So I now wish to report on what it was like trying to go without lunch! In a word, it was awful. Really really vile. I have to accept that I cannot and will never be able to do the 5:2 type diet, ie semi-fasting two days a week.
I had thought learning to live without lunch, training myself to survive from breakfast till teatime, might be a good way to train myself to eat less and also aid weight reduction as I believe the 5:2 fast diet has been a roaring success.
But not for me. If I skip a meal, or go for a prolonged period without food apart from while sleeping – five to six hours plus during the day – I become hot, dizzy, cold, headachy, nauseous, clammy, disorientated. I experience mild ‘flu-like symptoms. A sense of “don’t know what to do with myself” can’t get comfortable. Feel awkward, anxious, panicky. In a word, it’s a truly vile, horrible, set of feelings physical and mental.
Waking up at 3am
The other night when I’d gone without lunch and had my tea early, at 4.30, and then not eaten again before going to bed I woke up at precisely 3.11am. I had a dreadful headache for which I took two paracetomols – you’re not supposed to take ibuprofen on an empty stomach and, oh boy, was my stomach empty!
It took till nearly 6am for me to get back to sleep. And when I woke up again about a couple of hours later I felt better but I was shaking and needed to eat quickly. You can’t eat quickly on Paleo! You have to cook yourself something.
Anyway I decided then that I wouldn’t do this again. I am not a person who can skip meals or go without food for any length of time. Not without feeling really sick. And I just have to accept that. So from now on, it’s three squares a day all with a high level of protein and fat in them and low or no carbs. I’ve learned my lesson. Just because everyone else seems to be doing 5:2 doesn’t mean I should and nor should you if it makes you bad.
Is feeling weird and horrible when hungry psychosomatic? I’ve often heard it called that. How can I suffer from hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) when I’m not Diabetic? Well I can I do and so do many others.
It could be because I’m in a pre-Diabetic mode, ie at severe risk of developing Diabetes which is why I started this diet. Or it might just be I can’t tolerate being hungry! It doesn’t really matter why. It just is. And skipping meals is no more for me. Good luck to those who can do this. I can’t. I won’t. That’s it for me with the semi-starvation.
We fast anyway
As the lovely Dr. Phil Hammond said recently on breakfast tv, there is no need to go on the so-called fast diet because we fast every 24 hours anyway, when we go to bed. If you eat your last meal of the day at around 6-7pm (and eating late isn’t good for your digestive system) and then have breakfast about 12 hours later, that’s a fast! For some of us it will be longer than that but it’s plenty time enough for your body to go without food.
And why is breakfast called that? Because you’re breaking a fast! Good luck with whatever regime you’re on, if you’re on one. And if 5:2 or similar works for you then fantastic. I wish it worked for me. I wish, I really really DO wish, I could go without food for longer than four or at most five hours. But I can’t. We have to accept our limitations, who we are and how our bodies work.