Donna Reish, curriculum author of over 100 books (for students grades pre-school through 12th!), blogger, and Intermittent Fasting teacher, tackles more hunger issues during the fast. (Episode #30 was all about ghrelin; Episode #31 was all about ghrelin tips and hunger.) She teaches about the effects of caffeinated drinks on appetite, metabolism, and exercise performance. Then she delves into a study about the effect of chlorogenic acid from decaf coffee, caffeinated coffee, and caffeinated water—and their effect on the third hunger hormone, Peptide YY. Following this, she described why gut health influences hunger and cravings. And finally, she discusses the huge effect that cortisol has on hunger, cravings, and weight, including ways to reduce cortisol levels. This episode is sponsored by Plexus Slim, the pink drink!






A. Our Journey

1. Still fasting strong and long
2. Still losing weight AND sizes
3. Navigating many special occasions successfully!


B. Caffeinated Drinks—

1. Research shows that caffeinated drinks boost metabolism, have a thermogenic effect, and enhance exercise performance.
2. However, recent research shows that while caffeine does have a small effect on appetite, decaf coffee has a bigger effect on appetite due to its stronger effect on the hormone Peptide YY (PYY)
3. Coffee is one of the single largest sources of antioxidants in the Western World.
4. Chlorogenic acid in coffee and caffeinated water is what affects appetite.
5. Chlorogenic acid

a. Antioxidant dietary phenols
b. Also found in apples, pears, artichokes, strawberries, pineapple, sunflower, and blueberries
c. Decreases hunger
d. Also found in many supplements


C. Three Sources That Influence the Release of PYY and Reduce Appetite

1. Decaf Coffee–This hormone in body that is in caffeinated drinks but strong in decaf—called Peptide YY (PYY)

a. Released from large intestine
b. Third hunger/satiety hormone (besides ghrelin & leptin)
c. Hormone is low in heavy people and high in lean people full or satisfied
d. Some research shows that PYY delays gastric emptying
e. Lowers appetite & food intake by acting on neurons in the hypothalamus to help people feel
f. Coffee increases the release of this hormone in the body/decreases the appetite
g. Decaf is better than caffeinated for increasing PYY


2. Caffeinated Coffee (generally, it is thought that we need three cups of caffeinated coffee to increase thermogenic effect and exercise performance)

a. Also increases PYY/decreases appetite
b. Also has other positive effects of caffeine
c. Be careful of too much caffeinated coffee as caffeine can increase cortisol


3. Caffeinated Water

a. Also increases PYY/decreases appetite
b. Not as much as coffee


D. Caffeine VS Chlorogenic Acid (Increase in PYY) for Appetite Suppressant

1. Study on Increasing PYY with caffeinated drinks:
2. Caffeine’s effect on metabolism and exercise performance

a. Increase exercise performance by 11% (dopamine is increased)
b. Sends signals to the fat cells, telling them to break down fat. (Large metabolic effect)
c. Caffeine can increase resting RMR by 3-11 percent….up to three cups has more effect…up to 10% in obese people and 29% in lean people.
d. People become tolerant to the weight loss benefits of caffeine over time
e. Mixed studies on caffeine blunting the appetite


3. If you think cream or stevia or lemon juice or Zevia or anything else in your fasting window is causing you to not lose weight, take it out one at a time to see if it makes a difference—anything in fasting window that causes sugar spike, hunger, cravings, desire to eat should not be included in fasting window!

4. Be sure you never consume anything in your fasting window that triggers hunger or desire to eat


E. Heal Your gut

1. 90% of serotonin comes from the gut (we tend to think it is a brain thing—gut is the second brain!)
2. Managing our microbiome can dramatically decrease cravings
3. Changing the microbiome can heal your moods and change how you feel about food and depression/anxiety related to eating
4. Obese people have a much less diverse microbiome than thin people; we need a more diverse microbiome
5. Can introduce good bacteria to the gut with fermented foods and good probiotics
6. Be careful of feeding the good bacteria with a sugar or carby food as yeast lives off of sugar
7. Prebiotic (special fiber) fertilizes the gut and helps heal it—from skin on fruits and vegetables and some supplements
8. Prebiotics/probiotics have been associated with lower cortisol, which will help with cravings, appetite, mood, and stress
9. See Episode #31 for probiotic info (try to get probiotic, digestive enzymes, and anti-fungals all in one, if possible)


F. Reduce Cortisol Levels—Cortisol is released during good stress and bad stress

1. Cortisol creates insulin spikes and sugar cravings
2. Cortisol increases appetite (cortisol shots, etc.)
3. Manage stress through meditation, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques
4. Study showing cortisol is reduced in women by 50% with deep breathing and instrumental music for five minutes behind closed door
5. Reduce cortisol through a balance of cardio and weight training; don’t overdue cardio as it can increase cortisol
6. Sleep between 7 and 9 hours
7. “Stress eating” is a real thing
8. Some top ways to reduce cortisol

a. Sleep
b. Deep breath
c. Journal/Gratitude journal or list
d. Yoga
e. Meditation/prayer
f. Instrumental music
g. Acupuncture


G. Previous Hunger Episodes

1. #30 Ghrelin Overall—What It Is, Its Pathway, How It Is Released, What Is Its Function, How to Control it Generally
2. #31 Ghrelin, Overall Hunger Controlled With IF, Controlling Ghrelin (lots of tips!), Water, Protein, Fat, Fiber


H. Plexus Slim Hunger Control (HC)

1. Two Slim formulas

1. XOS—Gut Health, prebiotic fibers AND HC with appetite suppressing fibers
2. Identical ingredients except for the fiber—one is prebiotic fiber and one is appetite suppressant fiber
3. Use XOS for gut health and people who do not need to lose weight or decrease their intake of food

2. Benefits of HC Slim

1. Clinically demonstrated to help you lose weight
2. Helps reduce hunger
3. Fills up stomach (helping with distensibility) so that you don’t eat as much
4. Supports healthy glucose metabolism

3. HC Slim Details

1. Delicious blood orange, lemon, lime flavor
2. No artificial sweetners or flavors
3. Only 2 net carbs per serving
4. Comes in 30 single serve packets for convenience
5. Gluten-free, 100% vegetarian, non-gmo
6. Non caffeinated (equivalent of one cup of decaf coffee)
7. Completely plant-based including color and sweetner

4. When to take it for fasters

1. Can take during fast if you don’t sense an insulin spike and it doesn’t cause hunger—fiber will fill up the stomach and cause hunger to go away
2. Contains 2 grams of carbs so not much more than coffee—but you have to play with it because of the sweet taste (most research suggests that stevia doesn’t cause an insulin spike)
3. If it causes an insulin spike for you, you want to consume it 30 to 60 minutes before your first meal or snack or before large meal
4. May take two per day
5. HC Slim ingredients

a. Polydextrose

i. Only ingredient not in XOX Slim
ii. Large plant with resistant starch
iii. Increases prebiotic activity (think sauerkraut)
iv. Reduces caloric intake by mixing with the water in the gut and swelling (fibrous) to leave less room int eh stomach for food
v. Also has long term effect, influencing the meal immediately after it is consumed and the next meal as well

b. Coffee Bean Extract

i. Derived from coffee that has not yet been roasted
ii. Higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to roasted
iii. Chlorogenic acid helps maintain healthy blood glucose/circulating glucose
iv. Also a thermogenic that helps with fat burning
v. Trace caffeine never found in Slim

c. Garcinia Cambogia

i. Citrus fruit tree grown in southeast Asia
ii. Extracted from the find
iii. Helps with appetite

d. Chromium polynicotinate

i. Most bioavailable source
ii. Essential trace mineral that we are usually deficient in
iii. Supports healthy glucose metabolism
iv. Facilitates glucose transport to the cells

e. Alpha Lipoic Acid

i. Fatty acid found naturally inside ever cell int eh body
ii. Potent antioxidant
iii. Also found in Plexus Nerve

f. Citric Acid—found in fruits; used to flavor

g. White mulberry

i. Long history of medicinal use in China and Europe
ii. Contains health promoting phytonutrients
iii. Considered a super food and a potent antioxidant

h. Stevia

i. Perennial herb native to South America
ii. Used for centuries as a medicinal herb and natural sweetener
iii. Extracted from the leaves
iv. Zero calories and carbs
v. Beet—natural color in Slim


I. Plexus Plant-Based Supplements

1. Visit our store HERE
2. Hunger Control Slim (pink drink) HERE
3. Try a free sample of Plexus Slim Hunger Control (pink drink) HERE


Below are a couple of links to books I use and love. I am an affiliate for 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!

Sign up for my free Intermittent Fasting webinar, “10 Intermittent Fasting Questions,” a one hour presentation to answer your IF questions! 

Sign up for my month-long, step-by-step course (starts the first Monday of each month)

Subscribe to the blog and get free IF start up charts

Join my private FB group where I teach IF!

Subscribe to iTunes

Subscribe to Youtube channel

Get my IF app


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

7) Free sample Plexus Slim

8) Our Plexus store

9) “Fasting Inferno” blog post with fun YouTube song and lyrics!


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