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Hungry on Intermittent Fasting: 5 Tips on How to Stop Hunger Pangs
Intermittent Fasting

Hungry on Intermittent Fasting: 5 Tips on How to Stop Hunger Pangs

Written by Thalia Oosthuizen | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 13
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4 min

If you ever experienced hunger pangs you know how uncomfortable it could be. Our team prepared 5 tips to help you to deal with hunger while fasting

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Intermittent fasting can leave you feeling hungry and craving your favorite meal. When you feel hungry, it’s harder to stick to your intermittent fasting meal times and fasting window.

If you’re just getting started on your intermittent fasting journey, you may be wondering: does it get easier?

The answer is yes. Here are some of the best ways to deal with hunger pangs on intermittent fasting.

How to Deal With Hunger While Fasting?

One of the best and easiest ways to deal with hunger while fasting is to make sure you drink water and stay hydrated. 

You should avoid drinking zero-calorie soda, as the artificial sweeteners can actually stimulate hunger and make it harder for you to get through the feeling.

You can also start your day off right with a cup of tea. Some teas like green tea, ginger tea, and hibiscus tea are great for staving off hunger without engaging your hunger hormone ghrelin. If you’re not much of a tea drinker, black coffee can work just as well.

Engage in some short, intense exercise, like a brisk walk or a 15-minute workout routine. Not only does exercise encourage your body to enter into the fat-burning process, but it also helps keep your mind off hunger. Once your body starts burning stored fat for energy, it’ll be easier to manage hunger.

How Long Does Hunger Last?

When you feel hungry, it’s possible to just wait it out. In general, hunger is a feeling that only lasts about 20 minutes, and you don’t have to eat food in order to quell it.

If you’re like most people, when you feel hungry, you probably go right to making yourself a meal or getting yourself a snack. What most people don’t know, however, is that hunger isn’t a feeling that lingers.

This isn’t to be confused with a feeling that many people call true hunger or real hunger. True hunger is a feeling that is accompanied by your stomach growling and discomfort.

Knowing the difference will make your transition into intermittent fasting much easier.

How to Feel Full While Fasting?

To feel full while intermittent fasting, you need to know exactly what you can have during your fast, as well as what to put in your body right before and how to break a fast.

Drink lots of water. If you think you’re drinking enough, make sure to have a little bit more. Drinking water keeps you hydrated and your stomach feeling full. It’ll also help give you some increased energy throughout the day.

You can also mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water to help stave off the feeling. Carbonated water is also a good trick to feel full while fasting or a cup of coffee in the morning.

Before you fast, make sure you eat a meal with healthy fats, lots of protein, and fruits and veggies. These pre-fast foods will help you stay full longer and keep you from struggling through the last few hours of your fast dealing with hunger.

Intermittent Fasting and Hunger: Tips on How to Avoid It

The best way to deal with hunger is to know how to handle it. Our fasting experts put together the best tips on how to avoid hunger while you’re practicing intermittent fasting.

#1 Drink lots of liquids

I don’t think we can repeat this enough: drink enough water! You can drink other liquids as well: black coffee and black tea are also acceptable beverages to enjoy during intermittent fasting. However, you want to avoid adding sugar and milk. Some people also suggest bone broth.

#2 Eat protein-rich foods

When you’re fasting, you have a chance of losing muscle mass. So, it’s important to fill your body with protein-rich foods just before starting your fast. Eggs are a great resource for getting enough protein, as are fish and lean cuts of beef.

#3 Start slow

Depending on your intermittent fasting plan, you may want to adjust your fasting period in order to deal with hunger. Instead of fasting for 16 hours, try fasting for just 12 hours, extending your eating window so that you have more time to fill your stomach and adapt for longer fasts more easily.

#4 Avoid alcohol

Don’t drink alcohol before or during your fast. Alcohol easily stimulates hunger and makes it harder for you to lose weight. There’s a reason that a lot of accumulated fat cells around the stomach is called a “beer belly”!

#5 Don’t forget healthy fats

Whether you’re on a high-fat diet or not, healthy fats are incredibly important to any diet. Before your fast, make sure you’re getting a good source of fat, like nuts and seeds, full-fat Greek yogurt, or avocado. These will give you more energy and less hunger.

#6 Choose the right fasting plan for your lifestyle 

You don’t want to just dive into intermittent fasting without knowing what plan works best for you. We recommend a fasting app like DoFasting, which can help you pick a customized fasting plan just for you. It also offers tips and tricks, personalized workout routines, and progress tracking to help you with your weight loss.

A Word From Our RD

If this is your first time taking on intermittent fasting and your body is feeling a need to eat, don’t worry. You’re not alone! When you start, nobody really tells you how to deal with how hungry you can get, especially if you’re someone who has a big appetite.

But, if you stick to it, the benefits of fasting are phenomenal. It can be a process to get your body to a point where a 16-hour fast doesn’t phase you but don’t beat yourself up if you have to go slower than others at the beginning.

The important part of fasting is to make sure you have enough energy to get you throughout the day. As always, make sure you talk with your personal physician before starting a fast. Some people have health conditions that make a fasted state more dangerous.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting is a great way to focus on weight loss, lose fat, and even control your appetite. For some people, getting that feeling of being hungry can make it even harder to get through the fast period.

Hunger doesn’t often last for longer than 20 minutes. As long as you can stave off that feeling, you’ll build up the resistance so you can fast for longer periods at a time. Before your fast, make sure your meals are full of nutrition, protein, and fat.

During your fast, you can drink coffee or tea along with water in order to help keep you feeling full between feeding times.

Written by
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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