If you are planning on including intermittent fasting to your current low-carb, high fat keto routine, you will need to know the best keto food to break a fast.
Fasting is one of the ways you can utilize if you want to increase your weight loss and speed up your metabolic progress.
While breaking a fast may seem easy, it is not easy as it looks. You will need to know what to eat, protocols for breaking fast, side effects of breaking a fast, among other things.
We have provided a guide to help you if you are having challenges with breaking your fast or new to fasting. It will also help you in obtaining maximum benefits from your fast.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is a technique often used to get the body back to its natural state. It is an intentional decision to avoid eating for a specific period. Also, it can involve switching between periods of fasting and periods of eating.
Additionally, you can decide to try out fasting by simply avoiding food at any time interval that is suitable for you. However, there are currently several types of fasting you can choose to try to find out which works for you
Some popular types of fasting include:
One Meal a Day Fasting (OMAD)
OMAD fasting is a type of fasting where you eat just one meal daily while you get to fast for the rest of the day.
Intermittent fasting is the type where you avoid food for hours less than the usual 24 hours a day. For example, with an intermittent fast, you may decide to fast for 20 hours and then use the remaining 4 hours as your eating window.
Alternate Day Fasting
Here, this type of fast requires you to eat food for a full day and avoid eating for the next day. For instance, you may decide to eat freely on Monday, then avoid eating for the whole of Tuesday and so on.
Extended fasting is a type of fast that requires to avoid eating food for several days. The number of days here may be a minimum of 2 days and can last even up to a month in some cases. However, we advise you to talk to your doctor before attempting to fast for up to a month.
There are several kinds of extended fasts today. These include bone broth, vegetable juice fast, a food fast, among others. Extended fast is one of the fasting methods that can let your body to enter into the state of ketosis quickly.
Unlike other types of fasting, fat fasting is a type of fast where you eat only small qualities of fat, but no carbs or protein. This type of fasting is often easier than other fasts where you will need to skip food entirely.
With fat fasting, there is a high tendency that you may not feel hungry, thus making it possible to fast for more extended periods. Butt, you are most likely going to miss out on certain benefits that come with a real fast.
It is advisable to first try out fasting with different types and lengths as it will help you to find the one that is most suitable for you. Also, there is no wrong or right way to fast. We have different bodies and capacities, and as such, you will need to what suits your body and targets.
Reasons Why People Fast
It is relatively difficult to give specific reasons why people fast, and this is because different people fast for various reasons. While some people fast for religious reasons, others fast to heal their body, improve their body metabolism, and detox their body, and so on.
Here are some common reasons why people may decide to embark on a fast.
Benefits of Fasting
Fasting has a lot of benefits to the human body. It does not just heal the body; it also helps the body to overcome a particular form of addictions and habits. During an extended fast, for example, your entire digestive system gets the opportunity to rest and return to normal.
Fasting is one vital way of allowing your organs to rest, thus making them work properly. Even more, fasting helps in improving your metabolism, cellular repair pathways, and brain. It is vital to combine fasting with a keto diet to achieve faster and better results.
Other significant benefits of fasting include:
One of the key benefits of fasting is that it helps to get you into ketosis, especially when you combine it with a low-carb diet. When you are fasting, you stop the intake of high carb foods. Thus, your body begins to burn all the carb deposits it has as a source of fuel.
Fasting helps you in cutting down the intake of calories, which often accumulates and leads to an increase in weight. Also, during fasting, your body burns fat as a source of energy due to the absence of high-carbs foods. Even more, fasting is more effective than in weight loss than diets low in calories.
Autophagy for Mental Clarity, Inflammation, and Anti-Aging
Autophagy is simply a form of the cell cleaning process. During this process, your cells undergo a thorough check and then have some of the damaged ones replaced. As a result, research shows that your cells become younger, thus serves as an anti-aging therapy.
A recent study also shows that autophagy makes your cells more efficient, which in turn leads to less inflammation and faster body metabolism.
Stable Insulin and Blood Sugar Levels
In-depth research has shown that when you fast, your insulin and blood sugar levels reduce and become stable. Hence, this leads to a reduction in the risk of having diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance, and many metabolic diseases
Fasting is also an essential tool in eliminating spikes in blood sugar levels, so you will always get to enjoy steady energy all through the day. More so, it helps to increase your insulin sensitivity effectively.
What can I have while fasting?
During fasting, your body becomes very sensitive to certain foods and drinks. Some specific foods and beverages are highly recommended and safe for consumption during fasting.
The importance of hydration cannot be overemphasized, especially during fasting. It is essential always to keep your body hydrated by increasing your water intake. There is no fixed quantity of water you should take but ensure you take enough water to keep you hydrated always during your fast.
During fasting, you need to consume extra electrolytes. These electrolytes will help to prevent weakness, cramping, and muscle aches while you are fasting. There are many items you can use as electrolytes, including pickle juice, electrolyte packets, and even water.
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Coffee in Limited Quantities
It is vital to limit the amount of caffeine you take during fasting. So, if you must make coffee, ensure to keep black always or with minimal caloric content. Also, adding a teaspoon of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil will help your hunger and energy levels.
Pink Himalayan Salt
When you are fasting, your body tends to lose some essential electrolytes. It is vital always to replenish such electrolytes. One of the techniques to do this is by taking pink Himalayan salt. The pink Himalayan salt contains trace elements that your body needs and also helps in preventing fatigue, cramps, and other issues.
When you stop consuming high-carb foods, your body begins to burn fat as its source of energy. This fat burning process produces an acid called ketones. However, when the fast becomes an extended one, you will need to consume exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones help to improve the ketone level in your blood, thus improving your overall strength while you are fasting.
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Best Keto Food for Breaking Extended Fasts
When you are on a fast, your body tends to be in a state that is different from its normal state. During this period, you need to avoid consuming foods that are hard on your body system.
You already know foods that disrupt your digestive system, so try to avoid such foods when you are about to break a fast.
Some of the best keto foods to break a fast are:
On the other hand, some foods and drinks you should avoid when breaking fast are:
However, you can consume some of the foods above after about six hours or breaking your fast.
The Right Protocol for Breaking a Fast
If you want to break your fast successfully without having any issues, complications, or side effects, we recommend you break your fast using this protocol:
Each time you are on a fast, and you are ready to introduce food again to the body, start slowly to allow your digestive system to adjust. We recommend you break your fast first with fresh and whole grains
Also, try to start by eating small quantities. Afterward, chew every bite you take thoroughly and slowly. When it comes to breaking a fast, it is better to begin from little and then work your way right up. Since your digestive tract and system have been on a break, if you start fast, you might experience stomach issues.
Start with Liquids
Another point to note when breaking your fast is that it is better to start with liquids before other solid foods. Some of the fluids you can start with liquids like beef broth, bone broth, fresh low carb veggies, or chicken broth
When you start with liquids, it will help to make you regain strength and reduce extreme hunger. Also, it helps your digestive system to adjust quickly. Sip some chicken or beef broth and then observe for some minutes how you feel.
Any liquid you take will move quickly through your body until your digestive system adjusts to consuming solid foods once again. Remember, take it slowly and don't be in a hurry. Continue to drink liquids until you feel you can now take food.
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Introduce Leafy Greens and Low Carb Veggies
As mentioned earlier, you need to start with the broth. After you must have consumed soup for a while, you can now begin to introduce leafy greens and low-carb veggies. If you have darker leafy greens such as spinach, and salad you can start with them. These veggies contain more nutrients and are a great way to introduce foods.
Even more, other vegetables you can eat are celery, Brussel sprouts, cucumbers, and asparagus. However, it is essential to bite small quantities and chew thoroughly. Also, ensure you give time intervals before eating more. A small amount of berries is allowed too. But, it is also capable of kicking you out of ketosis, thus making your efforts to be useless.
When you are breaking your fast, you should try as much as possible to avoid eating meats. Meats are hard and may disrupt your digestive tract hence leading to several side effects. If possible, try not to eat meat for a few days after breaking your fast.
You can decide to eat eggs on the first day of breaking your fast if you are not sensitive to eggs. Also, if you have allergies, you must be careful when returning them to your diet to avoid discomfort
Keep Burning Fat
After the step above, you should have been able to break your fast without issues successfully. Also, it is expected that you should be in ketosis by now. So, continue to eat your keto diet, drink a lot of water, and consume more electrolytes to maintain your fat-burning journey.
Possible Side Effects of Breaking an Extended Fast
If you have fasted for an extended period, then it is likely that your body’s production of digestive enzymes has been slowed. As a result, you make experience some form of gastrointestinal ache when you begin to eat food again.
The most common side effect you may often go through include:
Since your body is unable to produce sufficient digestive enzymes and juices to breakdown the food you have eaten, the food remains in your stomach. Your body might require several hours before it can start producing enough enzymes to digest your food. During this period, you are likely going to begin experiencing diarrhea or stomach pains.
To minimize the effect of side effects that come from breaking fasting, you can either reduce the length of your fast; or make an adequate plan on the food to you use to break your fast.
Additionally, when you begin to fasting regularly, your body gradually adjusts to it and thus continues to produce digestive enzymes. In a short while, you should be able to break the fast any way you like. However, it is essential to pay attention and exercise extreme care during a few periods during your fast.
Understanding and Preventing Refeeding Syndrome
Refeeding syndrome is an uncommon side effect that comes with the resumption of food intake after extended periods without food or periods of malnutrition. It refers to a potentially fatal shift in electrolytes and fluids that may take place in malnourished patients.
The first clinical signs of this syndrome are hypophosphatemia, low blood phosphorus levels, and low blood serum levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These shifts may cause cardiac failure, heart rhythm abnormalities, convulsions, coma, or respiratory problems.
During refeeding, insulin and other counterregulatory hormones like noradrenaline and cortisol are swiftly re-activated. As a result, the movement of the vital intracellular ions like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus into our cells.
That said, due to the general depletion of our body’s stores, it becomes relatively excessive and then leaves us with a few of these ions in our blood.
The main symptoms of refeeding syndrome include:
Additionally, these symptoms typically appear within two (2) to four (4) days of the beginning of refeeding
How to Prevent Refeeding Syndrome?
When you are breaking your fast, there are numerous ways you can employ to reduce your risk of developing the refeeding syndrome. Some of the techniques include:
Overall, there is no doubt that fasting comes with several benefits to the body. However, what you eat when breaking your fast will either help to make the process easy or complicated.
If you are doing a fast that lasts only around 12 to 24 hours, you might not need to bother about the best keto food to break a fast. All you need to do is to stick to high-fat, low-carb meals.
On the other hand, for extended fasts, you will need to plan on what to eat to break your fast to prevent side effects. You will need to start slowly, start with liquids, and then move to vegetables before eating solid foods.
We have been able to discuss fasting, the benefits of fasting, how to break a fast, and the best keto food to break a fast. Others include the effects of breaking a fast and how to prevent refeeding syndrome.
Should I start the ketogenic diet with fasting?
Yes, there is no clear cut rule that says you cannot. However, you should start a fast only after you must have eaten a ketogenic diet for some days.
Although you can start and complete a fast after consuming and leaving a high carb life, you should be ready because its detoxification stage is often more difficult.
Can I exercise during an extended fast?
Yes, it is necessary to exercise during fasting. But it should be a light to moderate exercise. Exercising during fasting helps to burn stored glycogen in the body faster, which in turn improves the speed your body uses to change fuel sources. It also increases your insulin sensitivity.
What should I eat when breaking an extended fast?
Once you finish fasting, it is best to eat natural, whole, and unprocessed foods. If you can strictly adhere to these foods and your ketogenic meals, your body will continue to remain in a state of ketosis.
What should I avoid after fasting?
After fasting, you must ensure you avoid solid foods. You can start with liquids and then gradually go higher. Also, stick to foods that do not cause spikes in your blood sugar or insulin levels