By controlling your hunger, you can strengthen your fasting practice. The most important aspect of controlling hunger is to accept it. Acknowledge before you begin your fast that hunger will rear its ugly head, and that it won't hurt you; it will only try to intimidate you.
Fasting and feeding is yin and yang. The human body needs a balance between the two for optimal health. Most people clearly suffer from too much yang (feeding) and not enough yin (fasting).
Following are nine strategies to stave off hunger and keep productive throughout your fasting period.
Drink plenty of water.
The simplest, easiest, and healthiest method to stave off hunger while fasting is to consume adequate amounts of fluid, especially water. Much of the time, hunger is actually thirst — so you should reach for some water. In fact, filling up on good, clean water will be your number one weapon to combat hunger.
Although the recommended amount of water is eight glasses (or 64 ounces) per day, Americans fall far short of this amount, drinking only two-and-a-half glasses (or 20 ounces) per day, which is 58 gallons of water, on average, a year.
Having a cup of organic tea or coffee to start your day or right after a workout can keep hunger from knocking on your door.
Caffeine and other nervous system stimulants often function to suppress hunger. That cup of coffee or tea can wage a pre-emptive strike against hunger, hydrating the system, boosting energy levels, and at the same time delivering a delectable surge of antioxidants.
Caffeinated teas, such as green tea, black tea, or pu-erh tea, and coffee promote a feeling of being full and satisfied, not only though increased fluid intake, but also with a moderate influx of caffeine.
Another good way to keep your mind off hunger is to engage in some household chores or do some gardening.
Household chores, such as cleaning, or gardening keep you focused on something other than your hunger as well as help you maintain a cleaner more organized home and manicured yard. And there’s nothing quite like growing your own food, because it’s healthy, rewarding, and delicious.
To keep your mind off your hunger, you can also perform some work-related tasks that you've been putting off, such as finishing that report, responding to some emails, and so on.
For your fast to be productive, you have to keep your mind focused anywhere else but on your hunger. The busier you are, the easier your fast will be, in most cases.
Go for a walk.
Walking briskly maximizes the fat-burning effects to be had when you’re fasting. A brisk walk also promotes a healthy heart and supports your overall well-being. Brisk walking is without a doubt one of the healthiest things you can do. And, so is fasting. So go ahead and combine the two.
Brisk walking, like most other forms of exercise, can also help to keep your hunger levels low. It does so not only by providing an enjoyable distraction, but also by encouraging your body to start burning stored body fat as a means for energy.
Play some sports or enjoy a hobby.
Any and all physical activity is going to enhance the positive effects of fasting, as long as you don’t overdo it. If you have a favorite recreational sport, such as tennis, pickup basketball, or ultimate Frisbee, or any other sort of physical hobby, then you should engage in it throughout your fasting period.
Playing a sport and engaging in physical activity is a good way to trick your body into fasting and exercise because your mind is focused not on the exercising or the fasting, but on the activity itself. The physical activity is merely a side effect of play.
Engage in some short, intense exercise.
Engaging in bouts of short and intense exercise throughout your fasting period is an obvious way to keep your mind from thinking about your hunger. Intense exercise, such as weight lifting or sprinting, suppresses hunger, boosts muscle, and blasts fat.
Twenty to 30 minutes of intense exercise toward the end of your fasting period is ideal. Even more ideal is to tack on another 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking after the intense exercise before you eat.
Meditation allows you to sit still, relax, and control your thinking, and in turn, control your stress and anxiety.
Although meditation isn’t the easiest method to suppress hunger, it does work, and over time, as you get better at meditation, you’ll get better at accepting your hunger, perhaps even embracing it.
Munch on some live foods.
If you must eat throughout the fasting period and simply can’t control your hunger, then your best option is to enter into a controlled fast, which is the premise behind the undereating phase of the Warrior Diet.
With a controlled fast, you eat lightly throughout the fast — foods that tax the digestive system very little. As a result, you need to eat a small quantity and select the right foods. You should ideally eat only live fruits and vegetables, which are foods with the lowest glycemic index (those foods that have the smallest impact on your blood sugar levels) and foods that haven’t been cooked.