1. Don’t have breakfast: delay eating for as long as you can on a fasting day to suppress your appetite. If you’re just starting out, it might be easier to do this gradually, putting back the time of your first meal by an hour each day.
  2. Save most of your calories for an evening meal: going to bed hungry is miserable!
  3. Drink black coffee and black, green or herbal teas as a calorie-free way of filling your stomach. It can take a while to get used to hot drinks without milk if you’ve always had it: make tea a lot weaker than you would with milk and try different flavoured teas.
  4. Water served over ice with a slice of lemon is a good option for a calorie-free drink on warmer days (it feels a bit more special than plain water!).
  5. Hard-boiled eggs are a nutritious and filling snack at only 65 calories (get free-range eggs if you can). I make pickled eggs for a little extra flavour without any extra calories.
  6. Plain popcorn is another filling low-calorie snack: ¼ cup of popping corn will cook in about two minutes in a covered bowl in the microwave and contains only 90 calories for a BIG bowlful (don’t add any butter, though!).
  7. Soups make excellent fasting-day lunches: you can buy ready-made ones or prepare your own.
  8. Whole grains will keep you full for longer than refined ones: go for brown rice, wholemeal flour and wholemeal couscous on fasting days (and on non-fasting days, too!).
  9. Your body doesn’t have protein stores to call on when you’re fasting, so make sure you get enough in your fasting-day meals. Lean meats like chicken, fish and ham are relatively low-calorie sources of protein. If you’re vegetarian, concentrate on eggs, lentils, beans and nuts.
  10. Vegetables are a great source of nutrition on any day, but are a particularly good use of calories when you’re fasting.

And a bonus tip for pre-menopausal women: natural monthly hormonal fluctuations have a recognised effect on appetite. Don’t worry if you find it hard to fast just before your period. Give that fast a miss and don’t beat yourself up about it.

Advertisements