Discover The Truth About Intermittent Fasting: And Take Your Health Weight Loss & Longevity To A Whole New Level
If youre interested in learning more about Intermittent Fasting and changing not only when you eat but what you eat to gain:
- A Lifetime Of Better Health
- A Healthier Metabolism And Digestive System
- Optimal Weight
- And even a renewed relationship with food, hunger, and yourself
Learn more about Mindvalleys science-based 28-day protocol Beyond Fasting, in this free Mindvalley Masterclass with Ronan Oliveira.
Be Hydrated With Fluids And Electrolytes
We just covered a rare fasting complication called refeeding syndrome. Thats a severe electrolyte disturbance. Milder electrolyte disturbances, however, are MUCH more common in the fasting population.
During a fast, you lose more electrolytes like sodium and potassium through urine. And your dietary intake is nonexistent. Its a formula for electrolyte imbalances that can tank your energy.
Research has also found that supplementing with sodium mitigates the weight rebound following a fast. Good to know.
So before and after you refeed, get your fluids and electrolytes handled. This might mean sipping LMNT Recharge, drinking bone broth, or supplementing ad hoc.
Best Food To Break The Intermittent Fasting Window
Intermittent fasting is one of the best dietary routines to make lasting positive changes for your health. Its also an excellent tool for losing weight when combined with food tracking and counting calories. However, you may be wondering what the best food is for breaking the fast.
Its a fair question, and it may have drastic effects on the results you get from intermittent fasting and your diet overall.
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Avocado Ricotta Power Toast
Total time: 5 minutes | Servings: 1
- 2 tsp baking powder
Per serving: 484 calories, 40 g protein, 16 g carbs , 31 g fat
Egg Scramble With Sweet Potatoes
Total time: 25 minutes | Servings: 1
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp chopped chive
Per serving: 571 calories, 44 g protein, 52 g carbs , 20 g fat
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What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting
When eating during intermittent fasting it is crucial to avoid foods that damage your cells.
Heres a list of foods to avoid while practicing IF:
- Processed grains
- Properly-prepared low-carb vegetables
- Low-toxin veggies like sweet potatoes
It is no surprise that these healthy whole foods have been the cornerstone of traditional cuisines for millenia.
Thanks to pioneering researchers like Weston A. Price, we know that peoples who practiced nose-to-tail eating lived longer and had extremely low incidences of the chronic inflammatory diseases that kill most people today like heart disease and cancer. 4
It is worth noting that combining intermittent fasting and keto have been shown to mutually increase the benefits of each dietary approach.
Now lets take a closer look at the nutrition and benefits of specific foods to eat while fasting.
What Are Bioactive Foods
Bioactive food is referred to non-essential biomolecules that are present in foods. They have the capacity to modulate one or more metabolic processes, which in turn can be beneficial for better health.
Luke’s plate of bioactives include papaya, pineapple, watermelon, walnuts and almonds. He says that these are raw bioactives which can provide the following benefits
- Angiogenesis – a process which facilitates formation of new blood vessels
- Stem cell protection
- Microbiome protection
- DNA protection
According to Luke, all of the above functions can together help in getting a strong immune system.
Apart from these functions, these bioactive foods come with a variety of other health benefits. Read below to know them
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Ending A Longer Fast: A Quiet Gut Revs Up Again
Longer-term fasts are different. Resuming eating after a longer fast takes more planning and care.
As we start to incorporate fasting into our routines, our bodies physiologically take a bit of time to adjust to the new regimen, especially if we used to eat constantly. As chronic eaters, our bodies are constantly spending metabolic energy producing digestive enzymes to process the food were consuming. This changes when we first start fasting. The digestive enzymes are not needed or produced.1
How To Avoid Refeeding Syndrome
There are several ways you can reduce your risk of developing refeeding issues when you do break your fast:
- Avoid breaking your fast with a meal that is high in carbohydrates stick to low-carb, high-fat meals. Avoid meals that surge insulin and blood sugar.
- Stay hydrated during your fast Drinking mineral water is good.
- Supplement with a pinch of natural salt such as Himalayan salt a few times throughout the day.
- Consult with your healthcare provider for any extended fast.
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How To Break A 7
Every year at Easter, I use Holy Week to schedule an annual cleansing for my body.
I do this not because I am particularly religious, but because it takes a fixed date to be consistent and tackle this prolonged fasting challenge. So why not use the traditional easterly fasting time?
To me, 7-day fasting represents the justifiable maximum of autophagy fasting, which detoxifies, renews broken cells, and contributes to higher life expectancy.
And often, old traditions do have a meaningful background. In my homeland, you traditionally break the Easter fasting with a smoked broth.
Accordingly, this is a broth cooked from smoked Easter meat. Do you think its a coincidence that Christians traditionally break a fast with an easily digestible soup packed with electrolytes?
Since religious fasting has always been aimed at mental cleansing too, and we now know that it improves cognition through autophagy, the broth is probably no coincidence either .
Accordingly, I suggest the following procedure for breaking the 7-day water fast:
- One tablespoon of apple vinegar diluted with 5 ounces of water
- Afterward, bone broth with a good pinch of sea salt
- If hunger remains: Avocado with salt and olive oil or olives
- 1-2 hours later, avocado and tuna salad, if hungry
- 2-4 hours later 200g chicken or fish fried in ghee with cooked broccoli
The next day, probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, can support recovery. Nevertheless, keep your hands off industrial probiotic products like yogurt drinks.
How To Break A Fast While Intermittent Fasting
How you break a fast depends on your goals. However, most of the time, people fast for weight loss so the following instructions will focus on that.
When I was fasting for weight loss, I had a very strict routine that proved to be quite successful. Its important to exercise while fasted so your body doesnt use readily available energy from the food you have consumed, but rather, seeks energy from stored fat deposits in the body.
Its quite simple really if you havent consumed food, then your body will need to source energy from fat to perform an exercise. My routine specifically involved 15-minute warm-up cardio at a moderate pace, leading into bodybuilding-style weight lifting , followed by 10-minute cool-down cardio at a moderate pace. Keep in mind that heavy weight lifting isnt recommended with intermittent fasting, thus, why my focus, in particular, was on high repetition bodybuilding.
Once you have completed a workout while fasting, its time to consider what food you will consume to break a fast. Ive always been a proponent of clean eating while breaking a fast, and that means no fast food or sugar. You dont want to unwind all of your hard work from fasting and exercise by consuming junk food.
When I would breakfast after 16, 18, or 20 hours, I would have ready salads, lean meats, such as chicken or steak, and fish. I kept the carbohydrate intake reasonable with brown rice or vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.
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How Do I Break My Intermittent Fast
There are no special requirements for breaking a 16 hour fast.
Intermittent fasting, particularly with the 16/8 method, is not an aggressive assault on the body.
Lets be honest. Most of us have gone without food for 16 hours at some point in our lives. Its not going to be a massive shock to the system to put something in your belly.
That being said, a tub of Ben & Jerrys probably isnt going to help. Ronan reminds us that while it can be tempting to reward your abstinence with a treat you wouldnt typically have, that kind of defeats the purpose.
Adding treats to your feeding window is the same as adding treats to your standard eating patterns. Youre going to get the additional calories.
Thats why its essential to know why you want to fast in the first place.
What To Eat To Prolong Your Fast
Now you know how to break your fast, but what if you don’t want to end your fast just yet? When you’re first starting IF, or if you’re trying to graduate to a longer fasting window, there are certain things that can help get you over the hangry hump without sabotaging your results.
Noncaloric options that are widely accepted among intermittent fasting experts include seltzer water, coffee, and tea. Miller likes Earl Grey tea in particular, as it contains bergamot extract, which can help suppress appetite. “Just be sure not to add stevia or noncaloric sweeteners, which may provoke an insulin response,” she says.
If you need something a bit more substantial to hold you over, or if you have a low body fat percentage , then sipping on a high-quality bone broth, or coffee or tea blended with coconut or MCT oil, during your fasting window are both great options.
“You can essentially ‘fool’ your body into thinking it is still fasting by having a fat like MCT or coconut oil because they don’t bump up your blood-glucose-regulating hormone, insulin,” says Pedre. “This works great to curb your appetite during prolonged fasting hours.” And while this may not preserve all of fasting’s benefits , it seems to be beneficial for things like weight loss.
What Is Intermittent Fasting 16/8
The 16:8 fasting method means you fast for 16 hours and then have your meals during the 8-hour window.This plan is relatively effortless to follow. If you tend to eat a late breakfast and an early dinner the 16/8 method will be easy for you!You can have your first meal at noon and your last meal at 8 p.m. If youre a fan of breakfast, have it at 8 a.m. and then stop eating after 6 p.m.
Its not an easy task for late snack lovers, but it sure brings results.
Intermittent Fasting: Best Foods To Break A Fast
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, its a pattern of eating. You spend a period of time during a 24 hour period eating and a period not eating. Its simple and straightforward. The most popular fasting pattern in the 16/8 method where you eat only during the 8 hour period. We often get asked, what are the best foods to break a fast, in order to lose weight more effectively?
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The 5 Best Foods To Break A Fast
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What to eat and when to eat it? Sounds simple, but this can prove to be a very difficult question to answer. If you have ever found yourself going through the mental gymnastics of trying to figure out what to eat, you know just how confusing and frustrating it can be. Not to mention the added stress of choosing the best foods to break a fast.
What Shouldnt Break A Fast
If youre going to be very strict about your fast, if youre the kind of rock-solid guy that doesnt move an inch on its principles and want the real thing, those foods arent for you. Either they contain a certain amount of calories or the science is not perfectly clear on their effect on a fasted body.
But if youre ready to experiment and think about the benefits of some of them , you could try and see if it fits you.
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Whole Foods And The Gut
Whole foods are loaded with fibers that are sometimes lost during processing or refinement. Fiber is essential for a healthy gut because aside from its traditional roughage reputation, it also feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, providing a whole host of other benefits.
They also provide a lot of variety, which the gut loves. The more variety, the better. So, even though you might fall in love with certain recipes, its important to mix up the kinds of whole foods you eat to maintain a healthy gut. Aim for 30 different whole foods each week. Its easier than you think!
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That being said, exercise before you eat because people get hungry about half an hour after they finish working out and may find it too hard to stick to their plan if they cant eat anything at all afterwards, Varady noted.
If youre on the 16:8 plan, exercise before or during your eating window. If youre doing alternate day fasting and are exercising on your 500-calorie day, save food for after your exercise session.
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Water / Sparkling Water
Of course, water wont break a fast, its basically your go-to drink on an everyday basis. But also, sparkling water, which is just water with some added carbonic gas, is totally safe too and a great way to get out of the plain water routine.
Whats more about water when youre fasting is that you should get used to drinking a lot of it. As an intermittent faster, Im used to drinking around 2 liters a day on a regular day, going up to 4 liters when Im doing one meal a day or prolonged fast.
Thats a lot of liquid absorption, but youll quickly see that its really important to stay hydrated all the time, water will help you prevent dizziness, fatigue and, logically, dry mouth.
/4how To Break Your Fast
While breaking the fast, it is important to remember that you have not eaten anything from past 12 to 16 hours, so the first meal should be light and small. If you eat a large meal, your body will get confused and will find it difficult to digest it. You will start feeling bloaty and lethargic. Make sure your first meal is rich in protein, vitamins and other healthy nutrients. Avoid carbs and fats at all cost.
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Eggs To Break The Fast
Eggs are the perfect way to break your fast. An egg is a whole food that contains lots of proteins, vitamins, and nutrients. Egg gets digested quickly, is low in calories, and rich in proteins. It can be a great way to start with eggs because they can make you feel full quickly.
Eggs are easy to cook you can go for a boiled egg, scrambled egg, or an omelet. Few qualities of eggs make it more preferable than other foods to break the fast, which includes:
- Eggs are a high protein food it helps boost your metabolism, burns more calories and aids in weight loss
- Eggs are rich in leucine, which helps in muscle growth
Consumption of eggs also aids in less variation of plasma glucose and insulin. Hence it would be perfect for breaking your fast with eggs.
Common Obstacles To Eating A Healthier Diet
Varady dabbles with intermittent fasting herself, typically for a few weeks after the holidays to lose a few pounds. The 16:8 plan is less intense than the other plans, but if she wants a more rapid weight loss, shell opt for alternate day fasting.
The first five fast days are pretty tricky, but once your body gets adjusted to that kind of up-down pattern of eating, it actually gets really easy, Varady told TODAY.
So how do you boost your chances of intermittent fasting success?
Managing Insulin Sensitivity And Metabolic Health
If your primary concern is decreasing insulin levels or improving your bodys metabolic health, you might not be concerned with weight loss.
Perhaps youre even using fasting to gain weight, combining it with strength training. If your goal is a very metabolically healthy body, you can add calories in your fasting window in the form of healthy fats.
This is when adding ghee or butter to coffee or having coconut oil makes sense.