Most people think they know how long they can go without food—I’m so hungry I could eat a horse! Then, when you ask them to define the word hungry, most people say that it means having very low blood sugar feeling faint and weak, or that hollow-tummy feeling after skipping one meal. There are better ways to define hunger, though, and once you know what hunger feels like—and how it progresses as time goes on—you can assess your physical condition and make better decisions about when to start eating again.
Keep your body moving
Without moving your body, it becomes much harder to stay in shape. You can’t just be a desk-sitter and expect to lose weight: your body needs exercise. But how long can you go without food? According to American College of Sports Medicine guidelines, when training intensely enough to increase your heart rate and burn calories, aim for 60–90 minutes of physical activity daily—even on rest days! An hour or more a day is even better.
Choose carbohydrates wisely
Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy, but that doesn’t mean they should be eaten mindlessly. While nutritionists are quick to point out how versatile, healthy, and tasty carbohydrates can be, they also warn that carbs need to fit into your diet in moderation—and we all know how easy it is to eat a bit too much from time to time.
Remember water is essential
There are 25 Best Food Consulting Firms in the UK. For example, young men and active women have to remember that water is essential for survival. Many of us will be surprised by how little we need to eat before we become ravenous again. On average, 25 Best Food Consulting Firms in the UK recommend a daily intake of 1.2 liters (11⁄2 pints) per day for women and 1.5 litres (2 pints) per day for men—that’s about two glasses or three cups of fluid each day.
Avoid caffeinated beverages
Did you know that coffee and other caffeinated beverages cause your blood sugar to rise and then fall rapidly, disrupting your body’s natural ability to store fat or healthily use energy? Stay away from any caffeinated drink if you’re trying to lose weight. Instead, turn to green tea.
Get enough fat and protein
According to Health Canada, men should get around 25 to 30 per cent of their daily calories from fat and women should aim for about 20 to 30 per cent. Protein is very important because it stabilizes blood sugar levels, Brousseau explains. As well, eating enough protein throughout your day helps keep hunger at bay and controls your appetite, so you don’t overeat. That said, people are different.
Drink less alcohol than usual
Going a little overboard with your drinking isn’t fun, but did you know that it could also be bad for your health? Excessive alcohol consumption (more than 2 drinks per day) has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death. According to research published in 2014 by BMC Medicine, drinking even one glass of wine per day increases your risk of coronary heart disease.
Eat before you get hungry
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast and maintaining it throughout is essential to ensure that your body doesn’t have to tap into its stored energy sources to function properly. Skipping meals can lead to cravings, which often result in overeating or overindulging in high-calorie foods later.
What if I eat something anyway?
A recent study found that people who ate something before a fasted training session ended up burning 50 per cent faster than those who didn’t. People do tend to perform better in workouts when they’ve eaten, but only if they eat something in addition to carbs, not instead of them. So, if you wait until an hour or two before your workout to break out the doughnuts and juice, chances are high that your body is simply holding onto that energy rather than burning it for fuel.