast okay it could happen in a week okay now you’re down to two meals a day and you’re doing it comfortably and consistently okay and then now you’re not even hungry in the morning you’re not hungry for this lunch ideally you should not be eating that lunch if you’re not hungry why because your body is burning fat okay so if you do eat now you’re gonna be hungry the problem you’re gonna probably run into especially if you are doing this too suddenly and you’re having adapted fully is let’s say you’re not hungry for lunch so you don’t eat right and you go to work or something like that or you’re you’re off summer where you’re not around food and then you start getting really hungry about another three o’clock okay that there’s no food available that’s the problem so if you have an availability where you can bring your food and just eat when you’re hungry that would be the ideal situation so again the principle is eat when you’re hungry now a lot of people that are doing this end up doing one meal because of the situation because it’s just not hungry for the other meal and that’s totally fine but going past one meal a day maybe eating every other I probably wouldn’t recommend that unless you need to lose a lot of weight and you’re just not hungry because you have certain dietary requirements with nutrients that you need and so I think you should probably stick with at least one Smit one meal a day and make sure it’s very very healthy and probably enhance that as well but the point is that if you’re not hungry don’t add another meal in there all right I just wanted to emphasize that point and this can go for if you’re on ketosis cinnamon fasting or if you’re not on it and you don’t know anything about it alright thanks for watching so Karen and I are going to create some more recipes but we wanted to know what recipes are you interested in ok click the link and let us know..

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Comment (18)

  1. Thank you for another great video I’ve been listening to you since May and I’m so glad you talked about this today, I’ve been having this problem, not being hungry till about 3 and then I kind of make myself eat something by 8 because I think I should, because I’m afraid I’m going to be hungry before the next time that I eat that next day. Not wanting to go back to eating breakfast. So I’m going to try the one meal, thanks again. I’ve went from 268 to 221 so far.

  2. Spot on. Totally true that the hunger goes away. It’s unbelievable! On IF since June here increasing gradually from 16:8 and now down to OMAD consistently for the past five weeks. No real effort except when I kick the level up a notch. Did a two day fast last week while traveling, never felt bloated on the plane, it was a first, feeling so great!

    I’m still puzzled and amazed every single day that my hunger is just… Gone. It’s totally true. And when there is hunger it’s not that “I’m grumpy I need to eat right now” hunger, rather, it’s a slight feeling on light headedness, one that can be easily ignored and controlled… For days. My two day fast was nearly effortless… And I felt the pronounced metallic taste in my mouth from ketosis near the end of it. And when I tell people about the hunger gone they look at me like I’m nuts, I can’t convince them. It’s morning right now and I’m still feeling really full from last night’s meal…

    But throughout all this I’ve only been losing only about 3/4 lbs per week. I eat very healthy but I still have small desserts after my meal e.g. yogurt and I love drinking a glass of wine or two with my big meal on the weekends. Been thinking going on one meal every two days to speed things up – I have another 15lbs to go… i think I’ll start with one two day fast every week. Will go back to my weight from my early twenties, lose all remaining traces of belly fat – it’s been so long I don’t even remember -, and am hoping to stay there for a year to see if I can establish homeostasis (one friend did IF for a year and is unable to gain weight back now, his new normal is “thin”, his body is fighting it, I wonder if something systemic explains this, e.g., that your organs are working more efficiently supporting less mass? No idea why). My cholesterol numbers are back within normal range, something unseen in many years, my doc says thumbs up and all other numbers within normal range. I’m totally winning this, after decades of failed experimentation with various diets!!! And I’m still training 3x/wk with the same weights. This is it. And easy!

    I have an observation to contribute: if you eat only once per day, by virtue of being able to SELECT the meal where you know you’ll have access to the most healthy/quality food it’s much easier to eat healthy. You skip all the meals where social events or life takes you where you don’t have access to the good stuff… Think about it. Being able to choose which meal you’ll have and the occasion makes a big difference in quality.

    I have a few questions about going further than OMAD: I’ve been taking a multivitamin (garden of life) out of concern to get all the basics covered, is this okay?

    Also, is one two-day fast per week too much? Like I said I’ve been thinking about skipping food over entire weekends.

    And furthermore, once my BMI goes back within normal range (that’s “super thin”for my body type, losing my 15-20 lbs), will the hunger resume naturally? I suspect my body will start getting more aggro about eating at that point but I have no idea.

    This is all fascinating…

  3. I’ve been on keto and intermittent fasting for about three weeks. My back has slowly been getting worse. I have horrible lower back pain, heavy painful periods. Please help.

  4. i have been in ketosis and intermittent fasting since may i eat bacon and eggs at 1 pm then a big salad at 5 pm then fast till following day, but in all this time i have never been hungry and if i don’t have set times to eat then i forget to
    i started at 224 lbs and am currently at 178 lbs , if i change anything now it will be to slightly reduce my fat intake

  5. Hey I’m so excited ! and just want to say thank you! I have been following you and the keto diet since June 17. I run and lift weights. I started to drink your electrolyte powder since I started. I was skeptical about how I would do on a lon run without carbs. Well I just PRed on a 10k and I just fueled with a keto coffee and your electrolyte powder

  6. “this habit of eating all day was probably generated by the food manufacturing companies”

    this is why I trust your advice and analysis

  7. now i understand the sinister reason and brainwashing of eating 3 meals a day by the Fraud and Death Administrative.

  8. I love the way Robb Wolf put it: “Breakfast being considered the most ‘important meal of the day’ is not science. It is MARKETING!”

  9. I have been on keto for a month .. and now i cant eat anything bcoz am nt hungry at all.. ny suggestion?!! I cant even make upto my daily macros

  10. Exactly what ive been wondering about! Sometimes when its time to eat if im not hungry i get worried if i dont eat ill get hangry! Im 1 lb to my goal weight!

  11. I have lost 36 pounds because of you Dr Berg. My problem is I am never hungry. On tracking my food intake for calories I can never meet the 1300 calories. I am only eating about 700 calories per day and all carbs come from veggies like you say. Even then I have to force eating the seven cups of veggies. This process took me 6 months. Can you do a video about how many calories can I eat that are not carbs? No more insulin for me as well. Thank you for sharing what you have learned and helping people.

  12. Another gem in the collection of dr Berg videos!
    An essential imho everybody everywhere should watch. Our young people, our children, grandchildren should learn this in school.


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