Intermittent fasting is an eating regimen that has quickly become one of the most popular diet trends around the world. There are many methods of intermittent fasting, but most people find 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating in a day to be the most sustainable.
Popularly referred to as the 16:8 diet, studies have shown that eight-hour, time-restricted eating causes slight weight loss without the need to count calories. Other clinical benefits may include reduced blood pressure, reduced risk of cancer, and improved brain function. Regardless of the fasting method you choose, many studies indicate that intermittent fasting has a positive effect on weight loss and physical health.
Of course, like any diet, intermittent fasting requires consistency in order to see benefits. It’s common to experience hunger pains when intermittent fasting, especially as your body adjusts to this new eating cycle. Knowing how to deal with hunger is key to staying on track. Here are some tips and tricks to try when you are hungry during intermittent fasting.
1. PRACTICE LOWERING YOUR CALORIE INTAKE
To help your body prepare, start lowering your calorie intake a couple weeks before you officially begin intermittent fasting. You won’t be counting calories during your eight hour eating period, but lowering your calorie intake in advance will help your body tolerate the fasting periods and reduce hunger pain.
2. EAT NUTRITIOUS FOODS
With only an eight-hour eating period, you will have to maximize that time and fill your body with foods that are rich in vitamins and high in protein and healthy fats, which will help keep you full when fasting.
Start making smarter food choices by going for nutrient-rich foods that can positively impact your health. Some of these foods include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Seeds, such as chia, flax, and hemp
- Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts
- Fruits, such as apples, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
- Lean protein
- Olive oil
All of these foods are either rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and/or antioxidants that will not only nourish your body, but keep you full longer.
Remember, it is always important to talk to your doctor about trying new foods and incorporating them into your diet for potential allergies or food sensitivities.
3. Avoid Sugar
If you eat empty calories, you are more likely to experience hunger or intense cravings when fasting. Processed or refined sugar is not only nutrition-less, but the body metabolizes sugar very quickly. This causes you to feel hungry quickly, no matter how many calories you consume.
Cutting sugar is a sure way to help keep your meals healthy and free from excess calories. Plus, you’ll avoid the dreaded sugar crash that can cause headaches and fatigue.
If you have a sweet tooth, try eating fruit during your eating window. Fiber in fruit helps to slow down your metabolism, and can make you feel fuller longer.
4. DRINK WATER EARLY AND OFTEN
Another way to suppress hunger during intermittent fasting is to drink water. Because water doesn’t affect insulin levels, it is safe to drink on an intermittent fasting plan. Try drinking a big glass of water when you wake up and stay hydrated throughout the day. Some of your hunger pains may actually be your body telling you that you need water, not food. Water is also important for flushing out any toxins during a fasted state.
Importantly, make sure that water is not a replacement for food in your eating window. Intermittent fasting is not about starving yourself. Your body still needs plenty of nutritious food.
5. GET ENOUGH REST
If you’ve been experiencing hunger pains or finding it hard to fast, ask yourself about the quality of sleep you’ve been getting. Poor sleep can cause irritability. As a result, you will be more prone to stress, which can trigger overeating. Exhaustion and fatigue can make sticking to the strict fasting schedule more difficult.
Not only will the lack of sleep likely cause overeating, your body won’t be prepared to properly process that food.
Sleep is an important factor in our health and overall well-being. You cannot expect any diet to work properly if you are not sleeping well.
6. TRY ALGINATE THERAPY
Alginates or Alginate therapy is a safe and natural hack for curbing hunger. The seaweed-derived fiber in Alginate helps relieve hunger pangs when intermittent fasting.
Alginate is normally used to manage acid reflux symptoms, but alginate can also help control appetite and promote healthy weight loss. The strong gelling fibers in alginates have shown to help increase feelings of satiety, thus, making you feel full longer.
Reflux Gourmet harnesses the power of alginate therapy in its all-natural, paraben-free dietary supplement. While many of our customers use it for acid reflux, it can also be used if you follow an intermittent fasting diet. Each serving has only seven calories and can provide a feeling of fullness for up to four hours.
Available in two flavors, Mint Chocolate Rescue and Vanilla Caramel Rescue, Reflux Gourmet can be taken before or between meals when intermittent fasting.