Simple is nice right!? That’s the best part about learning the best foods to break a fast. I’ll tell you what to eat, what not to eat, and how to do it.
Eating correctly, really is simple. Notice I didn’t say eating correctly is easy. When it comes to proper nutrition simple and easy are very different.
I’d be willing to be that you know more than you give yourself credit for. You know that you should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. You know that you need protein to maintain or gain muscles. And you know that eating a box of twinkies on the couch while binge-watching Netflix will leave you feeling horrible.
The key to eating correctly is to do it consistently while allowing yourself just a few cheat days, to keep your sanity.
If you choose to go on a diet, at some point, you’ll most likely fail. And when that happens, you might have lost a few pounds temporarily, but you’ll eventually go back to the weight you were before and possibly even gain a few more pounds.
I’ve been intermittent fasting (IF) for a few years now. Not because I want to lose weight, but because it gives the body a break from digesting food. Research shows that IF is has a wide range of benefits.
While IF is an excellent strategy for improving your health, how you come out of your intermittent fasting is important too.
For some people IF is pretty easy.
I found that after the first couple of weeks, it got easier. The first couple of weeks were difficult. But honestly, I don’t know if it was difficult because we’re all creatures of habit, or if I was really just struggling with it. For years, I would eat either oatmeal or maybe a couple of eggs and a piece of whole-wheat toast.
Overall, it’s a pretty decent breakfast. I didn’t coat my oatmeal with sugar or anything, just plain oatmeal with a bit of applesauce and cinnamon. The weekends were similar, so day in and day out, this was my routine for breakfast. I usually chased breakfast with some black tea, for my morning caffeine kick, and off I went.
So when I switched to IF, my routine went out the door. And it felt strange, and I struggled at first. But after a couple of weeks, it was easier and a new routine was formed.
My point here is, at first you might struggle with IF, but as you form a new routine, you’ll get over the initial hard part, and move onto what I really want to discuss here. What to eat to break a fast.
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How to Break a Fast
So you’ve just finished a fast, you’re about to get started with fueling your body with proper nutrition, so you hammer down a chicken-fried steak, eggs, sausage, and white toast covered in jam…right?! Kidding obviously. If you chose this as your first meal after a fast, you would most likely end up on the toilet quickly, and it wouldn’t be pleasant.
While intermittent fasting might reduce your calorie intake, it’s not a reason to feast on junk food after your fast. This could lead to digestive problems, an upset stomach, muscle cramps, and more unpleasantness.
It’s best to focus on eating filling, satiating whole foods during your eating window that include healthy fats, protein, and slow-digesting carbohydrates that are rich in fiber (How Much Fiber Should I Eat In A Day).
Depending on how long your fast was, you might be able to get away with eating a burger and fries without serious digestive repercussions. I know when I first started, I may have gorged on some fairly unhealthy meals, but again it’s about eating properly a majority of the time.
So without further adieu, here are some foods that might serve you well when breaking your fast.
Best Foods to Break a Fast
- Protein shake – I personally love a protein shake as my first meal. It’s important to find one that isn’t loaded with sugar.
- A light salad – leafy greens are great for breaking a fast. Add some cooked chopped-up chicken to add a bit of protein, and you’ll be fueling your body with essential nutrients, vitamins, and protein.
- Avocado and toast – simple and filling. Avocados are a healthy fat and taste delicious.
- Yogurt – yogurt tends to help with the gut biome. It’s filled with healthy bacteria essential to a well-running digestive system.
- Bananas – bananas are high in potassium vitamins and contain a bit of natural sugar. If you’re really feeling sluggish, or just starting your fasting, a banana might be a good option for you.
- Fruit juice smoothie – a mixture of yogurt and berries blended together can be filling and great for breaking a fast. Don’t take the easy way out and just drink fruit juice. These are commonly filled with sugar or added sugars.
- V8 juice – if you’re going to use a pre-made juice, stick with low sodium V8.
- Dried fruits – dried fruits are a great snack item and can be good for breaking a fast. Again find one that is low in sugar and preferably doesn’t contain a bunch of preservatives.
During your fast, you want to make sure you’re staying hydrated. There are conflicting studies showing whether you should drink coffee or tea during your fast. I say do what feels good for you.
Some people suggest breaking your fast with something like bone broth or an apple cider vinegar drink. If solid foods seem to give you trouble. the apple cider vinegar drink or bone broth might be best.
Foods to Avoid After Fasting
There are some foods you’ll want to avoid after fasting. You’ll also want to avoid eating large quantities. At first, you’ll definitely be hungry (I’m not gonna sugar-coat it) so if you find yourself eating large meals then you need to rethink your strategy. Additionally, you may want to avoid the following foods:
- Raw vegetables
- Heavily processed foods
- Foods high in sugar
- Red meat might also be difficult for some.
Again, this will depend on the individual.
Conclusion of Breaking a Fast
In general the longer the fast, the more important it is to break your fast with something light and easy on the digestive system. If he fast is less than 24 hours, chances are you’ll be okay eating anything nutritious. Some people have iron stomachs, and they can eat whatever without many consequences, so you’ll need to see what works for you.
What foods do you eat when breaking a fast? Tell us below.