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Hunger Pangs

July 18, 2012

“Hunger what?”

It’s hunger pains, but many dietitians called it PANGs, I guess it’s the same reason why  my students refer to Differential Equations as Dee Fee Cue, like it’s a barbecue or something.  Yes, and my virtual shifu(太极师父), Dr. Robert Chuckrow also refer to it as a Hunger Pang.  It’s a feeling that you’re hungry, but it’s just a feeling.  many people think whenever the stomach is empty, it triggers a signal to the brain and tells us we’re hunger.  But in actuality, our stomach can remain empty for a while and we don’t need to fill it up and feel completely comfortable!  Instead there could be 10 different form of false hungers and Hunger Pangs is one of them.

hungry in chinese

Very the hungry

Dr. Chuckrow (who has a PhD in Physics from NYU) and many dietitians would be able to explain this better, but I want to talk about being hungry.  I don’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.  In fact, as a child, I didn’t get what I wanted whenever I wanted it.  My old sneakers didn’t get changed until it reached a disgusting worn-out level, I don’t have a badminton racket even after joining the secondary school badminton team for long time, my prescription glasses didn’t get changed timely etc.  These thing went on for so long that I’ve decided not to get any textbook for myself when I was studying in NUS, but that’s another story I would like to write in a book. What I want to say is, even though I wasn’t rich, I was never hungry.

So even though we we not rich, as Chinese Singaporeans, we have such a priority that we never miss a meal.  In fact, even having not enough food when guests come is a humiliation our family never wanted to face.  So there’s always plenty of food at home.  And like people of all other affluent nations in the world, my family people never really tasted HUNGER.  Sure, we had false HUNGER signals, but technically, we had never starved.  To be technically starved and go into a state of hunger, especially in this part of the world, one really needs to have (just water) and no food for at least 36 to 48 hours.  If you’re somebody from a very poor nation with hardly a meal each day, then maybe you can reach that state in a lot less time because there isn’t very much in your body to begin with.

The good news is:  our body is built to withstand real state of hunger for a few days.  Yes, and much as we do not like that to happen, we can all withstand hunger with no health effects!  That’s the reason why Muslims all over the world have not a single health problem fasting and not eating until sundown for an entire month.  In fact, there is evidence that this “state” is beneficial for us if we experience it once in a while.  Again it has to be done not too frequently and not too long a duration.

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Hungry in Old chinese Calligrpahy

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One Comment
  1. So, when are you starting your fast?

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