Tips to Make Your Fast Easier

04.09.2018 |

Episode #6 of the course The beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting by Theo Brenner-Roach


Hey, welcome back. Today, we’re looking at ways to make your fast easier.

You see, for some people, fasting is a breeze. It feels natural and normal, as if they were always meant to eat this way.

Fortunately for me, I’m one of these people. I’ve never really enjoyed breakfast, instead preferring to grab a big glass of water, followed by a hot cup of coffee, and get on with my day. However, I know that not everyone is like me.

For some people, the first few days, weeks, and even months of fasting can be an uphill battle as you try and keep hunger at bay.

With this in mind, here are several quick and dirty tips* to make your life easier and help you adapt quicker.

*Note that these tips are applicable to both daily and weekly fasting.


Start Fasting after Dinner

We touched on this in Lessons 1 and 2, but it’s worth reiterating.

Beginning your fast after dinner offers a huge advantage when it comes to fasting with ease.

Think about it: If you finish dinner at 8pm, hang out for 3-4 hours before going to bed, and then get up at 7am to begin getting ready for work, you’ve already fasted for 11 hours.

This leaves you with only five hours to get through, during what is arguably your busiest part of the day.

This makes fasting infinitely easier and takes us nicely to the next tip.


Stay Busy

Have you ever noticed how if you’re focused and engaged on a task, you won’t think about hunger, BUT if you’re bored, eating is all you can think about doing?

You’re not alone.

But what exactly is it about being bored that causes you to eat?

In a word, dopamine.

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain responsible for reward-motivated behavior and the good feeling you get when you accomplish a goal (even something small and simple).

It has been found that eating can stimulate dopamine and the associated good feelings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also been found that junk food—particularly junk food high in sugar, fat, and sodium—is particularly great at making you feel great.

Now, consider that research [1] shows that those who are bored ate more calories than those who weren’t, with additional research [2][3] supporting this finding with results that indicated “that boredom markedly increases food consumption [in] both obese and normal [subjects].”

It’s no wonder you reach for that packet of Doritos, popcorn, or cookies when you feel bored.

You’re almost hardwired to chase that dopamine high.

What should you do instead? When in doubt, do something interesting:

• Read a book.

• Go for a walk.

• Play a game.

• Watch TV.

• Do some work.

• Work out.

Or …


Blunt Your Appetite

When it comes to hunger management, many people try to rely on willpower alone, and unsurprisingly, this doesn’t often work.

Add to the mix that most people think hunger will continue to build up like a relentless snow storm, bringing everything else to a standstill—you can why people crack and break their fast too early.

However, the good news is that hunger actually comes in waves, more like the sunshine on a cloudy day, as the clouds move across the sky.

The trick is knowing this difference and knowing that your hunger will pass.

To help you control these feelings of hunger and blunt your appetite, you can use zero-calorie drinks like:

• black coffee

• black tea

• green tea

• water, still or sparkling

Then, once you’ve broken your fast, it’s a matter of …


Eating a Few Big Meals

The best way to set up your feeding window is to eat two big meals and one to two small snacks if calories permit.

Doing this will make you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer than the usual four to six small meals.

This also gives you the freedom to enjoy a meal out with friends and eat some of the things you like, both of which will improve your adherence to the IF protocol.

Tomorrow, we’re going to look at how you can take everything you’ve learned so far and put it into practice.

That’s right, examples of fasting each day/week are coming your way.


Recommended book

The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting by Dr Michael VanDerschelden



[1] Eaten up by boredom: consuming food to escape awareness of the bored self

[2] Boredom and eating in obese and non-obese individuals

[3] Eating and inflicting pain out of boredom


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