Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Lori Geurin
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It’s been shown to have a number of health benefits, including weight loss and improved blood sugar control. Plus, it can help you feel more energetic and simplify your daily routine! But what should you eat after a fast? Here are 13 of the best foods to break a fast.
- What Intermittent Fasting Is and Why It’s Important
- Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- How Intermittent Fasting Works
- What To Eat After Intermittent Fasting
- Printable Intermittent Fasting Tracker
- Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
- The Importance of Hydration and Electrolytes
- What To Drink After a Fast
- Final Thoughts: What To Eat After Your Fast
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What Intermittent Fasting Is and Why It’s Important
Intermittent fasting is a popular dietary strategy that has been used by many people for years. It entails eliminating food and fluids for a set period of time, then eating to replenish energy stores after the fast comes to an end.
Intermittent fasting has recently gotten a lot of attention, but it has been practiced for centuries.
This approach follows what we call an intermittent fasting schedule, and it can have some profound benefits over continuous calorie restriction.
In intermittent fasting, you can eat a big meal or little meals during your eating window. You’ll also go for long periods of time without food; typically 12 hours to 48 hours. It’s totally up to you!
The intermittent aspect is what makes intermittent fasting so effective in the first place. After all, our bodies were designed to go through periods of feast and famine, and intermittent fasting is a natural way to do this.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet. It’s an eating schedule that can benefit almost anyone wanting to get in shape. Fasting doesn’t mean you’re starving or going without food altogether; you can still eat nutritious whole foods throughout the eating periods.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting, so it’s important to pick what works best for you.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are so many impressive benefits of fasting. I used intermittent fasting to lose weight and get healthy and it was one of the most powerful tools I’ve used. It eliminated my severe hypoglycemia symptoms as well!
If you’re a frequent reader, you know that fasting isn’t about starving yourself. It’s as simple as eating your regular meals in a shorter time frame. This is beneficial to individuals of all body types and lifestyles.
People use intermittent fasting for a variety of reasons. Some fast to lose weight, others do it to stay healthy and live longer. It can also help you improve your focus, have more energy, and feel amazing!
(If you’re intrigued by the prospect of intermittent fasting, I recommend reading our Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting. It covers the basics of intermittent fasting and gives some solid examples of how to go about intermittent fasting for health purposes.)
Get the FREE Intermittent Fasting ebook + access to my FREE Resource Library.
Then there are people who intermittent fast because it helps them “tap into” their body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. This is why intermittent fasting isn’t specific to losing weight—it also has amazing effects on repairing the human body and improving health!
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The Magic Process Called Autophagy
Another amazing benefit of fasting is autophagy. This is the human body’s natural process of rejuvenation. Our bodies clean out all of the trash in our cells through this process. This benefit is amazing, and it allows you to feel like a new person after going through intermittent fasting.!
Other advantages of fasting include enhanced insulin sensitivity, lowered blood pressure, and improved triglyceride levels.[*]
It’s fantastic to know about these advantages, but let’s take a look at the science behind it.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
You alternate periods of eating and fasting for a specific length of time in intermittent fasting. For instance, you might skip breakfast and eat your first meal around noon or dinner time.
When you’re fasting, a variety of things occur in your body. First, intermittent fasting naturally suppresses your appetite. This makes it easier for you to control your calorie intake throughout the day and maintain a healthy weight.
When intermittent fasting, you also experience gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process by which your body transforms stored fat into glucose, the energy source required for cells to function. This means that intermittent fasting allows your body to burn fat for energy.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Fasting
Another benefit of fasting is that it encourages the body to create more brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF ).[*]
This is crucial since BDNF aids in the regeneration of brain cells, memory improvement, and the prevention of neurological disorders.
Now that we’ve gone through all of the technical details about fasting, let’s talk about the burning issue: What do you eat after a fast?
What To Eat After Intermittent Fasting
You’ve entered into the world of fasting, so you might be wondering what to eat after your fast is over.
When you end a fast, it is critical to eat foods that are kind to your body. Also, avoid overeating because your body needs time to adjust to food again.
Consuming foods that are high in sugar, fat, or fiber can cause stomach problems. It’s typically better to eat something light and nutrient-dense, perhaps something with protein.
The following are some eating suggestions for breaking your fast.
Most yogurt contains live probiotic cultures, which are beneficial to gut flora. Yogurt is also easy on the stomach and can be helpful in easing digestion. If you have a dairy allergy, you can try making your own yogurt at home with almond milk or coconut milk.
Greek yogurt is a great option because it contains protein, but the regular stuff will do in a pinch!
Fresh, ripe fruit is a fantastic post intermittent fasting option. Enjoy a single piece of fruit or eat it with yogurt. If you choose to eat fruit after a fast, you may want to choose low-sugar options such as apple, pear, or berries.
Apples are also great because they contain pectin, which can help your body’s digestive processes.
Ginger tea is beneficial to the digestive system since it is both soothing and relaxing. It also includes antioxidants, which aid in blood purification.
Vegetables that have been gently cooked, such as potatoes, carrots, or sweet potatoes, are usually well tolerated. However, you may want to avoid vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage when you’re breaking a fast. Save these healthy veggies for mealtime instead.
A smoothie prepared with yogurt or kefir and fresh fruit is easily digestible, comfortable for the stomach, and high in nutrients.
After you’ve had some time to eat this first small healthy snack or meal, your body will be better prepared to tolerate something a bit more substantial. Here are a few foods you can introduce at this point.
- Nuts and seeds
- Oatmeal and other whole grains
- Meat, eggs, and nut butters
- Whole fruits
If you only fasted a short time you’ll likely feel well with this method. But if you’re just coming off a long fast – like a 36-hour or more fast – you’ll want to re-introduce foods more slowly.
More Blog Posts About Intermittent Fasting
- The Beginner’s Guide to Circadian Rhythm Fasting: Answers to All of Your Important Questions
- The Top 9 Intermittent Fasting Questions I Hear, Answered
- 6 Benefits Of Fasting To Improve Your Health And Simplify Your Life
- How I Lost Over 6 Pounds In A Month Eating My Favorite Foods Without Exercise
- 9 Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting To Improve Your Life
- Inspiring Weight Loss Success Stories With Clean Intermittent Fasting
Printable Intermittent Fasting Tracker
Many people are concerned about weight reduction, especially women who are moms or balancing a career. Intermittent fasting may aid in weight reduction without making you feel hungry or restricted, which is beneficial for many. Not every plan works for everyone, however. The most crucial detail is to use the correct method! That’s where an intermittent fasting tracker comes in handy.
Benefits of Using an IF Tracker:
- Provides motivation and support when you’re having difficulties sticking to a plan
- Keeps track of your progress so that you can evaluate what works best for YOU
- Keeps you organized
- It motivates you to continue when you want to give up.
We created an easy-to-use printable intermittent fasting tracker to help you get the most out of your fasting lifestyle. Click the photo below to go directly to our Thrive Berry Etsy shop and see it.
Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules
1. 16:8 Intermittent Fasting
This popular schedule is where you eat in an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. You may also want to try an 18:6, or 20:4.
2. Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate day intermittent fasting means you eat normally one day and don’t eat the next.
3. Meal skipping
Like the name suggests, with this method you simply skip a meal (or 2) whenever you choose.
This schedule is where you eat normally on 5 days of the week and then only eat 500 calories or less on 2 days of the week.
You can read more about this in 22 Intermittent Fasting Schedules To Skyrocket Your Fasting Success.
The Importance of Hydration and Electrolytes
It’s critical to drink plenty of water while fasting, as well as consume electrolyte-rich foods afterward. Drinking water will help to keep your body hydrated and avoid dehydration, headaches, and dizziness.
Potassium-rich foods are also great for maintaining proper electrolyte balance. Bananas, avocados, oranges, and nuts all contain potassium.
You can also drink coconut water or eat coconut after a fast. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and slightly sweet, which makes it a great post-fast option.
What To Drink After a Fast
1. Coconut water
This delicious drink has been found to be a rich source of potassium, which aids in the restoration of electrolytes. Coconut water also contains natural sugars to provide your body with a quick source of energy.
2. Green (or herbal) tea
Green tea has more than four times the antioxidant activity of other teas. It also aids in the breakdown of toxins and stimulates the immune system.[*]
3. Lemon water
Lemon juice is a wonderful detoxifier. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which helps to fight infections and repair tissue damage.
4. Homemade bone broths
Sodium and potassium-rich broth will aid in hydration and replenish electrolytes. Bone broth is especially beneficial because it’s full of electrolytes and gelatin, which can help heal the lining of your gut and aid in digestion. Additionally, bone broth may be able to improve joint health and boost your immune system.[*]
5 Natural mineral water
Mineral water, unlike regular drinking water, is high in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and other trace elements that the body requires to function properly. And what’s better than a refreshing glass of water on a hot day?
Final Thoughts: What To Eat After Your Fast
I hope this article helped to answer some questions about what to eat after intermittent fasting. Remember, intermittent fasting is just one of many tools in your healthy toolbox. I find intermittent fasting to be an effective way to lose fat and gain muscle but it is not the only way. Experiment with intermittent fasting and eat what your body tells you it wants!
Have you ever tried intermittent fasting before? What do you eat after a fast? Share below!