Starve Yourself to Fend Off Jet Lag

Starve Yourself to Fend Off Jet Lag

Starving yourself prior to a long flight may be the key to preventing jet lag, according to Yahoo Health.

Normally, the body’s natural circadian clock in the brain dictates when to wake, eat and sleep, all in response to light. But it seems a second clock takes over when food is scarce, and manipulating this clock might help travelers adjust to new time zones

Granted, fasting is certainly extreme for just a few hours worth of jet lag, but the article points out that an 11-hour time change—like one an American travel might experience when flying to Japan—would take the average person an entire week to adjust to. In such cases, a fast-before-you-fly policy could do wonders. The article is iffy about the effectiveness of this method, so if you’ve ever tried it, let’s hear how it worked in the comments. Alternately, we’ve covered several anit–jet lag tips. Thanks Rick! Photo by huong-lan.


  • On a couple of occasions in the past I’ve found that pulling an all-nighter to meet a major deadline just before a long-haul flight meant that I wasn’t much affected by jet-lag on arrival (and I also found it a little easier to sleep during the flight itself). I’ve usually put that down to sheer fatigue, but I wonder if the fact that I had in effect not been eating as much in the previous 24 hours played a part too.

    But my main trick is to set my watch to destination time as soon as I get on the plane, and to then attempt as far as possible to behave according to that clock. Eating can be tricky, given that the airline controls that, but choosing what to eat in a given meal (protein vs carbs) is usually possible, and you can try to sleep or nap during the destination’s night time (including missing an airline meal if necessary).

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