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Intermittent Fasting is taking the world by storm because there are so many benefits to it; the only drawback is that you might get hungry.
So today, I will talk about five intermittent fasting tips to control your appetite when fasting, and then at the end, I’m going to throw in a little BONUS to tie it all together.
Intermittent Fasting is simply time-restricted eating, so for example, if you had one meal at noon and then one or two meals until four, then you would have a 4-Hour feeding window and a 20-hour fasting window.
Other ways of Fasting would be a 16-8 intermittent fasting plan, which would be 16-hour Fasting and 8 hours of feeding.
To read more about Intermittent Fasting Plans, CLICK HERE
It doesn’t really matter how you do it; it’s just that you allow a longer fasting period to reduce insulin.
Some people would also go on Fasting for several days if they have really stubborn insulin resistance or type-2 diabetes or if they just want to make it happen faster.
So however long you go fasting, chances are you might get hungry, so we’re going to talk about how to control that.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Some of the benefits of intermittent Fasting are
- Weight loss,
- Insulin production and insulin resistance,
- Type-2 diabetes,
- Boost immunity,
- Boost autophagy,
- Boost mental Clarity,
- Build a better brain,
- Increased human growth hormone production, and more Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor.
The only thing that could really sabotage all these benefits is that, for some people, if they don’t eat, they get hungry.
So, the first intermittent fasting tips is
1. Understanding what is Hunger?
Most people who have never missed a meal think that it’s simply a linear function of time; that the longer you go without eating, the hungry you get, and that is not how it works.
Hunger is not linear. It’s not constant, it varies according to a hormone called ghrelin, and the body produces ghrelin at certain times of the day that usually are habitual.
So whenever your body has learned that it’s time to eat, such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner is when it has learned to release some ghrelin to make you hungry at those times.
But what most people don’t realize is that if you release ghrelin and you don’t eat, it will still go down, and then if you increase it again and you don’t eat, it will go down again.
So what actually happens for most people over time is that ghrelin actually reduces, and they get less and less hungry when they don’t eat.
But even knowing that about ghrelin, you still expect to get hungry, it will happen, and when it happens, it’s because you’re not fat adapted.
If you are fat-adapted, your body has access to Fat stores for fuel, and it doesn’t sense any lack, it just goes on with business.
If you get mood swings and if you get low energy and you lose focus, you get irritable when you miss a meal that simply means you’re not fat adapted.
That means your body does not have metabolic flexibility. It doesn’t know where to get energy if you don’t eat for a few hours.
That’s not a normal situation, but if you stick with it, you will become fat-adapted, and these things will go away.
Hunger will come and go. It’s not constant; it doesn’t increase linearly, so if you ignore it or if you have something to drink, then it will go away.
The next thing to know about hunger is that IT’S JUST HUNGER; it doesn’t mean that you’re going to die; it doesn’t mean that you have something to worry about.
There is a little bit of anxiety. There’s a little bit of fear involved because there’s a certain Survival tied to hunger, that if we didn’t know where the next meal would come from, then it would make sense for the body to create that urgency for the body to go out and look for food.
But Fasting is very different from starvation because, with starvation, you don’t know where the next meal is going to come from, that’s very fearful.
But if you have the freezer full of food, you know that there’s plenty of food, and now that hunger becomes just a body sensation, you can choose to ignore it.
It’s kind of like muscle aches if you’re working out.
If you’re sitting in the sofa you don’t expect to have muscle aches if you are working out with dumbbells until your muscles start burning; now, you expect that pain.
That pain is normal, but you never worry about it because you know why it’s there.
The same thing applies to hunger. It’s just the body sensation if you know that there is nothing to worry about, your life is not in danger, it’s just there because you’re pursuing a goal, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Now you know that hunger is nothing to worry about though there are still some things that you can do to make the ride a little smoother, and the next thing is to add minerals.
2. Add Minerals to your Diet
When you fast, your insulin goes down. Fasting is the most powerful way to reduce insulin levels, and insulin holds on to sodium.
So, when insulin goes down, you’re going to lose sodium, and the body might even increase insulin to be able to hold onto sodium.
These minerals and glucose and things like that are precious resources in the short-term, and the body will do what it needs to do to maintain a stable level.
So by increasing minerals, by making sure that you get enough sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, you can actually control hunger.
You can be less hungry simply by making sure that your body has enough minerals.
3. Take more fluids
Fluids go together with minerals because Fasting reduces Insulin, Insulin makes you lose some sodium, and with that sodium, you also lose water.
So drinking plenty of fluids has two purposes
- To make sure that you restore, you rehydrate the fluids that you’ve lost,
- Fluids often make you less hungry, it means, sometimes your body just wants something and if you give it something, then 10 minutes later you’re not hungry anymore
And the best drink obviously is water next best would be herb tea next green tea and then black tea and coffee.
I have written a complete detailed article on what can you drink during intermittent fasting? Which you can read by clicking the link.
Why are they in that order?
Because more caffeine can be a huge problem in some people as more caffeine can trigger stress, which can trigger cortisol, which will raise blood sugar and trigger insulin.
So it’s not something most people have to worry too much about, but you also don’t need to go ahead and just drink 10-12 cups of coffee, because that probably will backfire.
4. Bulletproof Coffee
Intermittent fasting tips tool number four is called Bulletproof Coffee, and that’s simply coffee with butter.
What does bulletproof coffee do?
It provides you some calories, it provides you a little bit of satiety, but it does it with negligible insulin.
So your insulin is dropping because you’re fasting and then along when you have your Bulletproof Coffee, which is pure fat, then you get a tiny little blip and then it keeps dropping, so it’s negligible.
However, if you can, you’re better off not having the Bulletproof Coffee, because fasting straight through is always going to reduce more insulin.
But you use the Bulletproof Coffee as a tool if it’s the difference between making it through the fast or not.
So use it if you have to, but if you don’t feel you need to, then just skip it.
5. Combine Intermittent Fasting with a low-carb diet
Carbs act as drugs; The brain has opioid receptors that can get stimulated by things like sugar and wheat primarily, but also carbs in general, that’s why they give a lot of that pleasurable effect.
But realize that it’s a drug and it makes you eat more.
Carbs are also less satiating. You can have a huge meal of pasta or rice and still be hungry two or three hours later
That’s not going to happen if you eat protein and fat.
This results in carbs making you hungrier.
Next good reason to have a low-carb diet when your fasting is that carbs increase insulin, and that’s the whole point of doing the fast is to reduce insulin.
When you increase insulin, you prevent fat burning, so that negates the goal but worse than that, it makes you hungry,
Because, if you can’t burn the fat, now you are not as flexible, you don’t have the same metabolic flexibility, because you just locked away some of the fuel.
Another very powerful way that insulin makes you hungry is it blocks leptin, so anytime you eat, your body makes leptin, which is the satiety hormone.
The leptin signals to the hypothalamus that you’ve had enough to eat, we’ve got enough fuel, we got enough nutrients, we’re full, we’re done; let’s hold on for a while.
While carbs and insulin will block that message, the brain doesn’t sense that you’ve had enough to eat, and you keep eating, and of course, you get hungrier.
One more way that low carb makes it easier is that the lower carbs you eat, the more ketones you make.
Ketones are another source of energy for the body, especially the brain, and when the body and the brain have enough energy from those ketones, then the ketones act to reduce hunger.
Now think of Keto and fasting as being related.
Even though you’re eating some food when you’re doing keto, you’re still eating in a way that you’re allowing the body to do fat-burning to get fat adapted.
And when you’re fasting, fat is the primary fuel because that’s your long-term storage, and they both allow for you to become fat-adapted very quickly, and that makes for a much easier transition.
So if you allow yourself to go low carb or maybe keto for a week or two or however long it takes you to get comfortable with fat adaptation,
You will find that you almost want to start skipping meals because your body has just found that metabolic flexibility.
So the transition would be much easier to do intermittent Fasting on a low-carb diet than on a high carb diet.
It’s different for different people, some people can eat pizza and then go fast, but for other people, it becomes a nightmare.
Bonus Intermittent Fasting Tips
Here’s the bonus I talked about “MEDITATION“
We live in a culture where we like tangible things, we understand a pill, we understand food, they’re tangible, we can touch them.
But stress and meditation it’s sort of abstract, we have a hard time grasping how powerful it can be.
But I’m here to tell you that sometimes the intangible can be more powerful than the other stuff as far as controlling hunger and mood on so forth.
The thing that meditation does; it creates a relaxation response, and when you’re relaxed, you’re less anxious and jittery and less prone to go looking for food, and that’s just one thing in itself.
But it does so much more,
That relaxation response activates your parasympathetic nervous system, and with that, you reduce the stress, you reduce the cortisol, you reduce the insulin, and you reduce hunger.
And you do all of this at a physiological, at a neurological level.
It’s like; it’s built into your body. It’s is like you flip a switch. That’s how powerful it is.
I’m sure you can relate to how anytime that you’re stressed, you kind of get some Cravings; you feel an urge to eat something.
Well, during a fight-flight response, your body is looking for resources to deal with some danger; it wants to top off your fuel stores, so it says
“Give me some sugar, give me some fast fuel,” just in case, and that’s where we get these cravings.
But if you can create more relaxation, more parasympathetic activity, then stress goes down, cortisol, insulin, and hunger also go down.
It can be very powerful.
So put these intermittent fasting tips to the test and let me know how it works for you?
Also, do share some of the other intermittent fasting tips if you have any in the comment section below.
ALSO READ Intermittent fasting guide for beginners to pro.