Following on from the point above, a good way to start intermittent fasting is to prepare the foundation with a low-carb diet. Give yourself at least two weeks to adjust your diet, and then consider adding in intermittent fasting. Poor sleep , stress and alcohol have a profound effect on appetite as they disrupt hormone and blood sugar control.
You can side step these sugar and hormone induced hunger pangs by improving sleep quality , practicing stress reduction techniques and limiting alcohol consumption. A good night sleep will certainly have a positive, knock on effect to your stress levels. For an extra bit of calm and serotonin happy hormone , you can also practice stress reducing techniques like yoga, meditation, exercise, journalling and counselling.
Try to limit alcohol consumption as much as possible, but particularly the day before a fast, to prevent erratic hormones and blood sugars. Understandably, if you do want to drink alcohol, choose low-carb options in moderation. Our guide to alcohol will explain this in more detail.
Thirst can often be confused with a feeling of hunger, so keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water. Get a head start on hydration and try to drink one to two glasses of water when you first wake up.
Drinking water can also give a physical filling of fullness, which will help with true hunger pangs. No matter what hunger you are experiencing, water is your weapon during fasting. If you find it difficult to drink water, especially in the morning, try adjusting the temperature —this will make it more palatable, based on your preference for warm or chilled water. Electrolyte loss is a common and normal response during intermittent fasting.
These symptoms can be uncomfortable and make you feel hungry as described above, thirst can often be confused with hunger. Electrolytes are integral for health and wellbeing, so we urge you to keep levels in tip top shape, before symptoms set in. To replace electrolytes, you can drink bone broth and salt food liberally during your eating window. Additionally, a magnesium and potassium supplement can be helpful you can take these while you fast. Here is our guide on electrolytes , which will go through it in more detail.
A pinch of salt is also a great way to cleanse the palate and dampen hunger.
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Fill the gap of food with a freshly brewed, black tea or coffee. Organise exercise, activities and seeing friends when you would normally eat or if hunger flares up.
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As we discussed earlier, ghrelin levels will rise around meal times, so make get prepared and make sure you have something nice to do around these times. I promise you, hunger will not be as bad as you anticipate.
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With these tips and tricks under your belt, you will be able to quickly cast aside hunger pangs and reach your fasting goal. Bear in mind that fasting disrupts our conditioned appetite, so the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Before you know it, fasting will be an instinctive, natural part of your day, as you respond to the rhythm of true hunger, rather than appetite. With all that said, if hunger feels too overwhelming, you may need to adjust your fasting regime.
Fasting should feel relatively effortless, comfortable and fit into your life.
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