How to Reduce Hunger during Intermittent Fasting
Before starting intermittent fasting, do you worry about controlling hunger pangs?
Or, even if you've started, do you find it hard to control hunger?
Initially, it is difficult to control hunger when you skip meals during fasting. The reason is quite simple; your body is not used to skipping meals. And it expects the food as per your daily lunch or dinner time.
Here are some of the useful tips to control your hunger while intermittent fasting:
Tips to Curb Your Appetite during Intermittent Fasting
1. Drink Black Coffee or Tea
For many of us, tea or coffee is a must in breakfast or with an evening snack. These drinks give an energy shot to go with the whole day.
On the other hand, they might help you a lot to control your hunger while fasting. They contain caffeine that helps mobilize fatty acids, induces fat burning, and suppresses appetite. Thus, they trick your body to feel full. They also energize your body and keep you active during the fast.
One thing to keep in mind when fasting is that you cannot consume every tea or coffee. The best option is to take plain black coffee or tea without added milk, sugar, cream, etc. Or you can have green tea too, without adding anything.
If it's hard for you to gulp down your tea/coffee without sugar, you can add a little quantity of a zero-calorie sweetener. However, avoid sweeteners as much as you can.
Another important thing is that you should not choose fruit teas as they might contain glucose-it can break your fast. Albeit taking any spice tea (turmeric, ginger, fennel, etc.) is fine.
2. Increase Your Daily Water Intake
Water is essential for all our body functions. The ideal water intake is up to 2 liters per day, unless the doctor advises otherwise, due to any condition. But only a few of us achieve the daily target.
During fasting, drinking plenty of water might help us a lot. It keeps us hydrated, active, and less hungry. Fasting allows drinking more water than non-fasting days, achieving the daily water intake goal. It will also help us to avoid other sugary beverages in between intermittent fast.
3. Drink Carbonated Water
Carbonated water, as the name indicates, contains carbon dioxide gas dissolved in water. Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water, fizzy water, soda water, etc., is a zero-calorie drink. Among its other benefits for digestion, inflammation, and cholesterol levels, it could be useful to take while fasting. Firstly, it will boost your low energy levels while fasting. Secondly, it fills your tummy and curbs your appetite.
4. Have a Little Quantity of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best natural remedies with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. For centuries, it has been used in cooking and as a medicine for various ailments. For the ones practicing intermittent fasting, it helps in weight loss, aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, etc. You can take it in the morning or at midday when you feel your energy draining. It absorbs nutrients from your previous meal, so it satisfies your satiety. In addition to it, it enhances the effects of intermittent fasting on the body.
5. Take a Proper Diet in between Fasts
It is essential that what you eat in between fast should be rich and natural. Take a diet that helps you achieve your goal faster.
One such example is taking a good low-carb, high-fat diet. It will maintain blood-sugar levels and keep you satiated between intermittent fasting. Once your body is adapted to a low-carb, high-fat diet, you will have fewer hunger pangs, and your intermittent fasting would be smoother. Consider following the diet sometime before starting intermittent fasting to adjust your body with the diet.
6. Train Your Mind for Intermittent Fasting
The first step before doing anything is to prepare your mind for it. So, this point should technically be at the top of the list. As the point above says, start your fasting diet sometime before to get your body adapted. Likewise, train your mind a few days or even weeks before starting the intermittent fasting. This way, your mind and body will be ready to accept a change in your eating schedule. And your intermittent fasting will soon be effortless for you to follow.
The question is, how to train your mind for intermittent fasting?
Simply, start focusing on all the goods you will be getting through intermittent fasting. Stay positive and optimistic about it. You can make a diet plan or timetable and hang it somewhere in your room. Every time you see it, you will feel motivated to start the intermittent fasting.
Once you have started the fasting, don't keep thinking about how hungry you feel or that you haven't had anything for the past few hours. Kick out such thoughts before they make you feel hungry. In contrast, have some positive thoughts that your mind and body will feel healthy after the fast.
7. Engage Yourself in Other Tasks
Distract yourself with other activities, such as exercising, going with your friends, or spending time doing your hobby. The more you're sitting idle, the more chances of munching a snack increase. So, engage yourself, especially during your usual mealtime; this is the time when ghrelin or hunger hormone levels in your body rise. So, keep yourself occupied with your favorite activity at such times.
It is one of the great benefits of intermittent fasting that it gives you a lot of free time and high energy. Like other days, you don't have to invest your time preparing your meal and eating it. So, take the intermittent fasting as an opportunity to engage in something productive. At the end of the day, you will feel accomplished by making full use of your day.
8. Get a Good Sleep to Stay Fresh
You might wonder how sleeping contributes to your intermittent fasting. It is so because staying up till the late hours of the night tends to make you hungry. As a fact, the more you stay awake, the more food cravings you get. The food we eat at midnight doesn't benefit us; in fact, it would oppose the fasting rules. So, sleep early to have a good six to eight hours of sleep-the average time one should sleep. It will not only do good to your fasting but also keep you fresh and motivated for the next day's fast.
For good sleep, keep your room dark and well-ventilated. Avoid eating or drinking anything just before sleeping; eat at least two to three hours before bedtime (following intermittent fasting rules, of course). Also, avoid screens when lying in bed. Instead, write a diary, read a good book, or listen to peaceful music. Additionally, meditation or exercise would do a lot of good for your sleep.
9. Choose a Type that You Want to Follow
Select an intermittent fasting schedule that suits your body, eating habits, and fits your schedule. Once you have selected the right type, you're ready to act upon it. In case, if you choose the kind that doesn't go well with your body, you will be more likely to leave it in between. You definitely don't want that! All you would want is to have intermittent fasting that is easy to adopt and maintain. Here are the types of intermittent fasting briefly explained:
I. The 16/8 Method: It is also known as the Leangain protocol. This method is the most popular one. It involves fasting for 16 hours and eating only in the rest of 8 hours. You can follow this method by simply having dinner early and eating at noon the next day.
II. The 5/2 Method: Also called the Fast Diet. It involves eating five days a week and practicing calorie restriction for the rest of two days. The calorie consumed should be within 500 to 600 grams.
III. Eat Stop Eat Method: It's another popular method of intermittent fasting that involves fasting for a day once or twice weekly. You can fast from lunch one day to lunch another day. Or you can follow the same for dinner. The duration of the fast should be 24 hours.
IV. Alternate-day Fasting Method: As the name indicates, this method follows a pattern of fasting on one day and eating the other day. On the other hand, its another version that allows the intake of less than 500 calories on eating days. This method might be challenging to follow for beginners.
Remember whichever method you adopt, don't forget to deviate from the healthy eating rules.
Intermittent fasting might not fit everyone. But if it does for anyone, it would be something you want to incorporate in the long run. Just follow the tips given above so that intermittent fasting becomes easier for you.