Hunger pangs and food cravings are inevitable when you fast. You might be surprised to know that hunger is never the culprit, but your response to a craving could make or break the deal for you.
If you are constantly on the lookout for food, at even the slightest hint of appetite, ask yourself: Do you control your hunger, or is it the other way around?
Fasting and feeding are analogous to Chinese traditional medicine concepts of yin and yang. The human body needs equilibrium between the two for optimum health. Most people suffer from excessive yang (feeding) and inadequate yin (fasting).
To help deal with hunger pangs while you fast, it’s wise to use some useful tips for optimum results. But before we start, let’s explore some basic concepts.
What Does Fasting Mean?
Fasting, by definition, is abstinence from food or drink aimed at promoting health and wellbeing. It is also traditionally practiced for ceremonial, moral, and religious purposes.
Fundamentally, there are two kinds of fasting practices:
- Medical fasting – is practiced for treating certain illnesses and promoting overall health and well-being.
- Religious fasting – practiced keeping religious faith in mind and/or for spiritual reasons.
Let’s explore some smart strategies – including certain lifestyle and diet choices – to aid you to manage your hunger pangs and food cravings during your fasts.
6 Foolproof Ways to Avoid Hunger Pangs during Fasting
During your fast, you may struggle to deal with your intrinsic food cravings, and genuine hunger pangs can present daunting challenges during your fasting regime. Some smart strategies, however, will assist you in effectively managing your hunger and food cravings.
1. Sufficient water intake
One of the most effective ways to fight off hunger while fasting is to drink adequate amounts of water. It is worth understanding that a substantial part of hunger is thirst, so it is wise to consume at least the recommended amount, which is eight glasses (or 64 ounces) per day.
Most Americans cannot even meet this limit, drinking only two-and-a-half glasses (or 20 ounces) per day – which amounts to 58 gallons of water (overall, a year).
Actions to take:
- Treat yourself with a glass of water as soon you feel a hunger pang.
- Consume at least the recommended amount during the day to remain hydrated.
- Instead of drinking bland water, you try adding lemon to make the taste interesting.
2. Moderate caffeine consumption to curb your hunger
Caffeine and other sensory-system stimulants are naturally capable of stifling hunger. Espresso or tea can help during a preplanned strike against hunger, hydrating your body, while boosting energy levels.
Energy-boosting teas, such as green tea, dark tea, Pu-erh tea, and espresso bring a whole of health benefits, and they can also help you feel fulfilled along with them a dose of caffeine.
Note: Since caffeine is a diuretic, use only in small amounts. (A diuretic is an agent which promotes the expulsion of water from your system).
Actions to take:
- Drink a dark espresso to assist in curbing your cravings.
- Dark espresso contains caffeine, which helps to suppress your cravings, helping you feel largely satiated during your fasting window.
- Studies recommend that espresso contains ingredients that might be useful for reducing feelings of hunger.
- Try not to add sugar or flavor to your espresso.
- Make sure to consume no more than 500-600 mg of caffeine, which is around 4–7 cups of espresso, or you could encounter uneasiness, quakes, or a rapid heart rate.
3. Go for a low-carb, high-fat diet
Recall that discontinuous fasting isn’t a permit for eating low-quality and unhealthy food. Instead, use it to capitalize on your eating regimen and wellbeing
We advise you to stick to low-starch, high-fat foods and include more protein in your diet.
This will help balance your blood sugars, provide satiety, and help make fasting easier. A high-fat, low-carb diet will improve your fasting outcomes, ensuring you make the most of your fasting routine.
4. Include nuts in your diet
Nuts help promote satiety because of their high protein and fiber content. A portion of these vitamin and mineral-rich nuggets will keep you going between meals.
But keep those portions small for your best interest: Nuts are loaded with fats, even though it is the more heart-friendly monounsaturated kind.
5. Lifestyle choices to curb hunger pangs
Get healthier by eating nutritious foods and getting a good night’s sleep.
It goes without saying, stress, and alcohol can cause certain chemical imbalances in the body including blood-glucose inconsistencies.
You can evade those sugar spikes and chemically-induced cravings for food by increasing rest quality, practicing reducing stress, and restricting or stopping alcohol consumption altogether.
It goes without saying high-quality sleep is vital for the efficient functioning of your system. Here are some action steps to take.
- Adhere to a customary sleep time.
- Don’t eat any less than three hours before you wind up for the bed.
- Stay away from screens and blue light, at least an hour before sleep.
- Wind down with a book; and consolidate mindfulness practices into your day.
Exercises such as yoga, self-reflection, physical workouts, and journaling can help ward off feelings of anxiety and depression.
Lastly, find ways to restrict alcohol to ward off chemical imbalances and blood sugar spikes. Ideally, zero alcohol and low-carb food choices are the best options for you to curb hunger.
6. Aerobic activities work wonders
A lively walk promotes blood circulation and supports general feelings of well-being and happiness.
As many different types of aerobic activity, active strolling can help keep your hunger pangs low. Studies have demonstrated that aerobic activities such as running, cycling, and swimming decrease appetite by interfering with the levels of hormones, driving our state of hunger.
You may have figured already that staying ahead of your hunger pangs is both feasible and sustainable. You can make your fasting journey easier and more fun by maneuvering your diet and lifestyle choices to your advantage.