With so many success stories and studies to back it, many of us can agree that intermittent fasting works. Maybe not for everyone, but for most people.
This eating approach demands that you fast for a substantial number of hours between meals. The fasting period can range from six to 24 hours.
This can be a relatively long time without food, thus begs the question, how do you suppress hunger during intermittent fasting? Here’s how:
How to Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
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1. Ease into The Long Fasts
When you are just beginning to fast, do not jump straight to a 24-hour fast. You might not only fail, but the experience might be so bad you may give up on the diet altogether.
Start with six-hour fasts, graduate to eight, then to 12, 14 until you reach your desired fasting duration.
2. Eat Protein
Protein fills you up faster and for longer. If you do not like animal protein, maximize plant proteins such as beans, lentils, tofu, green peas, and so on.
Protein will keep your blood sugar in check and prevent muscle loss during fasting.
3. Drink Lots of Water
While you are not supposed to eat during your fast, nobody said you cannot take water. Water as a means to suppress hunger during intermittent fasting is an old, but effective practice.
Take as much water as you possibly can. Not only will it help ward off the hunger, but it will also help the body in its detoxification processes as you fast.
Now, plain water might not be all too pleasant to take all the time. In which case you can take fruit-infused water, the aroma and fruit flavoring will keep you going.
4. Trial and Error
If you find that your hunger is so intense that it is driving you nuts, feel free to change the timing of your fast.
You might not get it right the first time but that is no reason to stop the diet. Once you establish your perfect window, stick to it.
Take care not to jump from one window to the next after finding out which one works. You are training your body to get used to certain eating times, and changing too often might confuse it.
5. Stay Busy
Sometimes when you are too busy at work, you may even fail to notice the lunch hour passing. That is because your mind is elsewhere.
Staying busy can help suppress hunger during intermittent fasting. And being idle, on the other hand, increases the chances of experiencing intense hunger.
Keeping busy can be as simple as doing house chores you have been putting off, decluttering your desk at the office, or updating your CV.
These are constructive activities you may have otherwise not done.
6. Stay Away from Your Phone
Unless your job involves using the phone all the time, stay away from it if you want to suppress hunger during intermittent fasting.
Imagine feeling hungry then seeing videos of good food, or pictures of fast foods you are not even supposed to eat in the first place. Such pictures can interfere with your resolve.
7. Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Brushing your teeth after meals works in mysterious ways if you want to suppress hunger during intermittent fasting. One, it is an action that denotes closure of the mealtime, so your subconscious registers this as the end of eating.
Two, after you brush, especially after eating dinner, you may find it hard to go eat again, as that will mean having to brush all over again.
Three, some toothpaste leave such an aftertaste in the mouth, which makes the very thought of food repelling.
8. Go to Bed Early
The longer you stay up, the more likely you are to feel hungry and need more food. Also, make sure you get enough sleep while at it. The lack of sleep increases the level of hunger-causing hormones in your body.
9. Eat Enough Food
After taking your body through a grueling period of fasting, the last thing you want is to skimp on food.
Not only should you eat enough, but you should also eat a well-balanced diet with high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods.
Of course, this is not to suggest you overeat to make up for the hours you spent not eating. Just eat the right portions. Also make sure you eat food you enjoy, albeit being healthy.
10. Reduce Carbs
While you should not completely cut carbs out of your diet in the name of trying to suppress your hunger during intermittent fasting, reduce the amounts.
Most carbs cause a spike in blood sugar levels, and when the levels drop, your body registers it as hunger. So not only should you check the carbs portions, but also take care to eat the right kind of carbs. Go for unprocessed carbs such as whole grains and sweet potatoes.
11. Eat A Lot of Fiber
Fiber comes with a lot of benefits. For one, sources of fiber like whole grain, fruits, and veggies tend to be remarkably low in calories. This means a high-fiber diet will help regulate your calorie intake.
But what makes fiber a good option during intermittent fasting is that it keeps full for longer.
Luckily, you can increase your fiber intake without adding items to your grocery shopping list. Simply serve more vegetables in every meal. Ideally, veggies should cover half of your plate.
12. Engage in Activities You Enjoy
You can keep your mind off hunger by engaging in activities you enjoy. Going for a walk, playing chess, or reading your favorite blog will reduce the chances of giving to hunger.
The Bottom Line
Perhaps the most powerful way to suppress hunger during intermittent fasting is to remember why you are doing it in the first place. Do not lose sight of your goals.
After all, if you can control your eating impulses there is little else you cannot control in your life.
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