Here's How to Safely Deal With Hunger
A little grumbly tummy and light hunger is totally normal, but just know that it comes in waves, meaning it'll soon pass, and it never really gets more intense. Listen to your body, though! If insatiable hunger persists or you feel terribly ill, nauseated, or like you're going to pass out, shorten your fasting time and eat. You can try fasting again tomorrow.
Once your body gets used to this new eating schedule, you won't feel hungry anymore, but in the meantime, here's how to deal with hunger:
- Keep in mind the reason you are fasting: If you summon that big reason when hunger pangs strike, you can just embrace them — a positive attitude goes a long way.
- Drink tons of water! Staying hydrated will help prevent hunger as well as the headaches dehydration can cause. When you're hungry, pound 12 ounces of water; it helps fill you up.
- Caffeine is another faster's friend: Go for black coffee or green tea. Herbal tea and sparkling water are other zero-calorie drinks that can help curb hunger. Just stay away from the zero-calorie sodas and other beverages made with artificial sweeteners.
- Keep busy: Focus on work, take a walk, do a hobby, write in your journal, spend time with friends, clean the house . . . doing anything that occupies your brain away from food is a plus!
- Stay away from food: When you first start fasting, the temptation to eat is huge. Don't make it harder by grocery shopping, walking past your favorite bakery, fasting during your friend's birthday dinner, or preparing food for other people. When you're starting out, go with this motto: "If I don't see it, I can't eat it."
Note that having your period, feeling super stressed, not getting enough sleep, eating tons of refined carbs during your eating window, and intense exercise can increase hunger. Don't ignore it if that means you can't function normally.