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With the craze for diets, many people are following intermittent fasting to lose weight. It may be turning out well for them, but there is also a section of people who feel stuck in timed meals and eating windows, especially when they feel like eating something. Have you ever found yourself craving during intermittent fasting? Well, indeed, hunger is a part of intermittent fasting, but it can be controlled.
Health Shots got in touch with Hari Lakshmi, Consultant Dietitian/Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospitals, Alwarpet, Chennai, to suggest some best ways to beat cravings during intermittent fasting.
Lakshmi says, “Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting where you do not consume food for extended periods of time, primarily to lose weight or to fight any other health problem. If you have been considering indulging in intermittent fasting, yet, you are unable to successfully do so because you tend to give into food cravings. But there are a few proven ways which can help you fast without any craving disruptions.”
Here are 5 ways to keep craving at bay during intermittent fasting:
1. Increase your water intake
Along with keeping you hydrated, water helps in regularizing your hunger cycle. There are times when you may feel that you are hungry, however, your body may simply be short on water. People who tend to drink more water throughout the day, have claimed to feel less hungry. Water also helps in better absorption of your food.
2. Consume protein-rich foods
Protein rich foods help in normalizing blood sugar levels and controlling appetite hormones which makes you feel less hungry and helps you manage cravings. Protein also helps you maintain lean muscle which is essential for weight loss.
Also, read: These celebs reached their weight-loss goals with intermittent fasting
3. Increase fiber intake
Fiber is well known to help with digestion. Fiber-rich foods maintain blood sugar levels in the body and also provide nutrition to good bacteria in the gut which help in efficiently absorbing nutrients from the ingested food, making you feel less hungry.
4. Eat slowly
When you eat too fast, it takes your mind some time to register that your stomach is full, as a result of which, most people tend to eat more than required and give into cravings. Instead, eat slowly and concentrate on every bite which will help you curb your food intake.
5. Keep yourself busy
A lot of times, you may feel that you are hungry, however, the reality is that you are simply bored and are having cravings. While practicing intermittent fasting, it is imperative that you keep yourself busy and distracted from food.
Other tips to keep in mind to curb cravings:
1. Follow a balanced diet plan to ensure that you obtain all the nutrients because sometimes craving is the result of lack of nutrition in the body.
2. Along with eating healthy, eat at regular intervals. Your blood sugar levels may drop if you skip a meal, which might cause cravings.
3. There’s no rule to avoid calories completely when practicing intermittent fasting. But make sure when you eat, you add healthy alternatives of calories and eat in moderation.
4. Chewing gum is a great way to reduce your appetite, which could prevent you from overeating and can put a full stop on your cravings.
5. Understand the difference between fasting and starving. Therefore, if your cravings are caused by hunger, make sure you eat something. Otherwise, it can have the opposite effect.