Most people go for Intermittent Fasting in order to achieve sustainable fat loss without having to restrict and deprive themselves. One of the big benefits of intermittent fasting is that people report feeling less hungry overall.
There are two main reasons for this:
- Intermittent Fasting can normalise your hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, so you stop secreting as much ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry and you become more sensitive to leptin, which makes you feel full.
- That being said, initially, people can feel more hungry when starting intermittent fasting. Especially if they start in the wrong way. It can take a few days, maybe up to a week to get used to this way of eating.
Below are my tips to reduce hunger when you start fasting.
5 WAYS TO CURB HUNGER WHILE FASTING
Here are my top five, research-approved ways through which you can reduce your hunger levels during a fast. Have a look:
- STAY HYDRATED
A lot of the time, people confuse hunger with thirst. Unless you are fasting for religious reasons, staying hydrated is a simple way to reduce your hunger levels. Not only will water help you to feel less hungry when you are fasting, but it will also improve every aspect of your health, and boost your energy levels. Remember, you can survive for up to a month without any food at all. However, you won’t last 3-4 days without drinking water!
- EAT NUTRIENT-DENSE FOODS
If you want to make the most out of intermittent fasting, it is very important to eat nutrient-dense foods, most of the time. What is nutrient-dense food? It’s a food that contains lots of micronutrients – like vitamins and minerals. Your body needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Once you start to give your body proper nutrition, it will stop crying out for more food.
- REDUCE STRESS AND SLEEP WELL
Ever heard of “stress eating”? It is our emotional response to stress in which we may start consuming food to reduce the stress we may be facing. Studies have shown that stress eating and lack of good sleep impacts an individual’s appetite adversely. I have seen firsthand over my 10-year career that stress and sleep will make being fit and healthy much harder. It’s well documented that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night are likely to consume more calories.
- ADD A PINCH OF SALT TO YOUR WATER
When you eat food, you consume electrolytes which help you absorb and retain the water you are drinking. During fasting, you could be drinking lots of water, but not retaining any of it. Salt (sodium) is an electrolyte. Adding a pinch to a pint of water during fasting hours can help you feel less hungry and potentially eliminate headaches that can occur when you first start fasting.
- FILL UP ON PROTEIN
When it comes to fat loss, protein is the most important macronutrient. It will keep you fuller for longer and will decrease the amount of muscle that is lost when you lose weight. For this reason, I advise all of my clients to fill up on protein when they are trying to lose weight. It’s one of the best ways to make staying in a calorie deficit much easier.
Reduce Hunger Whilst Fasting by Picking the Right Method of Fasting
There are many different methods of Intermittent Fasting. The method that is right for you is going to depend on a number of variables. I go into a lot of detail about this in my Intermittent Fasting Short Course.
Fasting has been a part of my life for 10 years, and I have helped thousands of people use fasting to lose weight, eat the foods they love and not have to spend hours calorie tracking.
There are two methods of intermittent fasting that reduce hunger the most.
16:8 Intermittent Fasting
Probably the most popular method of intermittent fasting.
Where you break your day into a 16-hour fasting window and an 8-hour eating window.
This is what I started with.
16 hours without food means spending around 6 hours in the fasted state and getting all the metabolic benefits, and an 8-hour eating window is just enough time to eat a good amount of food and not be in too large a calorie deficit.
In my opinion, I would say that this is one of the easiest methods of intermittent fasting out there.
Although, I would say that it is an intermediate level of fasting.
People who are particularly metabolically inflexible would struggle to go straight into a 16-hour fast.
If you have never gone more than a few hours without eating, you might find this very difficult and experience a lot of the potential short-term negative side effects of intermittent fasting, like low energy levels, irritability, and headaches.
It can be useful for people who want to lose weight, improve energy levels and reduce their hunger.
The 2 Meal Day
My method of Intermittent Fasting developed over 10 years!
The 2 Meal Day is very similar to the 16:8, but there is a subtle shift in focus.
Instead of focusing on the clock, you just drop one of your three meals.
Either you don’t eat breakfast, or you don’t eat dinner.
This small shift in focus can have a big impact, instead of listening to the clock, you learn to listen to your body. Fasting hours might be 12 hours, or might be 20 hours, the ultimate goal is to listen to your body and eat when you feel real hunger.
Understanding the difference between real hunger and perceived hunger is essential for long-term weight loss and health.
Fasting has been used for thousands of years, and in my opinion, will continue to be used for another thousand years. It’s a more natural way of eating, instead of eating because of habits, boredom, or routine, you learn to eat when you experience “real” hunger. Many people who have not tried fasting, assume that you must be hungry all the time. The opposite is true. Yes, initially, you might experience more hunger, but follow the advice in this article and this should pass quickly.