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Diet & Nutrition

How To Combat Hunger Pangs While In Fasting Mode

6 Mins read
Table of Contents
1. Drink Water to Combat Hunger Pangs
2. Sip Warm Tea or Plain Black Coffee
3. Distract Yourself With Activities
4. Schedule Fasting Hours Strategically
5. Make Sure You Sleep Well

Routine fasts such as intermittent fasting can be a great way to improve one’s health and wellness by aiding fat loss, improving gut health, and boosting metabolism. The most popular fasts are often 14 to 16 hours long, with the rest of the time as the allotted eating window. Essentially, you only eat within a designated window of time, so that during your fast, the body morphs into a ketone-burning machine to utilize your fat stores.  

While routine fasting does have health benefits, refraining from putting food in your mouth when there’s so much delicious food within reach is not easy. The fact is, during your fast, you are bound to feel hunger pangs that are sometimes very difficult to ignore. It happens to everyone, so you’re not alone if you struggle with this. 

Bear in mind that fasting is not only a physical journey, but also a mental one. If intermittent fasting is something you would like to embark on, or if you are already on your intermittent fasting journey, it is important to build your mental fortitude and willpower to avoid common fasting mistakes that can set back your progress.

You can successfully fast by finding ways to curb cravings and combat hunger pangs. It’s best to prepare for these scenarios early on, so you’ll know how to address your hunger cues when they kick in during your fasting window. When you’re prepared, you can avoid temptation and steer clear of breaking your fast. Below are some helpful hacks that you can easily do to combat hunger pangs while in fasting mode.

1. Drink Water to Combat Hunger Pangs

You’d be surprised how many people forget to drink water during their fasting states. When you don’t drink sufficient amounts of water, your body will become dehydrated. This can also negatively impact your body’s fat-burning processes.

Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so if you’re feeling hungry, you might actually just be thirsty. Instead of sipping water, people often reach out for a snack or a meal because they feel that their stomachs are churning. They mistake this tummy activity for hunger; when in reality, they are just parched. And the rumbling happening in the stomach is the body’s way of telling them to drink more liquids. 

One thing that you can do to combat hunger pangs during a fast is to drink lots of water. Water has zero calories, so it will not take you out of the fasting state. This is also beneficial since you’ll avoid getting so thirsty that your body thinks you need food. 

It might help to take a water canteen or container wherever you go. Even if you are at home, you will want to have water within reach. You should drink water throughout your fasting time. This will help you quickly curb your hunger pangs when they arise. It will also ensure that you are not dehydrated.

2. Sip Warm Tea or Plain Black Coffee

If you find that water is too bland and your tongue is in dire need of something with a little more kick and flavor, you can always drink tea or plain black coffee to curb hunger pangs. This will be more palatable and flavorful than plain water. You can experiment with different tea flavors, from mint teas to floral teas, and spicier teas like ginger tea, while curbing your hunger in the process. 

Teas are also great for your overall wellness, and each kind of tea comes with its benefits. Chamomile tea is great for inducing restful sleep and relaxation. Ginger and mint are great for alleviating swelling in the body, and can provide relief to an itchy throat. Most teas are also wonderful remedies for gut issues and can improve gut health. Other teas, like tea blends with cinnamon, are great antioxidants. Note; however, that the tea should be plain tea leaves. Other teas like detox laxative teas can do worse for your health, as they induce bowel movement. Additionally, avoid bubble tea or milk tea as these drinks are laced with sugar.

Plain black coffee is also a great option for curbing hunger and is great for those who enjoy a bitter kick. It is also caffeinated and will provide you with that extra burst of energy to carry on with your day while fasting. Avoid coffee with artificial sweeteners and cream as they can kick you out of fasting and fat-burning mode.

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3. Distract Yourself With Activities

It’s extremely common to eat out of boredom. You can often curb hunger pangs by distracting yourself and keeping yourself busy. For example, you can try cleaning your home and organizing your belongings. You can also do the work tasks that you have been putting off for a while. Or, you can read a book, watch a show, knit, listen to music, or sing karaoke. Doing purposeful activities feels very rewarding, allowing you to stay motivated to stick to your fasting schedule. 

It’s easier to give in to hunger pangs when they are the only thing hogging your attention. So, giving yourself something else to do or focus on will allow you to forget hunger until it is time to eat. If you’re up for that challenge, one of the best things you can do during your fasted state is to exercise. Studies say that during a fast, your body’s glycogen stores are empty. This means that instead of burning glucose or simple sugar, the body will commence burning fat for energy during exercise. This may help with weight control or maintenance because you burn more fat than those who exercise after a meal. 

4. Schedule Fasting Hours Strategically

One of the easiest ways to get around hunger pangs is to schedule your fasts strategically and include as much of your fasted state during your sleeping time. When you are sleeping, you are in a completely fasted state because you’re not actively consuming food and beverages. 

That said, you can choose to keep your eating window open during midday. This is because eating immediately after waking up may cause you to feel hungry throughout the rest of the day. Eating too late into the evening is also not good for your digestive health. You can think of it as breaking your day into 3 equal parts. Morning, Midday, and Evening. 

Fasting at Midday breaks your fast right in the middle of your waking hours. Choosing to keep your eating window at Midday also ensures that you do not spend your entire day feeling hungry, and prevents you from scarfing down food close to bedtime. Finishing your last meal before 8 pm is the most ideal scenario. If you can do it much earlier, like 6 pm, it would be even better because you’ll have more time to digest the food before sleeping. 

circlemagazine-circledna-hunger-pangs

5. Make Sure You Sleep Well

Oftentimes, your hunger is triggered by fatigue or a lack of energy. This may usually be the case if you are not getting enough sleep. In cases wherein you have insufficient sleep, your body is not recharging as it should. Hence, by the time the day comes, you feel drowsy and lacking in energy, so you would naturally gravitate towards food to compensate.

That said, one of the best ways to combat hunger pangs is to get enough sleep. This allows you to replenish your energy so that you can sustain yourself until your next eating window. For best results, improve your sleep hygiene by sticking to a consistent bedtime routine. It would also help to refrain from using your electronic devices before bedtime as this can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep. 

Find out your genetic sleep habits with a CircleDNA test. Some people are genetically more likely to have trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or have a genetic short sleep duration. Others are genetically more likely to stay up late and be night owls. Another one of the hundreds of reports you’ll receive from CircleDNA is a report on your genetic likelihood to have good or bad appetite control.

When we feel tired due to poor sleep habits, we often turn to food as an energy source, and crave more food than usual. Furthermore, a good night’s rest helps your body regulate a healthy production of the hormones that help control appetite. This is why better sleep can help you combat hunger pangs.


References

  1. Can you workout while doing an intermittent fast? (Louise Morales-Brown) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/intermittent-fasting-and-working-out#:~:text=Research%20suggests%20that%20during%20periods,people%20exercising%20after%20a%20meal.
Hannah Wabe
135 posts

About author
Hannah Victoria Wabe has an MA in Development Communication, which shows how just much she loves and believes in the power of words. She works part-time as a writer and educator but works full-time as a mother of three kids, ranging from 8 to 18. Though she’s not a big fan of math, she believes in counting blessings and imbibes an attitude of gratitude.
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