In Episode 31 of Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Journal, Donna Reish, author of 100 curriculum books (for kids!), blogger, and IF teacher, teaches about how to control appetite/hunger/cravings/ghrelin. She begins the episode by giving her and her husband’s update—down over 100 pounds between the two of them in ten months with just over and under 20 pounds each remaining! She describes how fasting brings out various food sensitivities that might have been dormant or unknown prior to fasting, and how she has been having sugar headaches despite loving sugar her entire life! This has caused her and her husband to reduce their sugar intake somewhat. Donna then reviews some info from Episode 30 about the hunger hormone ghrelin, including where and how it is released. Next, she describes the food control that IF provides in general, including regulating blood sugar and insulin, healing the gut, providing more pronounced leptin signals, and more.
Donna moves into some tips on controlling ghrelin next. She describes the following: how ghrelin comes in waves and how to overcome those waves; foods and drinks that ghrelin works well with and doesn’t work well with; the effect of water (including mineral water and sparkling water) on ghrelin; stomach distensibility, fiber, and fruit; clock hunger; sleep; mineral balance; and more! Finally, Donna touches on foods that have an effect on satiety/hunger/ cravings, including protein, fat, and fiber. This episode is sponsored by Plexus’ ProBio 5—a three in one product that aids in gut health, digestion, breaking down bad bacteria such as candida/yeast overgrowth, and much more.
1. Ten months fasting together
2. Ray down 85 pounds; Donna 25 pounds
3. Ray down from size 46-48 pants to 38 pants
4. Donna down from tight 12’s to comfortable 10’s!
5. 19 hour average fasting
6. Reducing sugar
7. Not controlling carbs but eating way less processed foods, little sugar, and more real foods!
B. Ghrelin Review
1. Hunger hormone released from the gut (and in smaller amounts from the pancreas and brain)
2. When stomach is empty, ghrelin is released to tell you that you are hungry
3. Goes through the blood and to the brain/hypothalamus
4. Released according to clock hunger at times
5. Precursor to Human Growth Hormone—you want this!
6. Means a lot of good things are happening in our bodies!
C. Overall Food Control by Intermittent Fasting
1. Fasting regulates blood sugar and insulin
2. Helps heal the gut
3. Can hear leptin signals better
4. HGH is released for muscle building and fat burning
D. Controlling Ghrelin
1. Since ghrelin comes in waves that last about ten minutes, you can time them and watch them disappear with the time!
a. Need to be engrossed in something mentally and physically if possible.
b. Walking, organizing, busying hands…all good distractions.
2. Ghrelin/appetite correction do not respond well to….
a. Processed foods
c. Liquid calories
d. Fast eating (more of a leptin tip)
3. Water—fill that stomach up!
a. Caffeinated water
b. Regular water
c. Sparkling water/carbonation—bubbles trick ghrelin into thinking we are putting food in it
d. Mineral water—balances minerals and electrolytes, which are often confused with hunger.
4. Stomach distensibility—as we shrink our stomach, it will be smaller and less ghrelin will be released
5. Fill stomach with the recommended 6 cups of veggies at or near the beginning of eating window!
6. Don’t overly restrict calories (increases ghrelin automatically)
7. Eat more fiber (again, filling up the stomach)
8. HIIT exercises help manage it
9. Exercise fasted—shown to regulate appetite more than later in the day
10. Chew gum (controversial–don’t chew gum if it spikes your insulin!)—research shows that those who chew gum eat fewer calories than those who do not
11. Brush your teeth!
a. Research shows that tooth brushing suppresses appetite
b. Signals to the body that you are done eating (like before bed—brush when window is closing; also brush during fasting time when ghrelin is being spiked so you can get control of it!)
12. Sleep—seriously, it helps all hormones level out! 7-9 hours is a good number to shoot for
a. Sleep deprivation means more cortisol; cortisol means spikes in insulin
b. Less sleep means more hunger
c. Research has shown that 1-2 hours less sleep in subjects resulted in a 24-30% increase in hunger
d. Research has also shown that people who regularly sleep fewer than seven hours have 26% more hunger than people who sleep closer to eight hours per night
e. Carbs closer to bedtime/end of eating window can help you sleep longer/better because of the satisfaction/lack of hunger associated with carbs
f. Omegas taken at bedtime are shown to increase sleep because the fat from them is released slowly and helps you STAY asleep.
13. Don’t go off and on fasting too much or extend eating window too much—clock hunger; ghrelin released according to when you usually eat
14. Mineral imbalance/electrolyte imbalance often looks/feels like hunger
a. Mineral water
b. Pink Himalayan salt
c. Magnesium and potassium
E. Foods That Have an Effect on Satiety/Hunger/Cravings
a. Considered a satiating macronutrient
b. Makes you feel more full
c. Takes more energy to digest it—15-30 percent thermogenic effect
d. But don’t eat too much—we need .8 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
a. Doesn’t cause an insulin spike
b. Will keep sugar cravings/insulin at bay
c. Healthy fats— nuts; omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, salmon, olive oil, avocado oil, other fatty fishes
d. Be careful not to overeat on “healthy fats.” Calories still count—even if they’re healthy!
a. 30 to 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women between 18 and 50 years old, and 21 grams a day if a woman is 51 and older. Another general guideline is to get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet.
1. Ages 18-50 years old (little less for olders)
a. 30 to 38 grams for men
b. 25 grams for women
2. General—14 grams for every 1000 calories
c. Fruit has anti-oxidants and phytonutrients
d. Fiber is subtracted from fruit making it have a less impact on insulin
e. Moderate consumption of fruit might be needed, especially for diabetics and those with metabolic syndrome
f. Great for replacing processed foods
g. Fiber fills up the stomach, expands in it and keeps it full (takes a while to leave the stomach)
h. Fibrous foods like veggies, beans, etc., have huge effect on appetite
i. Fiber powder can help fill in the gap to get up to your 25 grams of fiber per day.
F. Today’s Sponsor—Plexus Plant-Based Supplements—ProBio 5
4. ProBio 5
a. General–Three in one product (many people take all three of these)
i. Digestive enzymes—heal the gut; help with digestion
ii. Probiotic—good bacteria; long-living strands that last til they hit the gut (reason it doesn’t need refrigerated)
iii. Anti-fungals—break down the bad bacteria (that are then carried out through regular elimination)
iv. Probiotic blend
v. Vitamin C
vi. Vitamin B 6
i. Breaks down bad bacteria
ii. Promotes digestive health
iii. Provides 5 strains of probiotic bacteria to help support and maintain intestinal flora
iv. Digestive enzymes aid in the breakdown of proteins and fibrous foods during digestion
v. Helps reduce free radical damage in the body
Below are a couple of links to books I use and love. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!
Places to Find Me and Find Out More About Intermittent Fasting!
1) “Delay, Don’t Deny” book (amazing!)
2) “The Obesity Code” book
3) “Feast Without Fear” book
4) “The Complete Book of Fasting” (Jason Fung)
5) “Appetite Correction” book
6) “9 Facts About Plexus Slim” article
9) “Fasting Inferno” blog post with fun YouTube song and lyrics!
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