When you are really hungry, even the slightest reminder can make the hunger worse. Whether you are fasting for medical, spiritual, or personal reasons, it pays to take care to avoid distractions. Maintain your steely resolve and stick to your fast by avoiding these 10 things.
Staying hydrated is important at all times, but even more so when you’re fasting. Drinking lots of fluids will help you stay alert and focused, plus it will make you feel fuller, so you won’t be as hungry. If you feel dizzy or confused, or if your urine is not clear, you may be dehydrated. Carry a water bottle with you so you can keep drinking throughout the day. If you can’t drink water during your fast for religious reasons, make sure to drink lots of water before and after your fast.
Anything that has lots of caffeine, like coffee, tea, or energy drinks, can be addictive if you drink them regularly. Caffeine speeds up your metabolism, so drinking a cup of coffee while you’re hungry will only make you hungrier. Plus, if you can’t drink during your fast, you might experience caffeine withdrawal, which has symptoms like headaches and sluggishness. Wean yourself off caffeine before you begin your fast.
Some people claim that cigarettes and other tobacco products actually make them hungrier. If you associate smoking with food, you may want to eat every time you light up. Giving up smoking is hard, but there are great tools to help you achieve your goal.
4. Strenuous Activity
Exercise and other activities that get your heart rate up burns lots of calories, and if you’re not eating you can’t replenish those calories. Avoid going on that morning run or playing laser tag with your friends while you’re hungry. Conserve your energy until you can eat again.
5. Stressful Situations
When you are stressed out, your body craves junk food. High energy foods like soda and pizza will be on your mind when you’re hungry, and even more so when you’re stressed. Avoid confrontations and just relax. Read a book or take a nap to keep yourself calm and collected.
Whether this means over the counter pain meds or recreational drugs, you should avoid them when you’re hungry. Of course you should continue taking any medications prescribed by your doctor. If you are fasting, speak with your doctor first to make sure any medications you are on will not be affected.
7. Other People Eating
This one is obvious. When you are really hungry, you don’t want to be around other people who are eating. If you’re not planning on satisfying your hunger soon, don’t go out to dinner with your friends. Seeing them eat will only make you crave food and get hunger pains.
8. Grocery Shopping
This tip will help you and your wallet. If you go to the grocery store when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to buy unhealthy food you don’t need. Keep your cupboards and your fridge healthy by only shopping for food on a full stomach.
Drinking alcoholic beverages may fill you up, but only with empty calories. Plus, you might get sick if you drink on an empty stomach. As a general rule, you should only drink alcohol in moderation or not at all. Definitely don’t drink when you’re hungry or fasting.
10. Talking About Food
When you’re hungry, the last thing you should talk about is how hungry you are. Talking about food is an easy trap to fall into, especially when you are with someone who is also hungry. Find other topics to discuss, or a fun activity. Play a video game or do arts and crafts to keep your mind off food. Watching a movie or tv show is generally not a good idea, because many people associate watching tv with eating.