Skip These Drinks When Fasting
Merotto gives a thumbs down to these beverages during fasting windows:
Sweetened tea or coffee Once you add sugar, flavored syrup, milk or cream, these drinksdecaf or caffeinatedwill officially break your fast.
Alcohol Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits are a hard no for Merotto. These all contain calories and should be consumed only in moderation, if at all, during the non-fast portion. If youre following a calorie-limited fast, note that alcohol will replace some of your food calories.
Diet soda or soda While most diet sodas are technically calorie free, we dont have enough evidence as to whether they should be consumed during a fast, says Merotto. There is some evidence that artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame often contained in diet sodas may cause a rise in insulin response due to a chemical reaction in the brain similar to when actually sugar is consumed. More research is needed, but neither diet sodas nor their sugar-laden regular soda counterparts have been shown to be supportive of weight loss goals, she says.
Protein shakes or smoothies Protein supplements and powders contain calories and will trigger an insulin response, breaking a fast, Merotto says. They can, however, be a good way to break a fast as protein is very satiating, and can act as a quick and convenient recovery drink for those who work out in the mornings before ending their fast.
Should You Try Intermittent Fasting?
The Importance Of Autophagy
During autophagy, the body marks damaged parts of cells and unused proteins as potentially harmful. Once your body gets this message, the damaged parts are cleared out. This is a form of cellular cleansing, or detox.
However, if autophagy is never initiated, these dead and damaged proteins accumulate in the body. Fasting is the single most effective way to stimulate autophagy. You can also increase autophagy through exercise and ketosis, but these are not as effective as fasting.
What Can I Eat Or Drink While Fasting
To reap all the incredible health benefits of intermittent fasting, youll need to abstain from food and caloric beverages for a period of time. But can you have anything?
Rodriguez says, There are certain things you can enjoy without compromising the natural fat-burning process. Its also important to stay hydrated, so drinking enough fluids is beneficial.
Pro tip: If you’re a Jenny Craig member, your weight loss plan includes the revolutionary Recharge Bar so you can break your hunger without breaking your fast. Beyond consuming the bar, we recommend sticking to water, black coffee or unsweetened tea during your fast and avoiding added sweeteners of all kinds.
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When Should You Consult A Doctor
The effects of intermittent fasting on bowel movements are usually transitory. As your body adapts to your new diet regime, these side effects tend to go away.
Health professionals suggest if you are not experiencing any pain, discomfort, bloating, or strain while passing motion, you dont need to worry about fewer bowel movements at the start of your fasting.
Constipation generally means that you have less than three bowel movements in a week. Its possible that you can be constipated even if you are passing a motion. Stools that are hard and dry are also classified as constipation.
It would be prudent to consult a doctor if your symptoms dont improve within two weeks of starting your intermittent fasting. But, if you are experiencing blood, pain, or swelling during your bowel movements, immediately consult a doctor for further advice.
Intermittent Fasting: Timing Is Everything
Some health experts support the concept of fasting to improve overall wellness and help with weight loss. That sounds extreme but it doesnt have to be. Fasting means simply not eating for a designated amount of time. We typically think that to fast one has to go without food or water for a day or more.
But fasting can be whatever length of time it takes your body to burn fat or gain certain benefits by giving your body a break from food. Thats where intermittent fasting comes in. A regimen that has caught on in a big way, intermittent fasting can be thought of as simply scheduled eating.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
You can select from several different intermittent fasting schedules that suit you and your goals Before you start on any regimen, we strongly recommend you speak to a medical professional to discuss any benefits or customization required for your specific health needs.
Intermittent fasting can take many forms. Here are some basic intermittent fasting types:
The operative words here are intermittent and eat normally. The idea is to incorporate fasting into your routine regularly, which might be daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Its important while youre on your eating cycle to eat healthy meals dont use fast-breaking meals as an excuse to binge on junk food.
The other important component to healthy intermittent fasting is fluids. See more information below on the types recommended during an IF program.
Possible IF Benefits*
Drinking and IF
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Is Intermittent Fasting Safe
People can begin intermittent fasting for a variety of reasons. Some may begin to lose and manage weight and while others may be using intermittent fasting to address other health issues that could use a change in diet.
Regardless of reasoning, anyone planning to begin IF should consult and receive approval from their primary care doctor. If youre pregnant, breastfeeding, or have medical problems like, intermittent fasting may not be right for you.
If you begin intermittent fasting and experience unusual headaches, mental health disturbances such as anxiety or depression or have unusual changes in mood, consult with your primary healthcare provider to determine the best strategy or plan for your individual wellness.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Even if intermittent fasting is safe for you, it might not be the right diet for you.
If you find that IF makes you feel good and supports your health journey, thats wonderful! Youre joining a large community of fasters who have also found that IF enriches their life. If you find that intermittent fasting triggers disordered eating habits, makes you feel icky, or otherwise isnt the best option for your nutritional needs, thats OK too! There is no one size fits all approach to health.
What If I Hate Water
If youre one of those people who dont enjoy drinking water, you have a few options
First, you can try infusing your water with lemon or cucumber. You may get some calories from these, but it would be so few that it wouldnt matter.
If it gets you to drink more water, its worth it.
The other option is to use water enhancers to increase flavor while also providing electrolytes to increase hydration.
My favorite brand is Mio Drops. They are calorie-free and taste delicious! I always buy a few sets at a time, so I never run out, and they do help!
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What To Eat When Fasting
Fasting and food dont seem to go together but surprisingly there are a couple of snacks and treats you can enjoy and remain in fasting ketosis.
The key is to watch your portion sizes, especially if youre trying to lose weight. Higher fat, quality foods are best. Since your body is already burning fat for fuel at this point, eating a small amount of high-quality fats will not likely disrupt this process, Rodriquez advises.
On the other hand, eating carbs or sugar will raise your insulin levels and blood sugar, ending fasting ketosis.
Gentle Foods To Break A Fast
When youre ready to break your fast, its best to ease out of it. Toward the end of your fast, you might want to introduce small portions of foods that are more easily digested, so you dont overwhelm your digestive system.
Breaking your fast with foods that are especially high in fat, sugar, or even fiber can be difficult for your body to digest, leading to bloating and discomfort.
Foods and drinks that can be even more shocking to your system after a fast include those like a greasy cheeseburger, slice of cake, or soda. Even high-fiber raw produce, nuts, and seeds may be difficult to digest.
On the other hand, nutrient-dense foods that easy to digest and contain a bit of protein and some healthy fats can break your fast more gently.
Below are a few examples of what to eat to break your fast.
Breaking your fast with healthy foods that may be better tolerated can help replenish important nutrients and electrolytes while easing food back into your diet.
Once youre tolerating gentler foods, add in other healthy foods like whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, and fish and return to eating normally.
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/8 Intermittent Fasting Food List: What To Eat And Avoid During Eating Hours And How To Break A Fast
There are plenty of foods allowed to eat on 16/8 intermittent fasting during an 8-hour eating window. The great thing about intermittent fasting is that you can eat any kind of food and that is the reason why intermittent fasting methods are so popular today.
In this article, we will present to you what to eat and drink on intermittent fasting, foods, and drinks to avoid, and the best ways to break a fast.
Stevia And Monk Fruit
Stevia and monk fruit are plant-based sweeteners with similar sweetening powers, a bunch of antioxidants, and zero calories. They may have a tiny insulin effect, but theyre unlikely to interfere with a fast.
I know folks will push back on this one, but hear me out: even if we get a small bump in insulin release, what happens? Blood glucose decreases. So, although you may have a tiny decrease in fasting activity the subsequent decrease in blood glucose should only deepen the fast.
Verdict? Stevia and monk fruit wont break a fast.
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Why Is Water So Important
Staying hydrated helps curb hunger, which makes it easier to stick to your fasting diet, but there are also other numerous health benefits. Drinking water helps lubricate your joints, regulates your body temperature and keeps your digestive system regular.
Water also carries oxygen and other nutrients to your cells, flushes waste out of the body and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
The Importance Of Hydration During Intermittent Fasting
Do not be surprised if you become dehydrated during intermittent fasting. This is partly because of the fact that around 20-30% of the water we get is from food, and it comes mostly from fruits and vegetables. But another major reason you may become dehydrated is due to the fact that, during fasting, your body will likely be flushing out a lot of water. This can even lead to electrolyte imbalance .
Some of the symptoms of dehydration during intermittent fasting may include fatigue, thirst, dry mouth, headaches, slow digestion, and bloating. So, make sure that you stay properly hydrated throughout the day. This will also help you to feel less hungry, especially when you are starting out with intermittent fasting.
Water is essential for keeping your body cells functioning. It also helps to boost the benefits of intermittent fasting. As the body enters maintenance mode, it starts to cleanse proteins and other structures that have died or become dysfunctional. Without enough water, the body cannot perform the necessary detox efficiently.
This is why you need to take special care to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Most health authorities recommend drinking around 2 liters of fluid every day. However, as Ayurvedic medicine recommends , we are all born unique, and this means that we all require different amounts of liquids. So, let your thirst guide you for most of the time.
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Intermittent Fasting Rules To Finally Get You Results
Most people come across intermittent fasting because they want to achieve sustainable weight loss results. Nevertheless, the health benefits of intermittent fasting go far beyond that.
Intermittent fasting improves digestion, gut health, life expectancy, and even muscle gain when used correctly.
Unfortunately, most people fail to achieve these successes due to subtle mistakes. With these ten rules for intermittent fasting, that cant happen to you!
Establishing An Intermittent Fasting Plan
So what’s the ideal way to design an intermittent fasting plan? It depends on your schedule and what works best for you, but a good template to start is:
- Start your day off with a glass of water. Your body is made up of around 60 percent water, and every one of your cells needs it to function.
- After your water, have a cup of black coffee or tea, if you’d like. But remember, no sugar or cream/milk.
- Continue fasting for your chosen length of time
- When it’s time to eat, keep your intake of sugar and other carbohydrates low and eat plenty of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense whole foods.
- Continue drinking water throughout the course of the day until you reach your goal intake.
Should You Consume Sugar While On An Intermittent Fast
You shouldnt consume any sugar content during an intermittent fast. Otherwise, it can break your fast by increasing your blood sugar levels.
That being said, its always wise to moderate your sugar consumption. This is because not utilizing the energy from sugar might end up making you fat. Consuming sugar during your eating window can lead to a sugar crash later.
For this reason, its best to consume energy drinks that are sugar-free during intermittent fasting.
What To Drink If You Like The Sweet Taste
Of course, its best to get used to drinking unsweetened coffee or tea. Not only does it make any beverage preparation easier, but it is also simply a cheaper option. However, it doesnt mean you have to totally deprive yourself of the sweet taste. If you like it, you can still have your coffee or tea sweetened. Just make sure to use natural and keto-compliant sweeteners.
Stevia is the best choice if you want your intermittent fasting drinks to be sweet.
I highly recommend using stevia or erythritol which are calorie-free and have no effect on blood sugars.
Stevia is available as tabs, in the liquid form or as powder. Its hundred times sweeter than sugar. Erythritol is in the form similar to table sugar but is less sweet . You can use either one or the other. You can also mix them both. Its hard to overconsume stevia but erythritol may have a laxative effect if you eat too much of it.
VERY IMPORTANT: Trash sugar if you still have it at your home. Stop reading this article and do it now .
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Answers To The Most Common Intermittent Fasting Questions
Welcome to the first Reader Mailbag!
Im taking a page from the playbook of one of my favorite sportswriters, Bill Simmons, and answering a boatload of your questions today.
Questions are rolling in all the time mostly through the free newsletter or and I love hearing from you. Keep them coming! I’m happy to help however I can.
My hope is that this mailbag will bring useful answers together in one place and make it easier for you to find the information you need to make the changes you want. My goal is always to make it easier for you to lose fat, gain muscle, and live healthy.
Boom. Lets get this party rolling.
As always, these are real emails from real readers.
What To Eat To Break Your 16 Hour Fast
When it is time to break your fast it is best to start with smaller portions of food that are easily digested so you dont overwhelm your digestive system.
Nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest that contain protein and some healthy fats can break your fast more gently.
We know that you will be hungry after 16 hours of not eating but the worst thing to do here is to break your fast with processed or junk food that is full of fat, carbs, sugar, etc.
Always prepare something that is easily digestible and nutritious. Here are some foods that will help you to break your 16 hour fasting period:
Soups You will know what time your fasting ends. Prepare a soup that contains protein and easily digestible carbs, such as lentils, tofu. Avoid soups with heavy creams or large amounts of raw vegetables.
Smoothies Great option to introduce nutrients to your body since smoothies contain less fiber, than whole raw vegetables and fruits.
Dried fruits Apricots, raisins, dates. Dates are often used to break a fast. They are healthy, nutritious, and very sweet. Learn more about the benefits of dates here!
Fermented foods Kefir or yogurt are also good drinks to break a fast.
Avocados This fruit can be the first choice to eat after fasting for 16 hours.
So when you are ready to break your 16 hour fasting time and start eating first focus on easily tolerated foods that can help replenish important nutrients and electrolytes.
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Forbidden Drinks During Intermittent Fasting
The forbidden drinks usually have calories, cause a metabolic response and thus they break a fast. If you want to reap all of the benefits intermittent fasting offers, you cannot consume these drinks in your fasting window. Some theories say you can eat up to 50 calories without breaking a fast. If you were to listen to this advice, the list of your allowed intermittent fasting drinks would expand a bit.
Ultimately, its up to you to decide if you allow any calories during a fast but I suggest allowing NONE. Its just a couple of hours and the benefits of making it till the end of a fast are really awesome. Its best to totally avoid the forbidden drinks and consume them only if you really have trouble continuing a fast .
Here is the most comprehensive list of drinks forbidden during intermittent fasting.