SELCO: Hunger vs. Habit (and How It Affects Your Performance in Survival Situations)

by Selco

Having enough food stored is an important topic in prepping, but we fail to go deeper into the topics of food and hunger because of the way of modern living today.

What does it actually mean to “be hungry?”

Well, again, because of the habits that most of us have today being hungry usually means that we are hungry if we do not consume something all the time.

So it is many of those “snacks” in-between our regular meals, or in other words, we are used to eating something much more often than we need.

How many times you find yourself eating out of habit, or because you are bored, or simply because you “have to do something with yourself” so you simply snack on something.

That “oh I have to eat something or I will go crazy” is more often coming from your brain-not from your stomach. To put it more precisely it is not a need, it is a habit. Are you really hungry or you need just temporary (false) jump of happiness?

All this may sound and look completely irrelevant for the topic of preparedness, but it is actually very important.

You need to figure out how your body works concerning the intake (or absence) of food and different quantities and qualities of food.

Have you taken Selco’s online courses yet?

Taking the online courses are the next best thing to getting over to Europe and studying with him personally.

  • SHTF Survival Boot Camp teaches you both urban and wilderness survival skills, primitive first aid, and lessons about the violence that you’ll never forget.
  • One Year in Hell is Selco’s original course that shares the dark truth about what it was like to live in a city under siege. He talks about the signs he missed, what happened when chaos erupted, the grim sanitation conditions, and how his life completely changed.

If you want the real deal from a legend who has lived through the SHTF, these are the online courses for you.

What can you endure?

We can talk here a lot about how long the human body can live without food, but that is not really the important topic. The real question is how well you can perform without proper food intake.

In short, you can do A LOT without food, or without proper food, but you need to figure out what kind of food (and drink) is really important for survival, and what that does to your performance.

For example, most of the students on courses act like they will not survive without a morning coffee, or without snacks all the time, so it becomes a matter of “survival” if the student did not take his morning coffee because somehow all of the sudden he can not do anything.

I am a big-time coffee lover, and the type of coffee that Americans drink is like tea for me. (Very “low power” coffee in comparison to the coffee in the Balkans.) So, in other words, I drink it a lot, and really strong, and you know what the absence of coffee gonna do to me in terms of survival?

Nothing, except mild headache first few days and occasional grumpiness.

So the point here is: do not confuse food (and drinks) that makes you “happy” on short-run with items that make you alive, item like protein food for example.

You can live without coffee, snacks, Coke, and similar. No, you are not going to “dieif you do not have your morning coffee”. You will actually be shocked to see how you perform without the food you normally eat. (You can learn more about functioning while truly hungry in my course.)

And yes, you should try to “survive” for a couple of days without your favorite stuff like snacks, coffee, and similar, and see what that is gonna do to you, and test yourself.

Comfort food

Do not take the suggestion above like to mean that you do not have to store that kind of food, but consider it as comfort food.

There is huge benefit of having your comfort food (whatever that food is for you) available from time to time when SHTF, for a simple reason: yes, it may make you happy. It may make you feel normal again.

Also it is good to have it from the point of trade.

But do not hold on that stuff so hard once when SHTF because that kind of “instant happiness” is not real, if that makes sense.

Hunger and eating habits

Do a test period for yourself.

Expel all your favorite foods (including comfort food) for some period of time, and eat only stuff that you do not usually eat because you do not like it.

And live your life like that for a certain amount of time, preferably for a week, but if not possible do it for 3 days.

Eat only 3 meals per day, of food that you do not really like. Without snacks, sodas, or anything between meals, and then see how that affects your everyday life and the tasks you usually do during your regular time.

Food has a huge impact on how we make decisions, react, and perform.

It is not only about how you will perform, but it can be also will you decide to perform at all. You need to test that and see what happens.

It is nothing new, for ages it was used for example prior big tasks or similar.

In the simplest way, hunger was motivation for many things during the SHTF. The man with a full stomach simply would not make the decision to do something that the man with an empty stomach would do.

You should not go so far in researching it, there’s no need to starve. It is perfectly enough to change your eating habits for some time and check what that does to you in terms of prepping. Again, it is not about not eating anything for a week and checking what is gonna be like. That is stupid and not necessary.

In the real world

Here is another example.

Students during a course were bragging all the time about snacks, Cokes, candies, etc. in between their meals. They were not even aware that they were eating it. They were eating it because it is a habit that we all have more or less.

Then during some of the exercises they were out in the field, active for 16 hours straight, no snacks, Cokes, coffees, sandwiches, nothing.

And they performed great. They finished all their tasks.

They were sharp.

Probably none of them imagined they can perform so good without anything, not to mention “my morning cup of coffee” or whatever.

We all have habits. Break those habits voluntarily at least for one day and see what that is gonna do to you and your performance or sharpness.

Break it now voluntarily, so you may realize a few things before some SHTF event breaks that habit without asking you.

You’ll be prepared in a better way.

The funny fact here is that you will most probably realize that you are performing much better after breaking some of those habits.

You will not know if you do not try.

About Selco:

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. He is currently accepting students for his next physical course here.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Author: Alfred E. Neuman

73 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot.

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