Phases of Digestion – Part 1

What is the cephalic phase of digestion?  Not to get too fucking technical, but there are neurological signals that come from the cerebral cortex and the appetite centers.  Who cares? We do.

If you see food, think about food, smell food, or taste food you elicit a cephalic phase digestive response.  20% of gastric secretion is directly related to this. 

Wrap your head around that for a second.  If you need only 1 cup of gastric juice, just the smell of food can dump 3.2 tablespoons of gastric juice into your belly.  WTF. How much fuck all can we have against us? 

Wait it will get better towards the end…  (that’s what she…)

So after a few pathways get involved finally our friend the vagus nerve gives the stomach a little “how’s your father” and on comes the gastric swill. 

But why?  It’s all very Pavlovian.

Do you remember getting up every morning to breakfast before school?  You ate, because breakfast is the most important meal. (Conditioned Response, Conditioned reflex)

Lunch was at school and you either pulled out your brown bag or went through the cafeteria line.  We couldn’t afford to have special cooked food when I was young, but we also had I guess too much money for a free lunch.  I remember a phase where mom would wrap our lunch in newspaper. 

Way to get your kid’s ass beat in school.

Dinner was at 5PM every day for us.  On the dot. The only time things changed was when dad was on evening shift and we got to eat TV dinners… IN FRONT of the TV.  Unheard of. 

When the CPDR starts fucking around you get a bunch of swill going on in the belly to include G cells increasing gastrin circulation.  The cephalic phase causes ECL cells to secrete histamine and increase HCl acid in the stomach. There will also be an influence on G cells to increase gastrin circulation.

Okay, so what’s the good part?  Ladies and Gentlemen I give you intermittent fasting. 

How does it work?

Just like we have been indoctrinated since children to eat 3 meals a day plus snacks, we can take advantage of what Pavlov taught us.  Conditioned response, conditioned reflex. When we choose to fast a specific period of time every day for a specific amount of time the vagus nerve will eventually get the hint that the clock doesn’t dictate when food is coming. 

This is why when I started IF, I did a 20 x 4 and refused to eat outside of my window until I met my goal weight.  It is also why when we go off of IF that our bodies punish us so much when we try to go back to it. 

Now my body knows that it gets food at 5PM every Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday are up in the air.  I have no issues any longer going right back to 20 x 4 on Mondays.