If during intermittent fasting and my stomach growls, should I eat or ignore it?

It’s perfectly normal for your stomach to growl during the fasting period.

The longer you fast, the more inclined it is to make some persistent music. When you fast for regular periods, this will become a thing of the past and much easier to ignore.

Stomach growling is your body’s way of telling you that it would like you to eat.

You can ignore this; there are no health implications for doing this within the fasting window.

As my intermittent fasting journey has progressed, I’ve armed myself with many strategies to keep the noise at bay and help me deal with hunger. The trick is to stop eating until you reach your target fasting hour, which will all depend on you and your goals.

Five ways to stop your stomach growling within your fasting window.

One: Drink black coffee, herbal teas and green tea.

Caffeine helps to curb hunger straight away, and it’s also great for increasing your energy levels and providing you with the energy boost you need.

Herbal teas are also great because they are caffeine free and provide more of a palliative phase to your strategy.

These are best used in the afternoons or evenings.

You don’t want to drink a cup of coffee a couple of hours before bed, as it may prevent you from sleeping well. Instead, opt for peppermint, chamomile or a detox tea. It helps to cleanse the liver and settle the rumbling stomach.

Two: Drink a lot of water during the day.

This is a great way to begin hydrating your body again.

I like to place a wedge of lemon or lime in my water with some ice, and that’s very refreshing on a summer’s day.

Opt for a slice of ginger, lime or lemon in winter for more tea.

Either way, you are spicing your water with some flavour that won’t break your fast.

This is great for detoxifying the liver.

Aim to drink one glass of water per hour. You may be taking several trips to the bathroom, but it’s completely worth it!

Three: If you find food tempting, stay away from it during fasting.

It’s very important to keep yourself occupied during the fasting period.

The more inclined you are to be around food, the more tempting it will be.

This is a good strategy for some people. I like to make my family dinner, as I get the experience of making a meal and preparing mine for when I break my fast the next day.

It satisfies my need to cook something wholesome and the knowledge that I’m preparing something for myself.

Thinking about eating food all the time is normal in the beginning.

I promise it will become a lot easier.

Four: Get into bed early.

Sometimes, sleeping it off can have a profound effect on us.

In the early days of my fasting, I was quite tired, and this is because of the shift occurring within our bodies.

We are transitioning from burning sugar to ketones, and this can leave us feeling lethargic, down and exhausted. Going to bed a bit earlier helped me a lot, and I allowed this to happen for as long as needed.

Before long, my energy levels increased, and I could do even more tasks fasting than when I wasn’t. It’s amazing how our bodies run so well if we allow them to heal and regenerate by not eating.

Five: Eating enough calories when in the feeding window.

It’s very important to eat properly when you can eat. That means getting enough protein, vegetables and a small number of carbs.

Your intake will depend on your activity levels, but you must ensure you are getting enough sustenance throughout the day.

This will help transition those energy sources well into your fasting period, delaying the onset of hunger. Perhaps allow for a couple of smaller meals to give yourself a break in between, and allow you to become more hungry. I find this tactic works well.

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