So you’ve decided to give intermittent fasting a try? However, no one prepared you for how hard it is not to eat when the only thing you are thinking about is food!
First things first. What is intermittent fasting?
Simply put, intermittent fasting is a cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
By fasting during certain time periods and eating during certain time periods, you are only consuming calories during a specific time of the day while choosing not to eat for a larger period.
Instead of changing what we eat, intermittent fasting changes when you eat.
But why is it worthwhile to do this?
Well, most importantly, intermittent fasting is a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet. When you start intermittent fasting, you try to keep the food you eat about the same. Maybe minus the ice cream and pringles 😉 It’s also a great way to get lean while keeping your muscle mass.
With that said, the main reason people get involved in this is to lose fat. Most notably, it’s one of the most straightforward strategies for restricting calories and burning off the fuel already there.
It not only works well but also simple enough to manage for most. Below are some tips if you want to learn how to intermittent fast without feeling starved during the process.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
So, you may be asking yourself how intermittent fasting works?
The easiest way is to set up a schedule for yourself. Are you a morning person? Do you have to eat first thing in the am or can you wait a bit? Maybe you are more of a late night snacker?
Most people on this plan fast for 16 hours every day, and restrict their eating to an 8-hour window. This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, known as the 16/8 method. An example would be to stop eating at 8pm and not eat again until 12pm. By doing this you will consume fewer calories and lose weight. Simple right?
When your body is in a fed state, it’s digesting and absorbing food. This process starts when you begin eating and continues for about 5 hours after you’ve stopped. When you are in this state, it’s very hard for your system to burn fat because of the high insulin levels in your blood.
Once this is over, your body will go into a post-absorptive state that will last for 8 hours before you enter the fasted state.
When you are in a fasted state, your system will start burning the fat which was inaccessible during the fed state. This is why most people who enter the fasted state tend to lose fat by altering what they eat, how often they exercise, and how much they eat.
Fasting, therefore, put your body into fat burning state that you could not achieve during your normal eating schedule.
Proven Tips to Help Reduce Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
• Drink water first thing in the morning
When it comes to intermittent fasting, water should be your absolute friend. Make sure you drink a huge bottle of water first thing in the morning. Your aim should be to drink at least 32 ounces within the first hour.
After that, continue to drink more at an interval of 30 minutes. Since mineral water and seltzer are allowed, if you prefer, you can drink them as well. Just prepare yourself for lots of trips to the restroom.
• Balance your macro-nutrients
According to Martin Berkam, the Author of Lean Gains, most people usually fail on lean gains because they go very low on carbs which can be very detrimental.
To stay out of ketosis, you need to take a minimum of 0.6 grams of carbohydrates per 1 pound of body mass. Some individuals may also resort to taking higher quantities to make them feel fuller.
• Drinking coffee is good, but you need to do it strategically
If you are not already drinking coffee, you may want to start. According to experts, in-taking anything below 35 calories is ok during your fasting period. This means a little cream, coconut oil, unsweetened almond oil, and butter won’t interfere with your fasting stage.
Since caffeine is a natural appetite suppressor, use it strategically to blunt your appetite.
• Get enough sleep
Less sleep is usually associated with elevations in ghrelin and leptin which means more hunger. A study conducted among two groups of people who were on 700 calorie diet daily with two different sleep duration noted that while 8.5-hour group lost 50/50 fat, 5.5-hour group lost 20/80 lean and fat mass.
This study also found out that if you get less than 6 hours of sleep every night, your physical and mental performance declines to the same level as if you had been awake for 48 straight hours.
• Eat enough food during your eating window
You want to ensure that you are eating enough during your eating window and that you don’t get hungry when fasting. You need to aim at including healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs in your diet.
Although intermittent fasting gives you the freedom to eat what you want, eating junk food may do you more harm than good. As long as you are consuming healthy meals, you will stay strong and healthy.
• Find your motivation
During your fasting period, you need to focus on something that’s much greater than your hunger. This will give you a reason to steer clear from the fridge.
Do you want to prevent heart problems and diabetes before they start, do you enjoy playing with your kids? Are you trying to feel less conscious about your belly fat?
You need to look for something that’s bigger than you, and you will have all the power to practice it.
• Stay active and busy
Make sure you choose the appropriate window so that your body and mind can concentrate on something that takes them off food. Do not torture your body by doing things that are connected with food. Ensure that you stay out of bars, restaurants, and office break rooms when you are trying to avoid foods.
During your intermittent fasting period try to hang out with a friend, read a book, exercise, immerse yourself in an active activity or do any other thing that’s not related to food.
• Don’t Mistake Hunger For Dehydration
The signals of hunger can be so misleading. Sometimes you just need water. To get enough water, always carry a refillable bottle of water that you can fill anytime.
• Phone a friend
Sometimes the temptation to eat food is so strong, or you are just freggin hungry! We get it!! During such times, text or call a friend who is also doing intermittent fasting or someone who knows you are doing the same.
You may also find inspiration from YouTube videos or Instagram accounts about intermittent fasting. A little support from a friend can go a long way in boosting your success.
Once you know how to intermittent fast and stay at for a few weeks, you won’t have any issue with hunger. It will feel natural to your body.
However, if you do not notice any change after four weeks, then this kind of fasting is not for you. In fact, according to research scientists, not everybody who practices it achieves the desired results. If it fails to work for you, eat a healthy diet, manage your macros and exercise.