THE HUNGER GUIDE:
HOW TO DEAL WITH HUNGER WHILE FASTING
- This content was supposed to be sold as an ebook for $8.99
- I decided to give it away for free to my readers instead
If you only take one thing from this book/study, Let it be this: Hunger comes in waves, in 20 minutes it’ll go away, I promise. Everything I write about on this blog comes from experience and I’ve had food cravings every day since I started my fasting journey. I’ve compiled a list of every tool in my arsenal that I use to SQUASH food cravings instantly. I’ve packed so much value into this one page. I hope you enjoy it
Feel free to copy/paste any of it into a notepad or simply bookmark the page so that you can come back here whenever you get hungry.
- Hunger is a normal part of fasting
- This post will help you ignore food cravings
JUMP TO THE SECTION YOU WANT TO READ OR READ IT ALL IN ORDER
- Drink coffee/tea with no added sugar
- Click here for instant hunger relief
- Make sure you’re drinking LOTS of water
- Go to bed
- Remember that hunger comes in waves. IT WILL PASS
- Distract yourself. Take your mind off food by keeping busy
- Don’t drink diet soda
- Stay away from where you can see or smell food
- Drink sparkling water. The fizz will make you feel full
- Use meditation to clear your mind
- Remember why you’re doing this. Why did you choose to start this in the first place?
- Take Appetite Suppressants
Fasting in theory always seems so simple, doesn’t it?. “Oh yeah I’ll just not eat for X amount of days and then eat on the other days and it will be so easy”… If only that was the case. I’ve tried and failed at fasting so many times and I tried every type of fasting there is. Each attempt seemed pretty easy to start out with. I’d be so excited about my new plan and the thought of eating didn’t even cross my mind, If you had asked me to bet on my success I would have. I whole-heartedly believed at the beginning of each fast “this is the one I stick too”. It’s not until 20+ hours into a fast that the newness of it begins to wear off and then I lose motivation to keep going. I know now that the reason I kept quitting was that I would hit the initial slump, This slump is inevitable every faster goes through it. I think of it as my brain testing me and seeing if this is really what I want. You’ll know when you’ve hit the slump because you’ll start questioning whether you’re doing the right thing, Your mind will randomly prompt you to eat something. When you refuse to give in to that urge to eat and you push through, you get a second burst of willpower that weakens the doubt and lets you continue your fast.
You have to see that slump as a battle. You have to fight the gatekeeper in order to reach your goal. Prepare for it. Expect it.
Fasting isn’t easy, You might be excited at the very beginning but at some point, it will become incredibly hard, all you will feel like doing is giving up and raiding the cupboards and buying a pizza. DON’T DO IT.
Use this advice to push through. Don’t give up until you have tried all of these tips.
- Expect the hunger
- Make a plan detailing what you’ll do when you start to feel hungry
DRINK COFFEE/TEA WITH NO ADDED SUGAR
Everybody knows caffeine fills you with energy but not many people realize it’s also an effective appetite suppressant. You can use coffee/tea to help eliminate cravings for food throughout the day. I’ve found that the act of drinking hot tea/coffee can also help with feeling like you’ve eaten. The fact that you’re consuming something with taste makes it feel a lot like food.
With milk or not with milk?… That is the question.
If you’re fasting to lose weight adding a little bit of milk to your drink is fine. Some people who are fasting for cleansing or for religious purposes may prefer to make their drink without milk.
If you want to be super strict about it you could drink it black but it doesn’t really make that much of a difference. You will still remain in a fasted state as long as you only add a dash of milk and don’t overdo it.
- Caffeine in tea/coffee suppresses your appetite
- Adding milk won’t break your fast
WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR INSTANT HUNGER RELIEF
Make sure you’re drinking LOTS of water
Thirst can be disguised as hunger. You might feel like you’re starving but you’re actually dehydrating. When you fast you lose a lot of water. Drink 2 – 3 liters of water per day during a fast. Common signs of dehydration are headaches and lethargy, If you feel these while fasting you should definitely drink more water. If you feel like you suddenly can’t drink enough water, like it’s hard work, you may have reached a balance of salt-to-water in your blood, to combat this add a few pinches of pink Himalayan salt to your water. This will also help with your electrolytes.
I think of water as my magic potion/limited resource to cure hunger.
Water is great for making you feel full, But don’t overdo it. Gulping massive amounts of water every few minutes will have more negative effects than good. The key is to spread the water out throughout the day, only drink when you feel hungry. Drinking unnecessarily will make you pee more. This will flush out your electrolytes which can lead to flu-like symptoms. As long as you stay within 2 – 3 liters and space your glasses out, you’ll be fine.
- Drink when your hungry
- 2 -3 liters per day
- Distribute water throughout the day
GO TO BED!
This might seem a little obvious but it’s amazing how many people don’t realize that sleeping is fasting too!
The most common time that people break their fast is in the evening, Myself included. I would stick to it all day and then the evening would come around and my family would sit down for dinner and I’d end up giving in and eating. Every time I did this I felt terrible and would end up writing the whole week off as a failure and starting again Monday. The whole cycle would then repeat the next week making me want to give up altogether
What I didn’t realize was that if I had just gone to bed early I could have pushed through the hard part (the evening) and woke up 8 hours later in the easy part (the morning). It’s never worth breaking your fast in the night. Instead of feeling good about yourself the next day you’ll feel down because you gave in. Just try to get some sleep and see if your still hungry in the morning.
A great way to kick-start your fast is to start it just before you go to bed, That way your first 8 hours of fasting will be hunger pang free.
- If it’s the evening and you want to give up on your fast, don’t do it!
- Go to bed whenever you get hungry at night
REMEMBER THAT HUNGER COMES IN WAVES. IT WILL PASS
Most people don’t know how long hunger lasts because they instinctively start eating when ever they get the slightest feeling of hunger. They get scared when they start to feel hungry and think they should eat immediately. Experienced fasters know that if you ride the wave the hunger will eventually subside. You wont be hungry forever, feelings of hunger tend to only last for 20 minutes or so, after that, they start to diminish.
When you feel hunger it’s due to increased levels of the hormone ghrelin. When you first start to fast ghrelin is increased making you feel hungry. These high levels of ghrelin are cannot remain constant, as you continue to fast the levels will start to drop and so will your feelings of hunger. Keep this in mind on your weight loss journey. You’re not going to feel hungry 24/7 it’s impossible. Treat hunger pangs like the hiccups Just acknowledge the feeling, tell yourself “This feeling will go away soon” and then carry on with your fast.
- Hunger pangs last 20 minutes then start to disappear
- The hormone ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger
- Ghrelin levels drop during ketosis
As the title of this blog suggests, we sometimes mistake boredom for hunger. We eat when we get bored because it gives us something to do. I didn’t notice how much time food took out of my life until I started fasting. I thought the only time spent on food was sitting down to eat but I was wrong. We think about food all the time, what we’ll have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and what we’ll snack on in-between. Then we spend time preparing it all before we sit down to actually eat it.
It makes sense then that once we stop eating and start fasting that our mind is still obsessing over food. We plan our days around food out of habit. Even though you know you don’t want to eat, you have been conditioned to think about food all day. How do you combat this on while fasting? Distract yourself.
Guys too! Self care during a fast is the my favorite way to pass the time and I’m a 24 year old straight dude. Fasting is hard, reward yourself. Soak in the tub with Epsom salts and read or listen to a good book, Put on some teeth whitening strips, Take your time shaving, Get a haircut, put a set of tweezers to any stray hairs (eye brows, nose, ear).
For some reason looking after yourself is more fun while fasting.
I find organizing/cleaning things around the house is another great distraction. I am always making lists on my non-fasting days of things I can do during a fast. Last week I emptied my office desk drawers that I have been filling with random shit for 4 years ?
We all have little things that need doing around the house, you know, the things you always say you’ll get around to but then never end up actually doing them. Empty that messy closet that you have been putting off for ages, Clean out a storage cupboard, Wash your car, Do the dishes. Distractions that involve physical movement are very effective and also give you a light workout which is always a good thing.
Pick a project and just do it.
There’s no shame in filling your day up with unproductive activities to get you through a fast, a few hours wasted is better than giving up on your goal because you were bored. Play some video games, binge watch your favorite TV show, Watch cat videos on YouTube. Everybody has a favorite way to waste time, what’s yours?
Whenever I start getting bored of work and feel like eating something I start checking my email, replying to fb messages, browsing Reddit and imgur. Normally I would stop myself from doing this because it’s unproductive but if I had to choose between failing my fast or being slightly less productive, I’d choose my health every time.
Once you know that what you are feeling is boredom not hunger, It will get easier to recognize, you just need to entertain yourself for a while so that you can push through. Once the hunger subsides you can go back to work.
Go for a walk
Sometimes just getting out of the house or the office is all that is needed to get you through at times when you feel like giving up. Go to the store and pick up some carbonated water, go to a cafe and buy some black coffee/tea, go visit a friend or relative or just walk around the block.
Whenever I do this I try to think about the reason I started the fast in the first place. I imagine how I’d feel once I reach my goal and how people will react after seeing my weight loss transformation. That and the fresh air makes me super motivated to keep my fast going for the rest of the day.
Take your mind off food by putting your brainpower to use. You could resolve to learn something new and start studying it immediately – Learn a new language or pick up a new hobby. What I like to do is throw myself completely into a book that requires my full attention, If I notice my attention drifting away I make a habit of pulling it back in and focusing deeply.
The higher level of orexin and adrenaline in your body will also keep you alert, this means you can absorb educational information like a sponge. Try it for yourself, You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn with all the extra time you have now that you’re not obsessing over food.
- Sometimes you think your hungry but your just bored
- Do something you would normally do to get rid of boredom
DONT DRINK DIET SOFT DRINKS
0 calorie soft drinks are terrible for weight loss despite being advertised as the best thing since sliced bread
Although there are no calories in the drinks there is a heap of sweeteners and artificial processed junk added to them. After consumption, the artificial sweeteners can trick our brains into thinking we are taking in real sugar which then causes the same spike in insulin as a normal soda would. This essentially takes you out of ketosis and breaks your fast.
The insulin spike will make you hungry and more likely to break your fast. Your body is expecting to receive calories because it thinks you are ingesting sugar. It’s like your brain says, “Woo-hoo, Insulin levels have spiked which means your eating again, let’s eat more!!!”
I noticed this first hand, I could never fast for more than 12 hours before I gave up diet coke, The coke made me hungry instantly which is why I decided to research the topic. i always thought if there were no calories then there’s no problem but that’s not the case.
It makes sense really. If it tastes unhealthy, it probably is unhealthy.
- Diet coke and other 0 calorie drinks cause insulin spikes
- Insulin spikes make you hungry and delay fat loss
Stay away from where you can see or smell food
This was a huge reason for breaking my fast in the beginning, I’d be dead set that I am sticking to my fast and nothing will be able to knock me off track… and then I’d smell food cooking. I’d inevitably reach for the food and start chewing all the while knowing in the back of my mind I was going to hate myself for it 20 minutes later. This happened more times than I’d like to admit and I’m sure it will happen again. I started to wonder why I couldn’t control myself. I knew that I didn’t want to eat but I kept failing.
We are exactly like pavlovs dogs, We are conditioned so that when we smell or see food our bodies start expecting to eat it. Our digestion system gets ready for the food intake, our mouths start to water and our brain starts shouting “EAT!, EAT IT NOW!”
You’d have to have the discipline of a monk to be able to resist grabbing the food and stuffing it into your mouth. So try not to kick yourself too much if you do. There is only one surefire way to beat this is to avoid being around hot food for the first few days of your fast. After that, you would be in ketosis and you should be able to resist more easily.
If you are responsible for cooking for others and they are responsible adults you could let them know that you are planning a fast for a few days and ask them to cook for themselves, If this isn’t possible you could order a takeout meal or prepare the food on a non-fasting day to make it easier.
- Being around food makes our body expect to eat
- Resisting the urge to eat becomes impossible when your brain is encouraging you to
DRINK SPARKLING WATER
The fizz from carbonated water will fill you up making you feel like you’ve eaten. I was addicted to coca-cola before I started fasting and would drink 2l per day, I drank so much that I had withdrawal effects (a headache, fatigue) after going a few days without it. I found fizzy water to be a great replacement for soda, I barely think about buying soda like I used to and the water is so much cheaper than pop. I buy 2l of carbonated water per day and it costs me $0.30!
There is no evidence that drinking fizzy water damages your teeth but you can always use a straw to bypass this.
- Carbonated water makes you feel full
- Healthy replacement for unhealthy drinks such as coke
Practicing meditation will allow you to detach yourself from any feelings of hunger, You can distance your self from your urge to eat until the cravings go away. I use the guided meditation video below and it works for me every time.
Shifting your focus is the fastest way to get rid of hunger or food cravings. Meditation, whether your fasting or not is a great way to clear your head-space but combined with fasting they synergize and enhance each-other
- You can meditate anywhere at anytime
- Guided meditation above is helpful for beginners
REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED
You started fasting for a reason. You didn’t just stop eating for the sake of not eating. You need to write down your reasons for fasting, every day. What were you hoping to change by fasting? Are you doing it for yourself? Why?
Write down in as many words as possible WHY you are fasting, Once you have done that, Do it again. We forget the reason we start things too easily, We need to be reminded. Make a point of reminding yourself everyday. Write down your reasons so many times that they become imprinted in your memory so that whenever your brain says “Shall I eat something?” it automatically tells itself “No! I am fasting”.
I started fasting because nothing else worked. I was killing myself with food and calorie restriction diets would make me binge, I was 24, with no job, no self-esteem, no girlfriend, no life. Something had to change. I’d been waiting around for something to happen and kept telling myself “I’ll sort it out, someday”. Fasting allows me to take back control of my life. Eating so much, so often is killing me. Now that I have a solution to my weight problem the only thing I have to do is stick to it. The only thing that could stop me from reaching my goal is putting food into my mouth and chewing.
I AM THE ONE RESPONSIBLE IF I BREAK MY FAST.
- Write down your reasons until you know them by heart
- Remember you are the only person who can break the fast
WANT TO GET RID OF HUNGER ALTOGETHER?
What I now do instead of having to rely on my willpower alone is take an appetite suppressant. Before I did any research on appetite suppressants I thought they were either unsafe with bad side effects or a scam, I did find that a lot of the products out there were exactly that but the product I use has saved me. Without it, I’m not sure I’d still be fasting or writing this blog post. I started this blog to track my journey of fasting Monday – Friday to cure my addiction to food, I had to reset the journey many times before I found these little gems. I would do great Monday, struggle Tuesday and give up on Wednesday. This process would repeat endlessly until I found these.
- If you feel like you can’t resist food cravings, Appetite suppressants are for you
- You don’t have to take them forever. Just use them to break your addiction to food and regain control of your eating habits
They come as a package, one for the day and one for the night.
I’d just like to let you know right now, this isn’t some magic solve-all pill that will make you lose weight on it’s own. These tablets are made to HELP you lose weight not do all the work for you. The day pills suppress the urge to eat so you no longer have to struggle with intrusive thoughts telling you to go eat. They also have ingredients that increase metabolism so you will see results a little faster as-well as a boost in energy to battle fasting fatigue throughout the day.
The night pills suppress your food cravings during the night time so that you don’t wake up hungry. They also increase your nighttime metabolism and promote better sleep which we all know is very important when fasting.
- Day Pills = Decreased hunger, Increased metabolism, More energy and focus.
- Night Pills = Decreased hunger, Increased metabolism, Improved sleep quality
There are no animal products used in this particular brand which makes it vegan/vegetarian friendly. They also have a 60 day money back guarantee which is what persuaded me to give it a try.
- Perfect for intermittent fasting
You have probably heard that after the 3rd day of fasting the hunger subsides and you can keep fasting effortlessly. This is true for long term fasts but when you’re doing an intermittent fast your metabolism is continually switching in and out of ketosis which means it never really gets any easier. You keep getting hunger pains and cravings for your favorite food because you’re never fully in ketosis. I’ve found that these pills helped me push through on those bad days when all you want to do is stuff your face whenever you see someone eating or smell food.
You should also avoid overeating before starting a fast. It causes the glucose and insulin response to drop suddenly causing you to feel hungrier than ever.