As intermittent fasting is gaining popularity, there are some who cannot fathom going without food for a large number of hours. Getting hungry after a few minutes or hours of fasting should not discourage you. You can learn to manage hunger and succeed with intermittent fasting.
Many experts now believe that our bodies are not meant to be fed continuously. Studies are supporting the many benefits of intermittent fasting. These benefits include:
- Shedding fat
- Improving immunity
- Boosting neurogenesis for increased brain function
- Regulating blood sugar and blood pressure
- Slowing down aging
To reap the benefits above, you must learn to get past the hunger especially during the first few days of intermittent fasting.
In this article, we’ll see 5 ways to reduce hunger and cravings when fasting.
1. Stay active and busy
Engaging in different activities when fasting keeps the mind busy and distracted from thinking about food. For you to have a productive and successful fast, you must learn to focus on other activities rather than on your hunger. You can choose to complete your household chores, get something to do in the garden, reply to some emails, or perform any work-related activities in the office. The busier you are, the easier your fasting becomes.
2. Drink lots of water
Drinking water is the simplest and healthiest way of keeping off hunger when fasting. Most of the time, thirst is what makes one feel hungry. Filling up on a considerable amount of water is the first weapon against hunger.
Water keeps you well hydrated and makes you temporarily full, which helps you control the urge of breaking your fast. It is recommended that you take at least eight glasses of water each day.
3. Take frequent walks
Frequent walking increases the fat-burning process in the body. It also contributes to a healthy heart and general wellbeing. It, therefore, is a weight loss method that can be combined with fasting for perfect results. Walking will also help you burn more fat during your fast. Though walking will keep you busy, ensure you stay away from food joints.
You can also choose to exercise when you fast. Exercises, when done correctly during a fast, have tremendous effects. Recreational sports, like basketball, swimming, and tennis are encouraged during fasting as they help you shed fat and keep your mind occupied and focused.
4. Have enough sleep
Sleep is an essential aspect of everyday life. You can use your sleeping hours to your advantage. Let most of your fasting hours coincide with your sleeping hours. Research shows that lesser sleep time increases the hunger hormone (ghrelin) levels while decreasing leptin, which in turn causes hunger. It is therefore vital that you get enough sleep to maintain the optimum level of these two hormones.
5. Take healthy filling foods
Before you start your fast, fill up on foods that will help you feel fuller for longer. Eating a meal full of carbs and sugar will result in serious hunger pangs in a few hours. Opt for lean protein, fish, eggs, veggies, greek yogurt, and a handful of nuts.
During intermittent fasting, hunger and cravings are the two main things that can make you break your fast. This challenge happens during the first week as your body adapts to fasting. You can use the tips listed above to make things easier. The good news is that, in a few weeks, you’ll find that you look forward to fasting because of all the benefits.