One of the biggest fears people have about fasting is hunger.
If you’re not eating, hunger is bound to happen, and it’s uncomfortable, right?
Interestingly, hunger during fasting is never as bad as you might expect.
Most people who tried fasting agree that hunger was manageable. Many find they feel less hungry during fasting than on calorie-restricted diets.
Having said that, you are obviously going to experience some degree of hunger when fasting. But there are ways to cope with it. Let’s talk about how.
Learn to ride the waves
Hunger is never constant, even when fasting.
If you really pay attention, you’ll notice that it comes in waves. It often peaks around the times you would normally be eating.
It comes, and it goes. And then it comes again later, and subsides again.
It’s basically your body saying, “Hey, we usually eat about now, did you forget?”
So knowing that hunger is not going to be present around the clock makes it much easier to manage.
Just ride those waves and you’ll be fine!
Since you know now that hunger comes and goes, and you only need to ride it out, finding ways to distract yourself is a gamechanger.
Here’s a few ideas we like:
Fasting Videos and Podcasts
Listening to some of your favorite fasting peeps will not only educate and inspire you, but it will also help pass the fasting hours!
Even if it’s not spring, tackle some of those cleaning and organizing projects you’ve been putting off.
When you’re done you’ll not only have a clean space, you’ll also be much further along on the fasting clock.
Go for a walk or a run or hike, work in your garden, or go do some fun window shopping.
The fresh air will help clear your head and you’ll forget all about food.
Catch up on some reading
Find a favorite novel to get carried away in.
There’s nothing else quite like a good story to make you forget everything, including the fact that you’re fasting.
Engage in a hobby
Creativity can be as rewarding as eating.
Get out the yarn, or the paint, or the writing journal. Keeping your mind and your hands busy is going to keep your thoughts off of food.
Social media feeds are nothing if not distracting, but when you’re fasting this can be a good thing!
Beverages can make it easier
Fasting means no food, but there are still some beverages you can enjoy that won’t break your fast.
Sparkling Mineral Water
You already know to drink your water, but plain water can get boring.
Sparkling mineral water is a nice change! And it’s very good for you, with lots of health benefits.
Bonus tip: For a fizzy treat, try mixing your fasting salts in sparkling mineral water, and add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar. Yum!
Coffees and Teas
Most coffees and teas are acceptable during a fast, as long as there’s no added sugars or sweeteners.
If you don’t care for hot beverages, try iced coffee or iced teas.
We’ve talked about this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Pickle juice can be a lifesaver when hunger strikes. Just a few sips does the trick!
Plus you get the benefit of some extra sodium.
Always check the label to make sure there are no added sugars. And don’t eat the pickles!
When the hunger is too much
Sometimes the hunger can be more persistent, and for those times there are other things you can try.
A little bone broth can really help when things get tough. But think spoonfuls, not bowlfuls.
Veggie broth is fine, too, for those of you who prefer no animal products.
A spoonful or two of fat won’t break your fast. Heavy cream, butter, or coconut oil are all great options.
Please note that when we say it won’t break your fast, we’re referring to fasting for weight loss.
If you’re fasting for autophagy, anything besides water, and plain coffee or tea can interfere with autophagy.
However, if having a little fat or bone broth helps you push through longer, it can be worth the tradeoff.
Also consider that autophagy peaks between 36-72 hours.
So if you really want to maximize autophagy save the bone broth and fats till after day three of your fast.
When all else fails …
… grab a cup of crushed ice and munch away!
Sometimes we just need that sensation of chewing something, and crushed ice can feel heavenly!
You can do this!
You don’t have to like hunger, but you can definitely cope with it so that you can enjoy all the benefits of fasting.
Author: Roo Black
Roo is a fasting coach with over 5 years of experience. She leads the admin team of the Official Fasting for Weight Loss Facebook group – one of the largest fasting communities on social media with over 125,000 members. We highly recommend this group for anyone who is looking for fasting advice or coaching.